LA, PasadenaSage Vegan Bistro, the best vegan café in Pasadena

By Caly AKA @veganfeelsgood
20 June '18

If you are looking for beautiful al fresco plant-based eating in  LA then head to Sage Vegan Bistro.

With locations in DTLA, West LA and Pasadena plus their own food truck, you will have plenty of locations to choose from. The diverse food options, the rustic atmosphere and warmth of the staff make it a must visit café.

The setting

I decided to visit Sage in Pasadena, as it’s easily accessible by public transport and I have grown to love the museums there. The Norton Simon collection is mind-blowing and there are cute cafés and boho independent clothing stores all around.

You will find Sage in an alley of brick buildings alongside independent stylish stores and cafés.

Sage has the biggest open-air terrace and veranda. Their outdoor space is packed with trees, has wild plants growing in the pavement, strings of lights and much-appreciated outdoor heaters. I know we are in LA, but I’m always chilly-  don’t judge me!

The indoors areas a mix of rustic meets industrial with mismatched steel tables and chairs and a large wooden bar with a multitude of fresh flower bouquets.

The little things

The abundance of plants and flowers make you feel at home, while the colourful blankets add a welcome cosy feel. The menu is full and interesting so you may well need a good ten minutes pondering on what to order!

Sage is committed to serving locally sourced, organic and seasonal products and regularly change their menus to be more eco-friendly.

As a plant-based café, all of the dishes are vegan – even the chicken or mozzarella are in fact vegan!. But they also cater  for allergies such as gluten, soy and nuts. The waitresses were all friendly and good with suggestions. They also have a menu for kids, so it’s it good for families as well as being plant-pretty for Instagram.

The fresh juice test

Sage has a wide selection of drinks from kombucha to smoothies and juices – including five green juices.

I chose the Fresh which had a good balance of spicy ginger, acidy lemon and refreshing cucumber and apple.

It had a beautiful green hue and a fresh ginger kick! The straws were also reusable which is a huge bonus point from me.

What I ate

Don’t laugh, but I must have spent at least 10 long minutes browsing the two-page menu… Looking at other tables – the pizzas looked ah-mazing with creamy vegan cheese and a fluffy dough, the “chicken” wings made from cauliflower seemed incredible, and the taco and burger choice was so creative!.

When in doubt, I choose a bowl…

but I was torn once more between an Indian-inspired bowl, a soul food bowl and a Brazilian-inspired bowl. Eventually I went Indian. The Bollywood Bowl contained a hearty yellow lentil dhal, a bed of brown rice, steamed kale, an eggplant-tomato-onion-corn-potato stew and was topped with a spicy mint chutney, pickled cabbage and cilantro. The house-made bread which came with it tasted, and looked more like pizza dough, than a naan-style bread, but it was delicious.

As a French person, I am very fussy about pastries, but, oh my, their cinnamon roll for dessert was exquisite.

It was still warm, fluffy and tasted exactly like the ones I used to eat before I went vegan. I bet the muffins, donuts and cakes all taste equally as good.

What else?

The diversity and length of the menu  will satisfy everyone from health-conscious people, to meat-eaters looking for familiar dishes (but veganised !). The rustic feel and warm, welcoming vibe.

Sage is also sustainable, partnering with local farmers, organic produce and an emphasis on a plant-based diet.

What made me glow

The incredible choice on the menu (!), the hearty dishes and the calm outdoor atmosphere in the middle of a busy city.

The bill

The Fresh juice   $10
Bollywood bowl  $16
Cinnamon roll  $4,50
+ 18% tip

Sage Vegan Bistro

41 Hugus Alley
CA 91103

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