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This is a solidly average, fairly vegan-friendly, ambiguously Asian bistro in the heart of downtown Palo Alto.

We started off with on order of Buddha's Rolls ($5) which were spring rolls filled with tofu, rice noodles and some other stuff. While I prefer fried rolls, these were decent and tasted pretty good especially with the peanut sauce they give you on the side.

For our main course we had a Yellow Curry with Tofu ($10) and a Vegetarian Chicken with Black Pepper ($10). The curry, they assured me, doesn't contain fish sauce or shrimp paste, and is therefore fully vegan. It tasted pretty good, though I wish the chunks of tofu, potato and carrots could have been cut into smaller pieces.

The veggie black pepper chicken was also tasty and had a really satisfying firmness. The portion size was on the smaller side, though, and the dish didn't look all that great on the plate (despite being placed on a banana leaf); it just looked drab and dark and the bell peppers and onions in the dish were limp. Dishes like these need to be popping with color and I think Madame Tam overcooked and over-glazed the dish (the sauce is a somewhat sticky, thick one). Garden Fresh in Palo Alto does a similar black pepper vegan chicken dish that is much better and heartier.

Brown rice is available at a whopping $2.50 per person---this is highway robbery, but I've become accustomed to it, as it seems to be custom to charge for rice in the Bay Area (it's still really cheap and tacky on the part of restaurants, however).

The service was friendly and prompt. The atmosphere inside is nice and this wouldn't be a bad spot to take a date.

That said, if you're looking for vegan or vegetarian food of higher quality, I would recommend Garden Fresh just a few blocks down the road.

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