The Vegan Joint’s sunny yellow-and-white striped awning stands out on the corner of Rose Avenue and National Boulevard in Palms (multiple locations), drawing diners into the original location of this healthy restaurant that serves creative meatless dishes. The extensive menu is filled with nutritious items, ranging from breakfast foods to soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps and burgers, with an added emphasis on Thai food. The imitation meat products offered set this joint apart from the competition and include tofu, vegan fish, chicken, sausage and homemade seitan, a form of wheat gluten. As an alternative to fast food, try the “chicken” nuggets and garlic fries, or the unique “fish” wrap, filled with slices of grilled soy, avocado, lettuce, tomato, sprouts and drizzled with tahini. Diners can take a seat outside at a picnic table under the awning, or eat inside the simply-decorated space, complete with wooden chairs and tables bathed in sunshine.
On Venice Boulevard in the Palms neighborhood sits Thai Boom, an authentic Thai restaurant that serves up generous portions of flavorful food, without breaking the bank. Favorite dishes at this quaint hole-in-the-wall restaurant include tom yum soup and a spicy red curry, alongside the semi-sweet pineapple fried rice. Flat, stir-fried rice noodle dishes like Pad See Ew, served with egg, broccoli and garlic in brown sauce, and Pad Kee Mow, with bell peppers and chilies, are also favorites. Don’t expect much from the minimally-decorated dining space, but service at Thai Boom is as friendly as ever. You could do like most locals and order for takeaway, but then you’d miss out on the coconut ice cream.
Twisting strings of lights hang from a couple of large branches turned chandeliers, their gleam reflecting off the bronze artwork that hangs on one wall. If the Pico location's dining room is attractive, the same goes for its dishes. Grilled skewers with miso glaze, roasted duck, and Bangkok beef stew arrive looking as good as they taste.