We are creatures of habit. But sometimes we have to break free and try something new! Some may argue, though, that another pizza or another pasta dish is not necessarily “something new” in our lives, but at least it is a new restaurant. We hopped online to check out the menu at Spark Woodfire Grill. I knew this place was known for it’s grilled meats and woodfired pizzas. As a vegan, there are only two ways to approach reading a menu: completely close minded or with creativity. I was curious to see if Spark could work for me.
There is one vegetarian appetizer (caprese) and one, what I hoped was vegan grilled artichokes. I took my chances & ordered the artichokes. I’d know soon enough if they were buttered – though Italians will tell you butter is never an option because olive oil is the more traditional fat of our cuisine.
Soup & Salad
Depending on your level of veg*nism, there are endless salad choices, of course. But again, who wants to spend money on a nice meal out only to limit yourself to a salad? The disappointing side of this is that the vegetable soup they offer contains prosciutto.
Only one vegetarian dish listed in this section: eggplant parmesan. NOT vegan, obviously.
There are plenty of veggie sides here to choose from. I suppose you could build yourself a veggie plate with jasmine rice as the base, but seriously? You’re going to spend money for side dishes & rice or pasta? No. If I can make it at home out of the mishmash of veggies lying around the day before grocery shopping, then I’m not ordering it at a restaurant.
Should be an easy option for any vegan…but it’s not. Originally I ordered a pizza with fire roasted tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms and asparagus (no cheese!). The woman who took my order over the phone was friendly and helpful, listing the veggie options to load up my pizza. I was very clear with her that I was vegan and she was clear which of the veggies were not cooked in butter. But about 5 minutes later we get a phone call. She was calling back to tell me that the pizza dough was made with eggs.
Ok, here’s where I have to take a breath….because EGG in the pizza dough? Seriously? Flour, water, yeast, sugar, oil, salt. Period. That’s a pizza dough. I’m not offended as a vegan, I’m offended as a baker!!
But I was pleased that she called to tell me this. She could have just served me my pizza, I would have been none the wiser I’m sure. Her own moral code did not permit her to serve this to me, though, and I completely one-hundred-percent appreciate this move on her part. This did mean, though, that I had no options for entrees left to me. But she was prepared – she said the chef would make me a pasta dish with the same veggies I wanted on my pizza. Fine. Sounds good to me. And thank you for calling.
So…unfortunately, this leaves Spark Woodfire Grill in a tough spot for me. Pizza should be among the easiest vegan meals to order out. This is a popular restaurant in the area and I’m sure it won’t be long before other new friends want to eat here. It was disappointing to see the limited menu – limited even more by the fact that pizza dough has egg, eliminating a whole world of vegan and vegetarian options. But, I can’t stress enough how honored I was that the host personally called to fix my order.
I won’t be afraid to dine here again if someone suggests it, but I may have to stick to the sides & salads next time.
11801 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City 91604