PuraVida Vegetarian Bistro

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Reviews


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I ordered the tofu steaks with a side of steamed veggies and plantain and the surillitos as an appetizer. Everything was kind of bland and flavorless and portions were not worth the money. I started to order 2 dinners at once just to taste them both but I'm glad I didn't. Not worth the $15 I spent and left still starving.


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My friend and I had a great meal here and i loved the waitstaff! Good recommendations and I loved the live tree growing through the dining room!


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This was one of the worst vegetarian restaurants that I have ever been to. Everything was overpriced for tiny portions of horrible tasting food. The employees are clearly underpaid by the owner. They have no clue how to prepare vegan food, especially tofu which they simply took out of the container and put it on a plate. Trying to profit off of the vegetarian trend with no understanding of vegetarian cuisine or philosophy. Gives other vegetarian restaurants a bad name.


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I went to the restaurant for the first time last night with friends and family, and were very enticed by the menu. The food, though, was horrendous, and the service, way too slow and we were only the second table in the place. Hummus was just a paste of garbanzos, practically tasteless, served not with pita bread but the thinnest of soggy tortillas, and this was the best food we had last night. Plates were badly presented, all the food was beige or white, no vegetables in sight as sides or garnish, really sad loking things on enourmous white plates, very small portions for the price, by the way, and badly seasoned or not at all. I had the impression that our waiter was also working the bar, the reception and busing in the kitchen and maybe cooking too.
Sad, because the place is lovely and good vegetarian food is scarce. I don't think I am coming back to the restaurant, and the four other people who were with me will not, either. None of us will recommend Pura Vida to anyone. There are wonderful veg cookbooks in the market, experiment with vegetables, and give a rest to the l pasta and rice usually offered as vegetarian entrees. you need to have broccolli, carrots, beets, avocados, brussels sprouts, spinach and other greens, grains other than white plain rice, quinoa for example, spelt, amaranth, corn, peas, tomatoes, the variety is awsome.
As I was the one who suggested Pura Vida, I actually felt embarassed to have taken my family and friends to such a bad meal. Taste your food. it is beyond bad. Fix it.


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Food was good but ethics questionable. I took out my wife and two children and charged some $100 for food. When I got home, one month later my bank account reflected a charge of $319 dollars. I have phoned and written the restaurant but have to date not received any solution to my problem. My suggestion is to spend money on vegetarian restaurants that honor the highest ethical standards. If the problem is resolved, I will gladly acknowledge it publicly.

Image for Cass Danger

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I really enjoyed the food here and was surprised that they offered so many affordable options. The location, Condado, is very expensive, and this restaurant had its fair share of $20 entrees, but they also had many $13-15 items and $10 daily specials. The restaurant is absolutely beautiful and the patio has avocado and mango trees growing in it. My favorite part of the restaurant was actually the hand-painted menu (I included a picture).

I ordered the criolla tofu and found it to be good, but nothing spectacular. The sauce just tasted like a tomato sauce with a lot of oregano. However, the texture was very good and I think the froze the tofu first, which is something I hadn't seen anywhere else. I tried my friend's grilled veggie wrap ($10 special) and it was also very good. We started off with the yuca and tuno (homemade veggie tuna) cakes with pomegranate (parcha) sauce and it was phenomenal. I wish it would have come with more than just 3 pieces.

I also sampled another friend's mushroom stroganoff. I don't like mushrooms so I just tried the pasta with sauce, which I found to not have much flavor. My friend enjoyed it but she said it didn't remind her of stroganoff (she is German so maybe stroganoff there is different from what I'm used to in the US).

The service, however, was exceedingly weird. We went the 2nd day after its reopening (not sure how long it was closed), so this may have something to do with it. The hotel receptionist was waiting on us and seemed to be a bit absent minded and out of things. Also, he kept insisting on speaking to us in English although we said we speak Spanish and would always answer in Spanish. One of my friends is much more comfortable speaking in Spanish than English so we found this quite annoying.


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"I just came back from Europe and discovered that PuraVida, my favorite vegetarian restaurant has just reopened. It is wonderful to have them back. As an almost daily customer in the past, I know the owners very well and I talked with them some time ago about their new plans and looked beautiful. As usual, a great menu, but now, with lots of "tapas" (appetizers, wines, beers, etc.), improved facilities with the coziest ambiance, and very reasonably priced. In my first visit of their new era, I started with the Tempura Vegetables. Terrific! Then I had as main dish the Portobello mushrooms stuffed with walnuts & rice cheese over couscous in a balsamic vinaigrette orange relish. Ooof! A really nice place to gather with friends or have a romantic diner with your special one."

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