Holy Moly, what an experience!
Cousins is a raw foods (none of the foods have been cooked at all), vegan restaurant. Those who haven't been to a typical raw foods restaurant should be aware that they will find many dishes attempt to imitate conventional dishes, but in name and shape only. I'm not talking about a veggie burger that somewhat tastes like a hamburger. I mean that you might order steak fries and received sliced, fresh avocado again. It's a bit absurd, and takes some getting used to.
That said, Cousins was something of an exception to this trend in that they have a large buffet that contains dishes familiar to those outside the raw foods community: hummus, tabouleh, bean/veggie salads.
My partner and I, however, chose instead the adventurous menu items. We ordered a burrito and burger. The burrito, which we agreed was the superior of the dishes, was a salty sunflower / sesame pate with avocado and mango slices, all wrapped up in tender leaves of chard. I could eat that rich, salty-sweet combo all day!! This was accompanied a corn-bean salad that seemed to exist to offer a respite from the burrito.
The burger, which also came with some respite salad, was tasty and chewy, but small. Curiously, it was served with an evil-twin burger sitting right next to it! This evil-twin was the complete opposite; mealy instead of chewy, bland instead of tasty, white instead of brown. I don't know if this was supposed to be the 'bun,' or what... My partner was unimpressed with the burger, and thought the pickled beets that garnished the plate were nasty! (I liked 'em)
Before I get to the gamechanger of the review, I'll say a few more things. We were struck by the choice of water or house clove tea as our complementary beverage. Classy! Our waitresses was friendly and helpful. The prices are lower than I expected $10-14 per entree, $12 for the buffet. One of our desserts--strawberry cheesecake--was outstanding.
OK, so the other dessert we got was durian pudding (consistently spelled 'darien' on the menu). As Cousins prepared our pudding close to our table, we thought there was a gas leak, and then as the pudding was brought to our table, the gas leak seemed to travel along with it--it was the pudding! Apparently, durian is a fruit from Southeast Asia that is prized for its creamy texture and slightly sweet flavor. However, it carries with it a little secret...it smells like rotten eggs!!!! So pungent smelling is this fruit, that it is banned from some airports in Asia--not kidding! Eating this pudding was like eating the tastiest, creamiest thing you've ever had in your life, which had unfortunately been left sitting in the fridge in an open container right next to a pile of dung. Every single bite was imbued with equal parts greatness and rankness. Whether you love it or hate it, you will never have an experience quite like this.
Cousins is a wonderful and filling restaurant. Their logo seems to accentuate the I.V. of 'incredible vitality'--appropriate, considering how dense and rich much of their food is. There areplenty of exciting dishes to warrant repeat visits, and their environment is equally suitable to both intimate and large gatheringas. Go now and enjoy!