My two lovely ladies and I went on an adventure to Cinnamon Vegetarian Restaurant in Highland Park, a city within Los Angeles County, the weekend before Easter. Cinnamon specializes in Mexican food and is vegan-friendly.
I'm going to begin with a complaint, but it is the only one I have. Our waiter, who we believed was also the or one of the owners, did not understand us when we asked what was vegan on the menu. There was quite a language barrier, which made it extremely difficult for us to communicate that we needed to know what contained whey and casein. I decided to play it safe and order something that most likely wouldn't have any hidden dairy.
Before I get to my entree, though, let me say that Cinnamon's salsa was possibly the best restaurant salsa I've ever had. I could not get enough of it. We went through two ramekins of salsa, with YVM and I both adding some to our meals in addition to eating it on chips.
I ordered one of the specials, Tofu and Nopales in Red Sauce, for my meal. It was a great way for me to try something new (nopales are a veggie derived from the prickly pear) and I was pretty certain that there wouldn't be any hidden dairy in it. My entree arrived with sides of pinto beans, brown rice, pico de gallo, and a shredded lettuce/cabbage blend. This is the first time I've been served an authentic-looking plate of Mexican food in ages and it thrilled me. I love beans and I ate those first (yes, I eat the components of my meals one at a time). The tofu was firm and perfectly cooked, having soaked up some of the mildly-spicy red sauce while cooking. I really enjoyed the nopales, even though I can't come up with adequate words to describe its flavor. Its texture was similar to well-cooked green bell pepper. The brown rice was plain, so I added some of that great salsa to it.
Cinnamon's decor deserves some recognition. The space is modern and bright with ample room between the tables and fun art on the walls.
The neighborhood is made up of old houses with amazing character. We took a walk (in the rain) for a few blocks and kept pointing out houses that we loved. We've decided that we'll all be neighbors one day, so that means lots of great vegan food! :) Many of the houses reminded me of Boo Radley and needed love, but had great bones.
I'd love to return to Cinnamon and I suggest you go, but it would be worthwhile to call them first to find out exactly what is vegan on the menu.