Los Angeles is home to many amazing hole-in-the-wall vegan restaurants. These spots offer delicious plant-based meals with reasonable price tags so you aren't breaking the bank for your lunch. While these joints are sufficient and delicious, up until recently, an upscale vegan eatery was missing from the LA food scene.
Cue Crossroads Restaurant entering the culinary clique of the City of Angels. Crossroads is LA's first upscale, fine-dining establishment backed by a top chef with an exquisite eye for vegan eats. This restaurant is everything you'd want in a fancier restaurant without the stiffness typically associated with more expensive eateries: it has a simple, clean interior complete with white table cloths and candles, dazzling chandeliers, a fully-stocked bar and high quality cocktails to match, and impeccable service. Most importantly, though, the food is unbelievable. Chef Tal Ronnen, the mastermind behind Crossroads amazing menu, has been endorsed by the likes of Oprah, Ellen Degeneres, and Queen Bey herself. Even though their kitchen doesn't contain a scrap or meat or dairy, Ronnen's chefs are all non-vegans. This seems strange, but his reasoning behind this is genius: he wants to serve vegan meals that look and taste good to non-vegans. Smart, yeah?
Crossroads specializes in entirely plant-based small plates, so a party of two are encouraged to order at least four plates for dinner. Their lunch menu is a bit more limited, with mostly just sandwiches offered to restaurant patrons. I've had the pleasure of joining Crossroads for brunch, lunch, and dinner and have never been disappointed.
The first time I went to Crossroads, I went for dinner. I ordered the lasagna, the crab cakes, the tortelloni, and a mushroom flatbread. I was blown away by the lasagna and had to refrain myself from licking the plate clean. The crab cakes were also insanely good. I'm still dreaming about those to this date. The portions are very small but each dish packs a flavor punch. For all you non-vegans, you won't be missing the meat or dairy in your dinner at Crossroads.
My second time at Crossroads was for brunch. My friend and I ordered the Benedict, the French Toast, the Tuscan Croissant Sandwich, and a side of their roasted potatoes (go big or go home, amirite?). Everything was unbelievable, but my favorite by far was the Tuscan Croissant Sandwich. The flaky warm croissant surrounded seasoned tofu and shiitake bacon. The dish came complete with a queso-esque sauce for dipping. I wanted to drink it, it was that good. The Crossroads Benedict was very tasty, although not too much like a typical Eggs Benedict. Instead of using tofu as an egg substitute, Crossroads uses a chickpea "patty", which was really delicious. Their version of Hollandaise sauce is not as thick as I feel like it should be, but it tastes phenomenal nonetheless. I loved the Crossroads Benedict, but if you're looking for something that's just like the original non-vegan version of this dish, I wouldn't recommend ordering it. The French Toast was probably my least favorite thing we ordered. I'm not too big on sweet things for breakfast, so it's not a surprise that I preferred the savory dishes more. I felt like I could sense a strong almond liquere taste that wasn't that appealing to me. I won't be ordering this dish again. Overall, I was thoroughly impressed with the brunch offering at Crossroads and will be sure to stick to their savory dishes the next time I pop in on a Sunday.
My most recent visit to Crossroads was for lunch. I was saying good bye to my sweet friend Libby as she embarks on a worldwide adventure promoting her app "Eat Away" (check it out, it's awesome!!). We decided to split two sandwiches: Le Prevot and the Skinny Meatball Sub. Both sandwiches were crafted using simple, pure ingredients. They both tasted so fresh and SO DAMN GOOD. I liked the Skinny Meatball sub the most because it was hearty and savory. The homemade tomato sauce and ricotta-esque cheese were amazing. Le Prevot was also delicious with it's fresh tomato and cucumber. I wasn't as big of a fan of the "cheese" on that sandwich option--it tasted a little too much like cream cheese in my opinion. Despite not loving Le Prevot's cheese, I still thought the sandwich as a whole was really good and I ate the entire thing. The homemade pickles served on the side are spicy and yummy, I recommend!
Because Crossroads Restaurant is an upscale establishment, the prices, especially for dinner, are high. Luckily, the lunch menu isn't as expensive, so if you're dying to try Chef Tal Ronnen's food but don't want the hefty price tag of their dinner, drop in for lunch. You won't be disappointed!
8284 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA