The Kindest Cuts/Best of 2007: Teenage Glutster

Javier Cabral, the stripling epicurean better known as Teenage Glutster, creates a best-of list that goes for the cheap, comforting and exotic, preferably all at once.

Organivegosher cuisine: Soul Vegetarian.

1) Bahn Cuon Tai Ho. Finding Pho is one thing; you can find this Vietnamese staple almost anywhere in L.A now. (Ed. note: Unless you live on the westside.) However, it’s tedious work trying to find one that serves banh cuon — the flesh-like, freshly steamed rice sheets served either rolled up, or cut up, with things like sweet potato shoestrings and shrimp to "vegetarian shredded pork." If that’s not enough, the synthesized Lambada background music will haunt for the rest of the day, just like their 40oz bottles of of house-blended nuoc cham (fish sauce).

2) Elite Restaurant. Dim sum deluxe. Unique, full-flavored dishes no matter what time I’ve gone there, consistent quality in the ingredients and nothing but the best service always: This place is just plain good.

3) Soul Vegetarian. Creamy mac & cheese, an even creamier confetti-colored coleslaw, tender strips of "pot roast" served with dark, savory juices, even a crispy rendition of crab cakes that will make you forget that it’s all kosher, organic and vegan. (Ed. note: Based in LA, but part of a nationwide chain. A market for vegan soul food in Tallahassee — who knew.)

Bahn Cuon Tai Ho 1039 E. Valley Blv. #103, San Gabriel. (626) 280-5207
Elite Restaurant 700 S. Atlantic Blvd., Monterey Park. (626) 282-9998
Soul Vegetarian 4067 W. Pico Blvd. (323) 734-4037


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