On our last night in Los Angeles, we wanted to go out and try a vegan place. I get so sick of having one thing on a menu I can eat (if that) and I was hoping for more choices. After an extensive web search, including posts to Chowhound, my host and I came to a single conclusion: vegan places don’t like Tuesdays. Our first choice, Cru, was closed, as was Elf and several others. So we settled on Flore.
Flore Vegan Cuisine
3818 W. Sunset Blvd. (at Hyperion)
Silverlake, CA 90026
Tues-Fri 11am – 10pm
Sat-Sun Brunch 10am – 1pm, lunch/dinner served 1pm – 9pm
Michael was sick with a post-convention cold, so Emmy and I headed to Silverlake for takeout. Parking was difficult (watch out for lightly marked resident-only streets, with strict enforcement), but we managed to find a place a block away. Flore was tiny with a handful of tables. The place was full, but that meant only around a dozen customers. They have an outdoor table but it was empty.
The menu is posted near the door but there is nothing up by the register, where you order if you’re not at a table. It took several tries to get a menu. Several minutes later, I asked for a second menu, saying it was hard for both of us to look at that tiny type together. At first the two young men said they only had one menu. Then, after realizing what I meant, said–with the slightest curl of the lips–they thought I wanted large type. Chowhound and Yelp folks mentioned the attitude in reviews: we were a good 20 years older than anyone else there, customer or staff. And they seemed the type to make sure we knew it.
The good news is that, not only is everything on the menu 100% vegan, but they mark what is gluten-free too. The only gluten in the item I wanted was the bread, so I asked for lettuce instead. I was offered spelt bread. One of the workers rolled her eyes as I calmly told the cashier that spelt was a type of wheat and had lots of gluten in it. The cook said lettuce was no problem.
There were three sides options (or you could pay an extra $1.50 to upgrade to a deli case item): green salad (1 cup of lettuce, shredded carrot, cucumber, and sprouts with a small container of dressing), fruit salad (1 pint of honeydew, pineapple, and 2 little slices of kiwi), or potato salad.
After ordering, the waiter said it would be 15-20 mins. I was surprised. There was no line for tables and we were the only people ordering takeout. There were at least 4 staff people present and working. Does it really take 20 mins to make a couple of sandwiches? Fortunately, the order only took about 10 mins.
The bottom line is this is lunch food at dinner prices. My Tempeh Tu-No Melt was very good, with a creamy cashew cheese, and an expert lettuce wrap, but it wasn’t worth $9. Not even with a side of fruit salad. Michael’s B.L.T.A. was good too but similar to what we might make at home, with fried tempeh bacon, lettuce, and tomato, on six-grain bread. With a side salad and tahini dressing for $9. Emmy had The Wrap with a side salad and italian dressing for $10. Tofu, vegetables, rice, and dressing in a wheat tortilla.
The amount of food was fine for lunch but we would have needed to split an extra dish for dinner. The food was fresh and tasted good, but nothing was spectacular. If I were walking distance, I’d ignore the prices and gladly go again, but it wasn’t worth driving to.