Seabirds Kitchen — Costa Mesa and Long Beach’s innovative plant-based restaurant — opened a bright new location in the former Tangier space at 2138 Hillhurst Avenue in Los Feliz this week. It’s attached to the Starbucks on Hillhurst and only steps away from Little Dom’s.
Seabirds is a welcome sight for the plant-based crowd, and is ideal in this slice of Los Feliz, which is slim on vegan options, even with the longstanding Green Leaves Vegan less than a mile south. Owner Stephanie Morgan has spent more than a decade defining vegan food in Orange County, debuting a Seabirds food truck in 2010 (she also appeared in the Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race in 2011), then opening a cozy brick and mortar at the Lab Anti-Mall in 2013, followed by the Long Beach Seabirds on Fourth near Alamitos that same year.
The Los Feliz location is going for the same bright, beachy feel as the first two, but this one’s got modern touches, murals, blonde wood throughout, and a patio that faces Hillhurst. At the fast-casual operation, Morgan’s team is serving Seabirds hits including purple taquitos, beer-battered avocado tacos, kimchi tacos, plus a key Seabirds ingredient used since its food-truck days: jackfruit. Options include jackfruit nachos and a Korean jackfruit bowl with fermented cauliflower, kale, green onions, peanuts, kimchi, vegan crema, and gochujang sauce.
Morgan’s menu stands out in the crowded plant-based restaurant field in that all burgers and “cheeses” are house-made. In other words, there isn’t a Beyond or Impossible meat to be found. Instead, Seabirds’s menu focuses on doing interesting things to vegetables, like a crispy filet o’ cauliflower served with tartar sauce and citrus slaw on a brioche bun. The Los Feliz location also features some exclusive dishes: a blackened beet taco topped with spicy avocado chimichurri, as well as a Sicilian caponata with a cashew-based burrata “cheese.”
The restaurant’s alcohol license is (hopefully) weeks away from approval, when it will add organic wines and on-tap beer. In the meantime, a mocktail menu is up and running with drinks like the shady whale (housemade blueberry shrubs, rose water, butterfly pea flower tea, and almond milk). Kombucha is also on tap.
Seabirds Kitchen is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Weekend brunch hours are in the works.