Strolling through downtown Los Angeles, there is an abundance of casual walk-in eateries that fit the fast-paced lifestyle of those living in the area. The 100-percent vegan Bodhi Bowl just may have found the trick to distinguis itself from the myriad small shops under a sea of skyscrapers.
Situated near the corner of West 9th and Hope streets, Bodhi Bowl is in the heart of Downtown on the street level below one of the many posh apartment complexes scattered throughout the area. Although it occupies a very small space, Bodhi Bowl boasts brightly colored outdoor tables and a vibrant green interior that make the shop difficult to miss. These lively colors, paired with the open-door entrance, give the eatery an inviting and approachable feel that surrounding shops lack. Upon entering Bodhi Bowl, visitors are immediately met with earthy wood fixtures and neutral tones that speak to the shop’s environmental consciousness.
Staff members sporting warm smiles immediately attend to guests, inquiring whether they are first-timers or if they have any questions regarding the various plant-based items aligned behind the counter. The employees encourage guests who are unfamiliar with the various vegan proteins offered at Bodhi Bowl, such as “BBQ seitan” or “tempeh bacon,” to sample them.
Looking at the breadth of the menu suspended on the wall, Bodhi Bowl seems to rebrand the traditional restrictive stereotype veganism has held in the past. Whether a customer is in the mood for one of its assorted traditional bowls or a breakfast panini wrap, the menu has something to satisfy even the most consistent carnivore. The build-your-own bowl option is also available, boasting a choice of an impressive 40 toppings as well as a plethora of sauces and proteins. The grain bowl and the yogurt bowl give energy to the early morning riser while their banana-based smoothies provide on-the-go refreshment.
For new vegans, employees suggest starting off with one of the 10 signature bowls, specifically The Giving Bowl. Unlike the other signature bowls or build-your-own bowl option, 10 percent of the sales from The Giving Bowl go to an animal charity of the customer’s choice. The Southwestern-inspired crowd favorite is served made-to-order in a biodegradable bowl and filled with simple, fresh ingredients. Fresh Romaine lettuce atop the warm brown rice provides a solid base for the rest of the bowl to be built on. Crisp red onions beautifully complement the smoothness of a perfectly ripe avocado. Tortilla crisps add a satisfying textured crunch next to the softness of the warm black beans. Chipotle dressing finishes the bowl off enough to balance, rather than overpower, the rest of the flavors in The Giving Bowl.
With prices ranging from $5.95 to $8.95, Bodhi Bowl provides quality food at affordable prices. The signature bowls and breakfast items are capped at $8.95, and give the customer plenty of food without overcharging. These components make the establishment college student-friendly, while keeping in mind the community within Downtown.