The Irish Pub offers options free of meat and animal products.
Trinity Hall Irish Pub in Mockingbird Station, which offers both vegan/vegetarian and gluten-free menus, is an example of a growing effort on the part of local restaurateurs to serve our neighborhood’s pickiest eaters without turning off the meat-and-potatoes (or, in Trinity’s case, bangers-and-mash) crowd. It initially had to do with the bottom line, Trinity owner Marius Donnelly says, noting that it started with the gluten-free movement. The associated level of ingredient awareness has motivated people to look more closely at what they consume. “As our staff as well as guests became more concerned with what they are eating, we noticed an increased demand for vegan menu items.” Vegan and gluten-free diners can better trust an establishment that offers a specialized menu, he says. “A kitchen that doesn’t do vegan, for example, might use chicken stock for everything; one of the big changes we made involved switching to a flavorful vegetable-based stock.” It also is more efficient for the staff to prepare familiar items, as opposed to arranging off-menu dishes. Donnelly and his team, including chef Oscar Gutierrez, exude enthusiasm regarding their from-scratch Ireland-inspired fare, the vegan/vegetarian menu progression and the constant evolution of the overall menu to meet their discerning diners’ desires. From the hummus and veggie platter to the pearled couscous with oil-and-garlic pan-finished vegetables and the aesthetic vegan polenta and beans, the vegan dishes are hearty and healthy. Even non-vegans who simply want to eat healthier and lighter enjoy these meatless creations, says Donnelly, a native of Dublin, Ireland. The pub, also revered for its small-town atmosphere and ale selection, has partnered with Barnivore to showcase vegan beers. The brewing process sometimes involves the use of fish gills, egg whites or other animal products, Donnelly explains, so now vegans can guiltlessly consume craft beer along with the rest of the crowd.
5321 E. Mockingbird (Mockingbird Station)
AMBIANCE Irish pub
HOURS 11 a.m.-1:30 a.m. daily
This tiny grocer/diner offers a plethora of vegan-friendly dishes. Appetizing fried tofu or mun tod (fried sweet potatoes) followed by red curry or pra ram (bean sprouts, broccoli and peanut sauce), any of which one might order with chicken, shrimp, beef or tofu, makes for a meal that satisfies carnivores and herbivores alike.
There is beef a-plenty on the Mico menu, but the quinceañera salad offers a hearty meat-free meal with chopped romaine hearts, tomato, avocado, cucumber, pineapple and mango with chile-lime vinaigrette and topped with almonds.
Located inside Hong Kong Market, this Vietnamese dine-in/take-out eatery is steadily earning a glowing reputation with the vegan crowd. Try the bun bo xao xa ot (spicy lemongrass noodle) and crispy veggie rolls. Portions are robust and flavorful.