Doomie’s Home Cookin’
How excited was I to find yet another vegan restaurant while I was in Los Angeles? Unlike back home in Boston where there are only a handful of vegan or vegetarian restaurants and food trucks available, a girl could dine out every day and be completely happy in LA. Located in the most unassuming strip mall in Hollywood, Doomie’s Home Cookin’ is not like any other vegan restaurant I have ever visited. Let’s just say that anyone looking for a healthy meal is probably not going to make Doomie’s their first stop. However, this is great for a little indulgence, a post-hangover meal, or the occasional all out splurge in a comfortable no frills setting.
When you enter the restaurant, you’ll see right into the kitchen straight ahead of you with a refrigerated case to your left. This is your basic restaurant with simple, home cooking type of dishes so don’t expect foam, fusion, or any molecular gastronomy going on here.
What’s in that refrigerated case? Drinks, like bottled beer and water, but also an assortment of desserts that they advertise are made fresh on site by “Das Baker.” Choose from brownies, cheesecake, cookies, croissants, carrot cake, red velvet cake, cupcakes, and so much more.
The menu is divided into sections as follows with a few examples in each section:
Appetizers: Jalapeño Poppers, Senior Jordan’s Nachos, Doomie’s Famous Mac ‘N’ Cheese
Sides: French fries, cole slaw, hand breaded onion rings
Soups: Doomie’s French Onion, Creamy Clam Chowder
Salads: Asian Chicken, Taco Salad, Bacon Apple Walnut
Burgers & Sandwiches: The Classic Burger, Chili Cheeseburger, BBQ Pulled Pork, Patty Melt, B.L.T.
Entrees: Doomie’s Southern Fried Chicken, Country Fried Steak
Pastas: Chicken Alfredo, Shrimp Scampi, Chicken Piccata
Desserts: Creme Brûlée, Southern Strawberry Shortcake, Deep Fried Oreos
If you’re really up for a treat, ask your server what’s available on the “secret menu.” The kitchen is always creating new items to put on the menu and if they have the time, you might be lucky enough to benefit from being able to try a secret menu item like the vegan Big Mac, super fries, chimichangas, a dino egg, buffalo chicken sandwich, or some other crazy concoction. I only learned about the secret menu after I returned home and read the Quarry Girl blog post. It looks like she really enjoys Doomie’s! No secret menu items are guaranteed to appear more than once so if something looks good, snatch it up immediately.
I always find it necessary to preface why I don’t eat meat when talking about a vegan or vegetarian restaurant. While my husband decided to try vegetarianism for a healthier lifestyle, I gave up meat and eggs as a teenager simply because I never liked the taste. There are certain foods I’ve never had with meat, like Buffalo wings, only because it never appealed to me. When my husband ordered the Buffalo Legs ($7.99), I was slightly skeptical because it’s supposed to be four spicy drumsticks with cool vegan ranch for dipping. Would it taste good? Would it taste like meat? Would it taste spicy? Believe it or not, it was good. It was interesting with a crunchy exterior over wooden skewers and it definitely filled a void he missed with food like this.
When we entered the restaurant, I had noticed the sign at the front that mentioned they had seafood corn chowder as their soup of the day ($3.99). Never having had this prior to going meat free, I was up for the challenge and I hate to say it, but I was disappointed. The overwhelming taste was cinnamon, which was so not the taste I was expecting. I mentioned it to the server who said that there isn’t any cinnamon in it, which I get, but believe me, there was cinnamon in there.
For my entree, I was looking for something that might be healthier on the menu and chose the Chop Salad ($8.99). “Chopped and tossed for goodness in every bite with veggies, croutons and bacon. Delicious with our signature ranch dressing and vegan or real cheese.” I ordered it vegan and I assume the little plops of yellow on the salad was the vegan cheese. It was heavily dressed in salad dressing, probably a little more than I would’ve done on my own and I might order it with dressing on the side if I were to order it again.
Why was I surprised when my husband decided to order the Philly Cheesesteak? Did I actually think he might order a salad? Of course not! The Philly Cheesesteak ($9.99) is strips of beef smothered in cheese, piled with grilled onions, peppers, and mushrooms with your choice of vegan or real cheese. He chose real cheese and onion rings instead of the standard French fries for an additional $1.50. The bun is probably a little too soft for this kind of sandwich and a baguette or crispier roll would have contained the filling better. As a former meat eater who still says he misses hamburgers, he really enjoyed his sandwich. According to him, the only thing that would have made his sandwich better is if it were bigger and had more onion rings.
At the end of our meal I usually ponder the dessert menu, whether or not I actually order something, but I decided to pass at Doomie’s. Even though I didn’t overeat, I felt like I did and there was no way I could add in dessert. In fact, I felt like I could take a nap after I finished and it was only midday.
To sum up, Doomie’s Home Cookin’ is the kind of restaurant where you can take someone who is open to veganism or vegetarianism or a vegan/vegetarian who still craves or longs for meat. If they say they’re a vegetarian but exist mainly on carbs like pizza and pasta and meat substitutes that look like and taste like meat, then Doomie’s would be perfect for them. But if you’re a vegan who likes food as fuel and can’t think of eating greasy, fried foods, then Doomie’s might not be right for you unless you drank far too much last night. In which case, you just might want to dive head first into a big plate of macaroni and cheese or nachos or a cheeseburger. As for me, I don’t need vegan or vegetarian food that is made to look and/or taste like meat so while it was a novel idea, it didn’t really work for me. If there was a Doomie’s near us in Boston, I suspect my husband might go there every day for lunch as he still misses the taste of meat. Doomie’s Home Cookin’ has loyal followers who love their food so they must be doing something right. In the end, you’ll have to judge for yourself if this restaurant is the right fit for you.
Doomie’s Home Cookin’
1253 Vine St Ste 9 (at Fountain Ave)
Hollywood, CA 90038
Hours: Open Monday-Sunday from 12pm – 10pm