Culture

Latino Food Is Getting The Vegan Makeover Thanks To These 11 Southern California Restaurants

xochitl.vegan / alchemyorganica / Instagram

It’s hard to imagine that just less than a decade ago, it was a mission to find vegan options in neighborhoods such as Highland Park or Santa Ana. The lack of restaurants forced these innovative chefs to start creating homestyle Latino dishes with some vegan-friendly flair. Now those same neighborhoods and so many others throughout southern California catering to this cuizine and they are as Instagram friendly as they are delicious. Here are 11 spots you must visit in southern California.

1. Xochitl Vegan

This vendor is not a wallflower when it comes to using hibiscus to add flavor and color to burritos, tacos and nachos. Now we want to add some purple power to our nachos. Yum. Hibiscus is truly the unsung hero of Latino cuisine, both vegan and non-vegan.

2. Un Solo Sol

This Boyle Heights restaurant is taking pupusas up a level. They make spinach pupusa, mushroom pupusa and zucchini pupusas. For some extra protein, pinto beans take over for the cheese in a traditional pupusa. Genius.

3. Blue Window LA

If you’re looking for a plant-based breakfast while jetting out of LAX, this Highland Park-based eatery has got your back (and your stomach.) Blue Window LA’s soyrizo breakfast burrito is made with caramelized onions, breakfast potatoes, corn salsa, spinach, peppers and of course, soyrizo.

4. Señoreata

Cuban and Brazilian chef Evanice Holz makes Cuban comfort food that is delicioso. From Cuban sandwiches made with jackfruit asado to meat pies made with plant-based picadillo, you’re sure to find your favorite Cuban treat with plant-friendly ingredients.

5. Alchemy Organica

Scroll through celebrity chef Denise Vallejo’s Alchemy Organica Instagram feed and you will never see Mexican cuisine the same again—all the traditional dishes are reimagined with plant-based ingredients, like this ceviche made out of coco. Other dishes include family recipes handed down to Chef Denise, such as Mexicali-style ‘asada’ tacos and a traditional Mayan pumpkin seed dip called Sikil Pak.

6. Vegan by Victoria’s

If you’re looking to have pan dulce without all the artificial sugar but still want some sweetness, head on down to Santa Ana to visit Victoria’s Bakery. Baker Earvin Lopez is mixing up donchas, manteconchas, beloved spinkles cookies and more in a way PETA would be proud of.

7. Just Vegana

Quick: Can you spot the difference between your abuela’s tamales and these vegan ones by Just Vegana? Neither can we! This chef also makes mouthwatering pozole and tacos. Now your family has some non-meat tamale options when winter rolls in.

8. Vegatinos

Clever name, clever culinary skills. This pair of vegan Latinos are turning jackfruit into birria, tortas and tamales. Sign us up for that next pop up.

9. Cena Vegan

If you can’t make it out to one of Cena Vegan’s pop-up events, then head on out to one of their partner stores and buy yourself a bag of their plant-based meats such as carne asada or al pastor.

10. Mi Riconcito Azteca

This Pasadena restaurant that serves both Mexican food and antojitos from Central America has a plant-based option if you’re craving a huarache. Corn, calabacita and salsa verde come together on this mouth-watering plate.

11. Plant Food for People

Chef Genise started Plant Food for People in 2011 when she didn’t have any vegan options in her hometown of Highland Park. Now she is running a thriving food establishment serving up tortas, tacos and nachos to hungry Southern Californians.


READ: Here Are 11 Vegan Versions Of Staple Latino Foods That Will Make You Consider Going Vegan

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Here Are The Latino Sodas You Need To Try Based On Your Zodiac Sign

Entertainment

Here Are The Latino Sodas You Need To Try Based On Your Zodiac Sign

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While the rest of society is tapping into how nature is a significant signaler to our emotional and spiritual needs, Latinos grew up finding meaning in every change in the wind, and every dream. We’re superstitious AF, but we’re also highly in tune with nature.

We’re also chugging soda and eating Goya beans from a can because it’s 2019 and we have full-time jobs and three other gigs to get to. Whatever you have on your plate today, these zodiac-aligned sodas are destined to be more effective for you, hijo de las estrellas.

Aries (March 21 – April 19)

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Honey, the arrangement of the stars this summer is signaling you to stay off the ‘gram. Get away from social media and get out of your head. There’s nothing like a sweet, tropical Jupiña to take with you to the beach or mountains.

Taurus (April 20 – May 20)

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Taurus’s are often misunderstood as lazy, but the fact is that you are more in touch with your self and your needs than any other sign. You’re free from the shame of indulging as an act of self-love. So when you have a Malta, you definitely add condensed milk to it to maximize the effects of every self-treat. Plus, it reminds you of drinking Malta as a niño and feeling like you could kick your feet up with the beer-drinking adults.

Gemini (May 21 – June 20)

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You’re represented by celestial twins–signifying a range of meanings, primarily to represent your many interests. The story goes that the goddess had so many passions, she doubled herself to get it all done. Cuba’s Iron Beer hasn’t decided whether it’s root beer or cream soda, and that’s because, like you, it can be both. 

Cancer (June 21 – July 22)

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This summer, your space is yours. Whether you’re staying home to reflect and refuel your tank or burning up that gasolina on the dance floor, Jarritos stay with you. Nourishing both your home realm and your social side will be important for you. Pro tip: spiked Jarritos is even better.

Leo (July 23 – August 22)

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Leo, your allure could be spotted from a mile away. Inca Kola’s neon yellow bubble gum flavors will make you glow in the dark. Don’t play like that doesn’t sound like your dream.

Virgo (August 23 – September 22)

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The energies of the lunar eclipse in Capricorn is still inspiring productivity like never before in you, hermit. Topo Chico is not a soda, per se, but it is a bubbly drink that you can enjoy anytime. Whether you’re drinking it straight from the bottle at your desk or adding your favorite fruits, Topo Chico is the only bubbly you need to keep you in the zone.

Libra (September 23 – October 22)

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Ooh, Libra, your summer is set to look very physically (read: so much sex) active. You always have many people vying for your attention, but as you work on building trust with your chosen partner, you’re going to need to hydrate. Materva is brewed with mate leaves, giving you a bit of caffeine (alongside 40 grams of sugar, but who’s counting) to fuel your love life.

Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)

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Like Mexican Coke, you, scorpion, have a cult following. But this month isn’t about what other people think of you. No matter the expectations of you, it’s time to turn inward and go back to old wounds that cause all the classic drama in your life. Don’t worry, when you let it go, you’ll still be a classic inside and out.

Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)

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Travels are in your future, Sagittarius. There’s nothing more germane to its country of origin than Colombiana soda. Its bubble gum scented cream soda flavors will always remind you of the importance of honoring the place you visit.

Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)

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Fellow sea goats–it has been un mes tan pesado. No te preocupes–instead of trying to find out where you fit, it’s time to realize you belong everywhere in this world. You’re not just a Mundet, you’re an elusive green apple cider. Embrace your individuality. It will set you free.

Aquarius (January 20 – February 18)

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You, Aquarius, are in a humanitarian activist mode. With Puerto Rico’s police force firing tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters, PR’s favorite soda, Kola Champagne, will be fuel for your fire.

Pisces (February 19 – March 20)

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Our favorite water-lovers can take their game to the next level this summer with Coco Rico. This soda is here for you when you want to drink out of a coconut on the beach, but with more sugar and carbonation. It’s next-level water, básicamente.

READ: The Brief And Surprising History Of Tex-Mex Food That You’ve Never Heard

Kamala Harris Proposes Ambitious $100 Billion Grant Program To Close Racial Gap In Homeownership

Things That Matter

Kamala Harris Proposes Ambitious $100 Billion Grant Program To Close Racial Gap In Homeownership

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Democratic Presidential candidate Kamala Harris, a California Senator, has recently proposed a $100 billion federal grant solution to help address the racial wealth gap for Black Americans. The crux of the solution is centered in homeownership. She wants to help pay for down payments and closing costs for families of color that are still affected by redline segregation-era practices. She announced her plan Saturday at the Essence Festival in New Orleans, which aims to lift up Black women.

“That not only lifts up black America, that lifts up all of America,” she told the crowd.

The plan would help at least 4 million families that are living in those areas that were redlined. Redlining is the term used to describe Jim Crow laws that limited black families’ abilities to take out loans to buy homes. Redlining effectively set boundaries on where those families could live, and, generations later, those families continue to suffer.

The plan also includes a crucial policy change that would raise credit scores for many minority families.

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Her plan is to change federal policy that would count rent payments and utility bill payments toward credit scores, effectively raising credit scores for POC. The plan would give families of color assistance with buying homes in neighborhoods they had been racially biased from living it by offering grants up to $25,000.

The plan would increase the average wealth of Latino households by $29,000.

Credit: @KamalaHarris / Twitter

It would also increase the average wealth of Black households by about $32,000, according to The New York Times. By aiding with down payments and closing costs, it allows families to buy homes that they could pay off with their existing monthly income, rather than requiring tens of thousands of dollars in savings before ownership.

Of course, Fox News is already screaming their heads off about reverse racism.

Credit: @Bakari_Sellers / Twitter

Unlike offering home loans that families can’t afford, which caused the 2008 housing crisis, this plan seeks to make true reparations for Black families that were prevented from owning homes due to Jim Crow laws.

Thankfully, folks are clapping back at the #whitesplaining.

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Instead of discussing the issue at hand–reparations for redlining–Tucker Carlson and his gang talked about how it would be racist to white people by not including them in the conversation. If white folks were included in the conversation, it would be as perpetrators of racist systemic oppression, but Kamala Harris is focusing on justice for black folks, not punishing white folks.

Some people are generally concerned over “race-baiting” policies.

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We see you Pan Dulce. There are over 40 million Black folks in the United States, and several responded to Harris’ tweet with concern that this only helps 10 percent of the population. Of course, the 4 million that would be helped are a diverse group of POC that are descendants of those that were racially segregated. That’s several generations of POC paying rent to a landlord instead of owning a home they could pass onto the next generation, to give them a leg up in the world. When reparations aren’t made, families remain static, instead of progressing.

Just one example of a certified Doctorate in Reverse Racism.

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We don’t know what your Ph.D. is in, Mr. Eddie Donovan, but it certainly isn’t in systemic injustice or empathy. Hope you had fun leaving that little winky face at the end of a tone-deaf comment, though. Harris’s plan aims to undo generations of unfair and racist practices that hurt Black and brown communities. The same plans being proposed were once used exclusively for white communities so it is just a way to even the playing field.

Harris is tackling systemic injustice alongside Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in other ways, too.

Credit: @KamalaHarris / Twitter

Just this week, the duo introduced a bill that would reduce recidivism through housing after incarcerated individuals leave the system. America has the highest percentage of our population behind bars than any other country in the world. Many of the laws that place folks in jail started out as Jim Crow laws and have simply evolved to become more insidiously racist.

Regardless of those offended by the proposal, people are coming out in droves to support the effort.

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Keep it going, Harris. #BlackWomenMagic

A Univision poll showed that Kamala Harris support by Latinos more than doubled from 6 percent to 22 percent after the debates.

@KamalaHarris / Twitter

The poll only included 411 Latino voters and showed Kamala Harris in the lead with 22 percent. Castro was behind her with 18 percent, and Biden and Sanders were tied at 16 percent.

READ: Don. Jr. Said Kamala Harris Wasn’t Black Enough And Democratic Presidential Candidates Are Not Having It

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