This month, vegan Taiwanese pop-up Love Boat Kitchen opened inside of the Cocobella Creamery space in Los Angeles. The pop-up was launched by best friends Belinda Wei and Alice Cherng, who own the vegan creamery but wanted to try a new concept that pays homage to their roots. Both founders are of Taiwanese descent, and Wei grew up in Texas and Cherng in California. “I can’t wait to share a part of my childhood with our customers,” Wei said. “We want to show the creativity and depth of Taiwanese food, while influenced by the American food culture. We definitely have more dishes in our pockets. This opening menu is our prologue.”
On the menu
The opening menu features veganized versions of Taiwanese classics such as Salt & Pepper Chicken (battered seitan chicken that is fried with basil and dusted with a blend of salt and white pepper); Honee Walnut “Shrimp” (lightly battered vegan shrimp coated in a bee-free honey-mayo house dressing and mixed with candied walnuts); and Pearl Meatballs (steamed sticky rice meatballs made with ground Impossible meat and water chestnut pieces)—a recurring dish made by Wei’s mother when she was a child. Love Boat Kitchen also offers a wood ear mushroom salad appetizer, along with simple sides such as white rice, fresh noodles, and garlic broccoli. “This is such a near and dear concept to our hearts,” Cherng said. “We are literally sharing foods that we grew up with. All of the flavors, but none of the animals.”
Love Boat Kitchen is open on Friday and Saturday nights (5pm to 9:30pm) and offers both takeout and delivery through DoorDash. Cocobella Creamery will continue to operate for pickup and delivery, as well.