Vegan restaurant in an airport
I’ve been vegan for almost 17 years and I’ve seen a lot of changes during that period.
I can remember going to my first vegan fair at Conway Hall in London back in 1999. Somebody gave me seitan and I recall being incredibly confused.
I think there was choice of just one soya milk we used to buy from Sainsbury’s back in my early vegan days. It was sweetened with apple juice! Cheezly was the only vegan cheese on the block and I had the feeling that eating vegan was going to remain an outsider concern for a long, long time.
Flash forward to 2015 and I am now blogging about a vegan restaurant outlet situated inside Los Angeles International Airport. Times have changed.
Following on from our vacation in Southern California recently, Josh and I were booked to fly out of LAX Terminal 4. This air travel hub just so happens to be the site of an outlet for legendary vegan food chain, Real Food Daily. Yep. A vegan food outlet inside an airport.
The photos below show my club sandwich that was stacked solid with seitan, tempeh and avocado. Josh’s ‘build your own bowl’ meal was filled with brown rice, seitan, marinated tofu and steamed kale.
My sandwich was solid and tasty. I wanted it to go on forever. Josh felt his bowl was wholesome, delicious and balanced. He especially loved the side dressing that accompanied his meal.
Of course the price was staggering. My sandwich was $16.50 and Josh’s bowl was a similar price. Even by extortionate airport prices, it felt confronting.
One bizarre part of the experience was the presence of non-vegan snacks for sale on the counter. I’m not sure why a restaurant chain that has been around for decades as a completely plant-based food provider would sell non-vegan snack bars and chocolate.
I reached out to Real Food Daily on social media and via email to ask for clarification on this topic, but I am yet to receive a response. I hope they get this sorted for the obvious ‘dairy=cruelty+death’ issue, but also so people don’t accidentally buy any of these snacks assuming they are plant-based.
Pros: it is amazing to see a vegan restaurant situated inside an international airport terminal.
Cons: high prices and the sale of non-vegan snack bars will make you do a double take.
You can follow Real Food Daily on Twitter.
THAT’S AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just flew out of LAX and didn’t see that place though! But, next time!!! 😀
Ah, the old soya milk sweetened with apple juice thing!
Many UK soya milks are still sweetened with apple juice (all the supermarket own-brand ones are, I think) and they used to shout about it on the label, I guess it sounded healthy or something. But people thought it was weird, so they relegated it to the ingredients list.
The cheaper “value” brand soya milks use sugar instead, though I don’t think they taste as nice as the ones sweetened with apple juice.
(Also, the food looks great! Real shame about the non-vegan items though, there’s a danger vegans will buy these without realising, especially as they’re in the impulse-purchase area.)
I find some of your attitudes to vegan/vegetarian/omni places a little confusing. You tore apart a small independent mostly vegan café/restaurant on the outskirts of a small city for selling some dairy, yet you regularly praise places for having just one or two vegan options. And here you are plugging a chain place in an extremely vegan friendly city which sells dairy and you only really mention it as an aside.
Liz, I have never ‘torn apart’ anything. I wrote a blog post saying I found it problematic that a vegan would open a non-vegan cafe. I didn’t call them names. I didn’t try to destroy them. It is the perception of some people (you included) that I attacked. I didn’t. I expressed my views. I don’t know who the owner of Real Food Daily is and I don’t know if they are vegan or not so I cannot comment on whether I find it troubling in this instance. I still stand by my blog you mention. A self-identified vegan opening a non-vegan food business is extremely troubling to me. Hope that clears up your confusion.