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Hot 25: 2009 Honorees
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Published: November 01, 2009

Kevin Boylan & T.K. Pillan

Co-founders and Co-CEOs, The Veggie Grill
Ages: Boylan, 52; Pillan, 41
Fact: Boylan lost 25 pounds after becoming a vegetarian. Pillan was captain of the MIT baseball team in college.
Why they opened The Veggie Grill: “We both had a personal frustration with trying to find delicious, convenient food that we could feel good about eating.”
For Kevin Boylan and T.K. Pillan, a lifestyle change to becoming vegetarian turned into a booming business venture. And it all happened rather quickly: They made the switch right before opening their first eatery, which serves a menu of 100 percent plant-based sandwiches, entrées and treats.
While the thought of vegetarian food might make one think of bland, tasteless cuisine, the menu at The Veggie Grill proves that notion wrong.
“We did a lot of research and discovered how delicious veggie protein specialties could be when prepared with the right marinades and sauces,” Pillan says. “With the combination of how good they tasted and the benefits of plant-based foods, we became very passionate about making the concept a reality.”
The business team operates two Veggie Grills in Irvine (one’s just a five-minute walk from UCI, and the other’s at The Irvine Spectrum), one in El Segundo and the newest location in West Hollywood. Look for more in the future.

– Ashley Eliot

OC METRO's 2009 Hot 25 honorees:

Toby Bost  |  Mike Gillespie  |  Anil Puri  |  Sean Collins
Kevin Boylan & T.K. Pillan  |  Dr. Jason Knight  |  Hugh Hewitt
Luke Allen  |  Tina Aldatz  |  Sukhee Kang  |  Glenn Gray
Amelia & Florent Marneau  |  Tim McFerran  |  Tallia Hart
 Bill Sanderson Henrik Fisker  |  Janet Hamada  |  Wayne Gross
Julie Miller-Phipps  |  Michael Ruane  |  Carl St.Clair
  Pretend City Phil Willms Sheryl Bourgeois  |  Steve Nichols

<<< Back to 2009 honorees

Web extra:
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of OC METRO's Hot 25 awards, here are our original Hot 25 honorees, who were featured in 1990.

Doug Rankin  |  Erich Vollmer  |  Dennis Aigner  |  Greg Patton
Janice Mittermeier  |  Carol Stogsdill  |  Carl St.Clair
Anton Segerstrom  |  Christopher Cox  |  Christine (Reed) Iger
Dr. Robert Bade  |  Thomas Mays  |  Mike Goode
Richard Gadbois  |  Rudy Castruita  |  Debbie Miede
Ernest C. Brown  |  Mossimo Giannulli  |  Daniel L. Rasmussen
Cynthia Ellner  |  Kathryn Braun Lewis  |  David Wilhelm

<<< Back to Web extra main page:
first Hot 25 honorees

Readers Feedback:

while visiting CA last week my daughter and i ate at your wonderful grille 2 nights in a row she ate there 5 times in one week. the port. mushrm sandwich,the kale, the fries, the chili, the chicken fingers and the awesome carrot cake are items i will miss now that i am back in cleveland ohio. PLEASE think about opening one in cleveland, i will manage it and love each day helping people learn about eating healthy, thanks for a wonderful eatery, i am anxiously awaiting returning to CA to see my family and to eat at your place. I LOVED IT.
Comment at 2/10/2010
Love, love, love your store. Pls come to Valencia
Comment at 4/20/2010