The story of two vegan hotspots in El Monte: Plant Love Food and Sweet Veggie – CSULA University Times

December 13, 2021 by No Comments

The movement for plant-based living in Los Angeles has made it increasingly easier on vegans and vegetarians looking for a bite to eat.

That’s no different in the neighboring city of El Monte, which offers restaurants such as Taqueria Ixtaco and Xécora Gastronomía Urbana, with vegan Mexican staples; Plant Love Food, which is all-vegan; and Sweet Veggie, a vegetarian Chinese food restaurant.

The “San Gabriel Valley has such a rich and diverse food landscape, so I would love to see it become more vegan and veggie friendly,” said Liz Roswell, a Monrovia resident who has been vegan for four years and vegetarian for 17. “I think it is definitely moving in that direction with fully vegan places like Plant Love Food and Veggie Life [a vegan Vietnamese restaurant in South El Monte], and also places like Viet Huong who have always offered vegetarian and vegan options.” 

Michelle Perez, an Azusa resident and a vegetarian, said in an email that it’s been “exciting to see more vegetarian and vegan options pop up in the SGV throughout the years.” 

“I really enjoy eating at Plant Love Food in El Monte,” Perez said. “I love being able to enjoy delicious meatless tacos, especially as a Mexican American woman.”

Plant Love Food’s roots on a Mexican farm

Founded in 2018, Plant Love Food’s story starts with its owner, Jannet Gonzalez.

Gonzalez was born in the Mexican state of Guerrero and was raised in El Monte until age five. After that, her family moved back to Mexico to live on a farm.

Gonzalez’s experiences cooking with her mother and helping her family milk cows and care for crops were formative.

“She was the reason why I learned how to cook…She taught me how to cook when I was 7 or 8,” Gonzalez said. 

The cooking and farm work solidified her connection to the earth and Mexican culture.

“I felt so rich,” Gonzalez said about her years living on her family’s farm. “Even though we weren’t financially rich, I felt so rich.” 

Still, Gonzalez had fond memories of El Monte. “I would have dreams, literally, of me coming back to El Monte…” she said. “Because I knew I had family here, and I always knew I had roots here.” 

Becoming vegan in Pennsylvania

Years later, her parents divorced and Gonzalez and her mother settled in Coatesville, Pennsylvania.</…….



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *