Flock of wild tamales

The Wild Rooster Bistro is a breath of fresh air. Vegan fresh air. It’s an unpretentious, neighborhood Mexican-food eatery in old Fair Oaks with a flock of decorative ceramic roosters inside and a view of a park with roaming feral chickens outside. The menu has vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options clearly marked, and there are many, thanks to one of the restaurant’s three co-owners, Lorena Van Rein. After being vegetarian for years, she went vegan, because “the dairy was making me sick.” She’s been vegan for six-and-a-half years now, and uses vegan cheese, soy chorizo, tofu scramble and sour cream (store-bought but souped-up) in their tamales, sopes, enchiladas, huevos rancheros, chilaquiles, grilled cheese sandwiches and vegan ceviche. Wild Rooster, at 7984 California Avenue in Fair Oaks, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Van Rein said there’s no chicken broth or lard used to make the beans and rice, and the kitchen uses separate pots to cook the vegan dishes, so vegans can breathe easy.