Friday, December 12, 2008

Not feeling the Doomie's Hype

I have been having a lot of "last meals" lately with everyone's favorite Food Monster who is leaving our fair city of Los Angeles to return to the fair state of North Carolina. It's sad but true and I have finally stopped trying to twist his nipples until he agrees to stay and have instead focused on having the most fun we can before his inevitable departure. For we two foodies, that means eating a lot of good food. We agonized and debated for a full hour today before finally settling on lunch at Doomie's Home Cookin' the newly opened vegetarian/vegan spot in Chinatown. There's my pup hanging out on the patio at top.

I had high hopes for this place after reading the great reviews on Quarrygirl, To Live and Eat in L.A., and Kirby Von Scrumptious among others. But I was pretty disappointed and The Food Monster was downright horrified. But really, he always has had a flare for the dramatic...

We knew we had to try the vegan mac n cheeze. Everyone else's pictures of it looked so good and Kirby said that it rivaled Taste of Life's version! So we went ahead and ordered an appetizer portion. To my surprise, the mac n cheeze was just like almost every other vegan mac n cheeze I've ever had: absolutely flavorless. The macaroni was covered in a sauce that had absolutely no taste whatsoever. A six dollar bowl of oily noodles is not the best way to start off a meal.
For my entree, I ordered the philly cheese steak sandwich because, again, I just kept remembering how good it looked on everyone else's blogs. But the problem was that the key ingredient in the sandwich was the same flavorless cheese sauce. The sandwich probably could have been pretty decent if it had been sauce-free. Then I could have tasted the peppers, onions, mushrooms, and chewy seitan strips. But instead that cheese sauce masked any taste and also managed to turn the white bread into a soggy mush. The Food Monster got a burger and I'm sure he can't wait to blog all about it himself. One thing that was really damn good at Doomie's were their onion rings. They tasted just like regular non-vegan onion rings you would get anywhere else. Everyone at the table agreed they were great. The fries were pretty good as well.
Our friend JD ordered the B.L.T. I have said many times that the B.L.T. is a staple of any vegan restaurant and it is almost impossible to make a bad one. Doomie's did make a good B.L.T. but it's far from the thick piles of tempeh bacon that you would find on the club at, say, Flore or M Cafe. There was barely any filling, although they did not skimp on the veganaise which some places tend to do.
For dessert, I finally got to try the uber-celebrated vegan twinkie. The Vegan Spot (r.i.p.) was out of them every time I tried to get them there so I was psyched that Doomie's sells them. I haven't had a real twinkie since about 1992 so I might not be the best judge, but that thing really did taste just like a real twinkie! There it is, split in half so you can see the creamy filling.

I think overall I am just less a fan of vegan versions of traditionally meaty dishes and more a fan of cuisine using veggies and other proteins, so Doomie's concept is just not compatible with my taste. Our waitress told us that Doomie started the restaurant because he had dated a lot of vegan gals and hated being dragged to vegan restaurants where he could never find anything to his liking. Other restaurants, namely Taste of Life and The Vegan Spot, have adapted traditional comfort food far more successfully than Doomie's has, so in the future, I shall be heading down the road to Taste of Life instead of trekking to Chinatown.

Doomie's Home Cookin'
686 N. Spring St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(714) 883-7657


Anonymous said...

ah well, to each her own! i never tried the mac, but i can say i do think the philly cheesesteak was divine. i am hoping you just had an off experience.

i actually went to doomie's today as well and had an awesome experience. got the meatball sammich and the steak entree. both were great and full of flavor.

damn, i hope some time you give it a second shot.

now i need to try the mac n cheese and see for myself.

Kirby! said...

I seriously think that it was a bad day!!! The philly cheesesteak was OFF THE CHAIN when I went, like I am thinking about it right now and pining for that cheesy tender philacious action. And while the mac 'n cheese was different from Taste of Life's, it definitely had a definitive flavor when we went.

Or maybe they weren't having an off day, and it's just a matter of taste. Tis bound to happen now and again!

sweetpotato said...

TWINKIES!!!!!! Gosh, I was addicted to those.

DJ said...

I think cheese-flavoured dishes may be the most problematic to replicate successfully! Better luck next time!