How to Eat Vegan at The Getty
As the weather warms, we find ourselves in search of activities that allow us to enjoy the sunshine while also providing some air-conditioned respite. The Getty Center offers an impressive collection of art and thought-provoking indoor exhibits amongst its gorgeous grounds overlooking the Santa Monica Mountains—it’s the perfect place to spend an afternoon. When hunger strikes, there’s no need to leave the premises in search of vegan-friendly fare. Both the casual café and the fine-dining restaurant offer wide selections of designated vegan or easily modified items. Check out these incredible vegan options so you don’t settle for a sad salad or lackluster wrap.
If you’re looking for a sit-down meal, make your reservations here (same day reservations are available at the door or at the museum information desk, but availability is not guaranteed). The Restaurant offers lunch Tuesdays through Saturdays, dinner on Saturdays, and brunch on Sundays. Plan your visit and check out these outstanding vegan options during your stay. Note: The menu here changes quarterly, with rotating vegan options.
Lunch & Dinner
For vegans, the options here are consistent across both menus. For appetizers, order the pink-hued Beet Hummus, Spring Pea Salad (sub vinaigrette dressing and request no egg or feta), or Soup of the Season. The soup is often entirely vegan or can easily be modified to be vegan—the current special, Cucumber and Green Grape Gazpacho can be made vegan by omitting the lime yogurt.
Moving on to your entrée, the succulent Roasted Cauliflower is a sure bet, while the Market Risotto made with seasonal veggies can be prepared without butter or cheese for a creamy, stick-to-your-ribs meal.
Plant-based patrons can find many of their favorites from the lunch menu, with a few additions. Enjoy the Seasonal Soup, Beet Hummus, and Spring Pea Salad (with above mentioned modifications), or ask for the scallop dish to be veganized for a similar version of the lunch risotto. Found only on the brunch menu, the Market Pasta made with seasonal vegetables can be prepared vegan; just ask and the chef will swap the regular sauce with a decadent EVOO, garlic, and vegan white wine sauce.
For those chomping at the bit to see as much artwork as possible, a quick trip to The Café is your best bet. Like the prepared foods section at Whole Foods, the vegan offerings are extensive (and sometimes a bit overwhelming). We’ve broken it down so you can spend less time perusing your options and more time contemplating the meaning of art.
You may be in luck; Executive Chef Julie Picco told us that most of the time, the weekly vegetarian option is also vegan. Currently, the vegetarian deli item features a vegan-friendly roasted eggplant and sundried tomato wrap stuffed with mixed greens, cilantro hummus, and piquillo peppers.
Of the two soup offerings (which rotate daily), Chef Julie assured us that one is always vegan! Flavors vary by the season, but some of the past creations include Vegetable Tortilla, Mushroom Barley, Sweet Potato-Coconut Purée, and Potato Leek. Skip the cup; you’re going to want a whole bowl!
Don’t worry about hidden fish sauce or meat-based broths; there is always a vegan option here! Try the Tofu Pho made with an umami mushroom broth, rice noodles, diced tofu, and topped with fresh basil, cilantro, jalapenos, green onion, and a squeeze of lime.
Here, it’s all about the sides. This station offers a vast variety of internationally inspired dishes such as steamed broccoli with citrus gremolata and polenta with roasted red peppers. On occasion, the kitchen will feature a vegan entrée like Veggie Fried Rice or Vegan Enchiladas.
Every seasoned vegan knows that Mexican food is usually a solid choice, and this knowledge stands true at The Getty. Create your own bowl, tacos, or burrito with staple ingredients including cilantro rice, black beans, salsa, pico de gallo, guacamole, and the crowning jewel: Asada Tofu.
The Impossible Burger is everywhere—including The Getty. The meaty vegan patty is cooked on a separate grill from the meat and topped with melty Daiya cheese, sandwiched between a vegan-friendly cracked wheat bun. Note: steer clear of the Black Bean Chipotle Burger; while suitable for vegetarians, it contains cheese and egg.
We said no sad salads, and we meant it. Here you’ll find the Salad of the Week, which is always vegetarian and often vegan. Toppings typically include tofu or a generous portion of flavorful veggies (no iceberg or squishy cherry tomatoes in sight!). If the salad does contain cheese, you can easily modify it to suit your diet.
Photo credit: The Getty