Reviews written by LFL

Registered on Aug 21 07
 

Akbar in Los Angeles, California
Apr 6 09

rating star

My husband and I ate here once in the spring of 2008 and were both terribly disappointed. I can no longer remember what we had, just that none of the food appealed to us and we did not take the leftovers home, which we almost always do. We have not returned and have no plans to go back again.

Araya's Place in Los Angeles, California
Jul 17

rating star

I've now eaten at Araya's Place three times so I feel qualified to review it. Certainly it's one of the best Thai restaurants in Los Angeles.

I really like the atmosphere and decor at this West Hollywood restaurant. It's casual and unpretentious but manages to have some elegance at the same time. Bonus points for the cleanliness of the bathroom.

Here's a roundup of some of the food I've had there.

Vegetable Cakes -- delightful. I don't see these on their online menu but we had these two days ago when we dined there. These are dumpling-like and the dough is rice-based and resembles mochi a little. They are stuffed with the green parts of leeks and fried, and served with a sauce that has soy sauce and sweetener among its components. Delicious!

Asparagus Hunsa -- lovely. This is not listed on the menu online but was on the menu at the restaurant. It's a yummy vegetable-heavy dish with a red curry sauce and of course, asparagus.

Phad Phet Makhua -- tasty. Sort of like the traditional eggplant but sweeter and with veggies and tofu added to the mix.

Roti -- Also not on the online menu! But so, so good!! It's an amazing flatbread that's fried and doughy and a little puffy and just melts in your mouth. And it's served with their incredible peanut sauce. The last two times we ate there, my husband ordered some extra peanut sauce to take home!

I've also very much enjoyed the Fresh Rolls and the Drunken Mushroom (the avocado curry was a little rich for my taste).

The owner is friendly and personable. Although Araya's Place is a bit of a drive for me and Satdha, which I also like a lot, is closer, I plan to support Araya's Place whenever I'm in the neighborhood or have time to make the drive.

Ayara Thai Cuisine in Los Angeles, California
Apr 13 09

rating star

We've tried five or six Thai restaurants in Los Angeles and so far, this one is our favorite. While not a vegetarian restaurant, Ayara offers about twenty main dishes which can be ordered meatless (vegetarian) or with tofu.

The decor is classy without being snooty and the service is good. The food we had was delicious.

We ordered the fresh spring rolls, which normally come with shrimp and egg noodles, but we asked for them to be made without these. The kitchen was very accomodating of our request. The rolls were made with rice paper and stuffed with lettuce, carrots, basil leaves and tofu. They were served with peanut sauce. We liked them, though we felt they could have used more basil.

The Tom Kah soup, which was the next thing we ordered, was very tasty. Although the menu does not specify this, the soup can be ordered meatless. It has tangy, sweet and slightly spicy coconut base, with spices, herbs like fresh ginger and lemongrass, tofu and mushrooms. For $9, we got enough for four people.

We also ordered the Drunken Noodles (a stir fry of rice noodles with bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, carrots and basil leaves, made with a chili garlic sauce) with tofu, the Panang (red) Curry with a variety of vegetables, and the vegetarian Kra Tiem (vegetables cooked with roasted garlic, cilantro and black pepper). Everything was wonderful. My favorite was probably the Drunken Noodles but the Panang Curry gives them a run for their money. The entrees ranged between $7 and $9 each -- very affordable for Los Angeles. I have no doubt we will be frequenting this restaurant in the future.

Golden China in Los Angeles, California
Apr 13 09

rating star

This restaurant was just so-so. We ordered off their vegetarian menu and got the Hot and Sour Soup, the Dry Sauteed String Beans, the vegetarian Orange Flavor "Beef" and the Vegetable Delight, which we asked to have made with garlic sauce, rather than the tradiional white sauce. I would say the vegetables were cooked exactly right, not too much and not too little, but the problem was with the sauces. Everything had a strong flavor, but it was a strong one note flavor, lacking complexity.

Also, the food was not exactly as advertised. The green beans were not really dry, but had a gooey brown sauce. The "beef" seemed like some kind of smoked wheat gluten, and the smoky flavor was far more reminsicent of ham than beef. It came with a lot of water chestnuts, and a few green onions and dried chili peppers. Its orange flavor sauce was more like sweet and sour sauce, and not really orange flavored. The Vegetable Delight had a good variety of vegetables. Like the green beans, they retained color and texture, but the sauce they came in was in no way exciting.

The atmosphere and decor are pretty standard Chinese restaurant decor and atmosphere. Service was just so-so as well; the waiter was inattentive and got our order wrong, though we probably could have communicated it more clearly.

All in all, not a terrible restaurant or anything, but with so many other good places to eat in West LA, probably not one we will be returning to.

M Cafe de Chaya in Los Angeles, California
Nov 18 08

rating star

I would rate M. Cafe 4 1/2 stars. I've eaten at both the Melrose and Culver City locations, and found the food to be consistent and equally tasty in both locations.

Probably my favorite thing to eat at M. Cafe is dessert -- the chocolate sacher torte to be specific. It's very chocolatey and has a fresh raspberry filling. Other foods I have enjoyed at M. Cafe include all three of the paninis, the melorse avenue muffaletta, the wasabi sweet potato salad, the sesame soba noodles, and the shiitake-avocado sushi roll. I was less keen on the squash soup and the banana millefeuille, but even these were not bad. For LA, the place isn't too expensive, so I recommend it pretty highly.

M Cafe de Chaya in Los Angeles, California
Nov 18 08

rating star

I would rate M. Cafe 4 1/2 stars. I've eaten at both the Melrose and Culver City locations, and found the food to be consistent and equally tasty in both locations.

Probably my favorite thing to eat at M. Cafe is dessert -- the chocolate sacher torte to be specific. It's very chocolatey and has a fresh raspberry filling. Other foods I have enjoyed at M. Cafe include all three of the paninis, the melorse avenue muffaletta, the wasabi sweet potato salad, the sesame soba noodles, and the shiitake-avocado sushi roll. I was less keen on the squash soup and the banana millefeuille, but even these were not bad. For LA, the place isn't too expensive, so I recommend it pretty highly.

Merkato in Los Angeles, California
May 22 09

rating star

I'd give Merkato three and a half stars if I could. We ate there tonight and got the lentil filled sambusas and the vegetarian combination platter which includes all the vegan dishes (six of them, I believe). The injera was too thin in our opinion, and the cabbage tasted like it had been overcooked. Everything else was decent, with our favorite being the yellow split peas and are second favorite the shiro. Those two were solid and so were the sambusas. All in all not that impressive a place, and we prefer Rahel's. On the upside, Merakto was VERY affordable, the combination platters were $6.99, an unbeatable price for a filling dinner. We also liked the atmosphere which was very interesting and different.

Pradeep's - Santa Monica in Los Angeles, California
Mar 30 09

rating star

My husband and I moved to Los Angeles from the East Coast five months ago. We have yet to find an Indian restaurant that we love as much as some of our favorites back east, but Pradeep's comes close.

We recently ate there for the first time and thought the ambience was nice and the food quite good. We had the samosas (potato a pea turnovers -- good), the carrot and coriander soup (good) which was accompanied by a papadum (lentil cracker -- very good), the garlic naan bread (Vegan, which isn't easy to find! The toppings were very tasty but the bread itself didn't seem as fresh as it sometimes is at restaurants), a salad which accompanied our meal (good) the saag tofu (spinach and tofu curry -- okay) and the Baigan ka Bhurta (eggplan curry -- very good). The service was prompt and polite. While this might not seem like the most ringing endoresment of the food, we liked it better than three other Indin restaurants we've eaten at in LA, and we were impressed by the fact that the food is prepared without cream or butter. There are over a dozen vegan entrees to choose from and the food isn't too oily. Our dinner for two came to $48 -- at $12.50 an entree it's a little expensive but not horribly so. We will definitely go back.

Real Food Daily in Los Angeles, California
Nov 18 08

rating star

I love Real Food Daily. The food is the next best in Los Angeles after Madeleine Bistro. And since I can only afford to eat at Madeleine Bistro once or twice a year, I go to Real Food Daily more often. Both the West Hollywood and Santa Monica locations consistently serve great food, and our waiters have been very friendly.

(As an aside, we spotted Alyson Hannigan and Queen Latifah eating at the West Hollywood location on our first visit! It was something of a thrill).

The restaurant has great weekly and salad specials. From the regular menu, the nachos (get them with seitan and jalapeno "cheese") are stupendous. I love to get their salads (so far I've enjoyed both the house salad and the farm chop) with the caesar dressing, which I can't get enough of. The house (tahini) dressing and the peanut sauce are also quite good. I love the El Bandito Rojo, which I get topped with the jalapeno "cheese." Also good are the mashed potatoes and gravy and the chai soy latte.

The desserts vary a bit more in quality, some (the chocolate hazelnut cake and the chocolate espresso truffle) are excellent, while others (the cupcake and the brownies with ice cream) are okay but not as great.

The great thing about RFD is that the menu is huge and everything is vegan. I feel like a kid in a candy store when I go there. It's thrilling to be asked "Would you like that with rice milk or soy milk?" when I order a chai. There are many menu items I haven't tried yet and I look forward to sampling them.

If I could change one thing about RFD it would be the prices. They are sadly typical of Los Angeles -- it is not uncommon to pay $14 or $15 for an entree. On the upside, at least you are getting a full meal when you plop down that kind of cash, which is not the case everywhere in this town (Madeleine Bistro, I'm looking at you). Still, RFD is one of the places that makes me glad to be in LA, and I recommend it highly.

Real Food Daily in Los Angeles, California
Nov 18 08

rating star

I love Real Food Daily. The food is the next best in Los Angeles after Madeleine Bistro. And since I can only afford to eat at Madeleine Bistro once or twice a year, I go to Real Food Daily more often. Both the West Hollywood and Santa Monica locations consistently serve great food, and our waiters have been helpful and friendly.

The restaurant has great weekly and salad specials. From the regular menu, the nachos (get them with seitan and jalapeno "cheese") are stupendous. I love to get their salads (so far I've enjoyed both the house salad and the farm chop) with the caesar dressing, which I can't get enough of. The house (tahini) dressing and the peanut sauce are also quite good. I love the El Bandito Rojo, which I get topped with the jalapeno "cheese." Also good are the mashed potatoes and gravy and the chai soy latte.

The desserts vary a bit more in quality, some (the chocolate hazelnut cake and the chocolate espresso truffle) are excellent, while others (the cupcake and the brownies with ice cream) are okay but not as great.

The great thing about RFD is that the menu is huge and everything is vegan. I feel like a kid in a candy store when I go there. It's thrilling to be asked "Would you like that with rice milk or soy milk?" when I order a chai. There are many menu items I haven't tried yet and I look forward to sampling them.

If I could change one thing about RFD it would be the prices. They are sadly typical of Los Angeles -- it is not uncommon to pay $14 or $15 for an entree. On the upside, at least you are getting a full meal when you plop down that kind of cash, which is not the case everywhere in this town (Madeleine Bistro, I'm looking at you). Still, RFD is one of the places that makes me glad to be in LA, and I recommend it highly.

Satdha in Los Angeles, California
Feb 27

rating star

Satdha Plant Based Thai Kitchen serves upscale Thai food at affordable prices (entree prices currently range from $8 to $12). I ate here with my husband and since everything looked so good, our eyes were bigger than our stomachs. We ordered the Meang Kham (chard wrap) appetizer, the Tom Kha (coconut) soup, the Num Tok salad, the Beet Dyed Noodles, the "Catfish" eggplant (like everything else here, it's vegan) and the Chive Blossom for our vegetable.

My husband had the brown rice and I had the sticky rice which is white -- there is no regular white rice, but the sticky rice isn't so sticky you have to wrestle it onto your plate (I've had this experience at another Thai restaurant but not here). Since we had ordered so much, we skipped dessert.

Everything we ordered was delicious. Portion sizes weren't huge but not too small either.

The Meang Kham Appetizer, described on the menu as a chard wrap with shredded coconut, cashew, shiitake "bacon," lime zest, shallots, ginger, chili flavored with herb tamarind chutney had an intense and complex flavor. The waitress showed us the slice of red chili resting on top of it which could be taken out if you prefer the food mild. I tried it both ways and I liked it better milder but it was delicious both ways. The tamarind sauce was especially terrific.

The Tom Kha Soup had oyster mushrooms and banana blossoms in it, but the broth was the classic Thai coconut milk broth with lemongrass, which we like very much, so it didn't disappoint.

The Num Tok Salad, described on the menu as "grilled trumpet mushrooms, shallots, toasted rice powder, green onions, thai basil and flavored with chili lime" was tangy and flavorful. For me it was a bit spicier than I would prefer but my husband didn't think it was that spicy. It came with a wedge of cabbage on the side which was large enough that we couldn't tell if it was part of the meal or only a garnish.

The Beet Dyed Noodles -- rice vermicelli infused with beet juice, baked tofu, crispy shallots, garlic chives, bean sprouts, flax "egg" and favored with coconut, tamarind and fermented black bean sauce -- were my favorite item out of all we ordered. The noodles were pink in color and had a sweet and delicate coconut flavor.

The "Catfish" Eggplant -- "battered eggplant with red curry paste, bell peppers, young pepper corn and thai basil" -- was also tasty, but by then we were getting full.

Which brings me to the Chive Blossom sauteed with baked tofu and garlic. It was good but chive-y. Not as green as some of the other greens on the menu, but still enjoyable.

The cost of the meal was $67 (not including our tip) but we ordered A LOT.

In sum, the entire meal was very, very good. This is easily our favorite Thai place on the westside now, though we still have a lot of their menu to explore. The owner was one of the owners of Bulan Vegetarian Thai, but I'd say this place is even better (and unlike Bulan, all vegan).

One caution: Satdha is very popular at the moment. We went on a Saturday night at dinnertime and were lucky to get the last parking spot in their lot and had to wait to get seated. If you can, make reservations. You'll be glad you did.

Shamshiri Grill in Los Angeles, California
Mar 31 09

rating star

My husband and I recently (March 2009) ate at Shamshiri Grill in Westwood. First, the atmosphere is warm and inviting. The place was packed and there was a 15 minute wait to get seated (this on a Saturday around 9 PM), but the food was worth the wait.

We were served a complimentary appetizer of fresh-baked pita bread with fresh mint leaves, onions and radishes. Delicious. Then we ordered the appetizer combination platter. It normally comes with hummus, baba ganoush (roasted eggplant mashed with tahini), falafel, tahini sauce, dolmeh (grape leaves stuffed with rice, lentils and herbs -- our waitress assured us these are vegan although they are not marked as such), and a yogurt dip called mast o'khiar. Since we are vegan we asked for the yogurt dip to be substituted with tabouli (bulgur, parsley, mint, tomato and cucumber salad). Our waitress was wonderful and the owner was completely accomodating of this request. The standouts were the baba ganoush and the tabouli, but all the appetizers were quite tasty and the quantities were enormous! Four grape leaves, four falafel patties, and enough baba, hummus and tabbouli for six or eight people. At $15.95, this combination platter is a bargain.

As for main dishes, there are 13 items on Shamshiri's vegetarian menu and although not marked as such, according to our waitress they are all vegan. My husband ordered the vegetarian shirin polo -- basmati rice with slivered almonds, pistachios, carrots, and candied orange peel, cooked in a saffron maramalade sauce and served with flame-grilled vegetables on the side. My husband loved it but I found the marmalade flavor a bit too strong. I ordered the vegetarian sabzi polo, which was a stew of green onions, cilantro, parsley, baby dill, garlic, and fenugreek baked or cooked a long time with dried limes, served over basmati rice. It was quite good, a bit reminsicent of Indian spinach but more intense. Once again the quantities were enormous and we ended up with a lot of leftovers to take home. Most of the entrees are priced at $10 or $11 which is quite reasonable for LA.

For dessert, our waitress called the owner to come to out table and tell us which desserts did not contain either eggs or dairy products. There were a few choices and we ended up going with the baklava which we liked very much but which may contain honey -- we did not ask the owner about that. There were several dessert options though so there is probably something honey-free as well.

On the whole, the meal was affordable (especially for LA) and delightful in every regard. And we ended up with enough leftovers to feed three people dinner. We will definitely be returning to this restaurant.

Taj India Palace in Los Angeles, California
Apr 14 09

rating star

I would give this restaurant 3 1/2 stars.

The atmosphere is unimpressive, and you can see that this was a Mexican retaurant which was turned into an Indian restaurant. It's a small place and has only one unisex bathroom.

With that said, the food is pretty good, the prices very reasonable ($6.95 or $7.95 for the vegetarian entrees), and they cook without ghee (clarified butter), MSG, sugar or animal fat. There are fourteen items on the vegetarian menu, and at least six of these are vegan or can be made vegan upon request. Since they also deliver to my neighborhood, I will probably be using them in the future for delivery, but due to the atmosphere, I'm not as likely to dine in.

We were served the complementary Papadum (excellent), and ordered the Vegetable Samosa (not bad), the Onion Bhaji (good though not great), the Saag Alu (spinach with potatoes; vegan only upon request, and good), the Chana Masala (chickpea curry - also good), and two orders of the basmati rice with spices (cardamom, cloves and cinnamon -- this was good too). Our meal came to $34 with tax and tip.

The vegan selections are not extensive; from what they told us the Aloo Gobi (potato and cauliflower curry), the Bengan Bharta (eggplant, onion and tomato curry), the Mixed Vegetable Curry, and the Okra curry, were also vegan, as are the three whole wheat breads (paratha, aloo paratha and roti). Still, the fact that their menu states they do not cook with ghee has won me over, so I'll probably be ordering takeout from Taj India Palace in the future.

Tara's Himalayan Cuisine in Los Angeles, California
Apr 6 09

rating star

We ate here for the first time last night, and this restaurant was a real find. The atmosphere was homey, cheery and bright, and from what we can tell (after asking the waiter what was vegan), much of the vegetarian menu is vegan, as are several appetizers. Everything was delicious and so affordable!

We were served a complimentary papadum (lentil flour wafer with cumin seeds) with a tomato-based dipping sauce. Both tasty. Then we got the potato achaar appetizer -- a kind of cold potato salad made with green onions, cilantro, sesame seeds, chilies, fenugreek, garlic and potatoes of course, and served on a cabbage leaf topped with sliced tomatoes. Delicious!

We shared a lentil and chickpea soup that was also very good, and followed that up with our entrees, the Aloo Bodi Tama (described on the menu as "Bamboo shoots, potato and black-eyed peas cooked with Himalayan spices" and the Vegetable Korma, which is completely vegan, made with a cashew-based curry and coconut-based cream. The Vegetable Korma was quite different from the Indian dish of the same name, and more eastern in its flavor, but yummy nonetheless. The Aloo Bodi Tama was equally enjoyable. The entrees were serve with white basmati rice. Most amazing were the prices, $6.99 for the Vegetable Korma and $5.99 for the Aloo Bodi Tama. Almost unheard of for Los Angeles!

Everything we had was vegan, including the bread we ordered on special request. Since the onion naan was not vegan, we asked if we could have an onion roti. Roti (whole wheat flatbread) is not typically made with onion, but the owner was very accomodating and made it as we asked. It too, was quite good.

The entire dinner for two came to $35 including tax and tip. Where else in Los Angeles can you order so much great food and end up spending so little? We plan to do our share to support this wonderful little place since we definitely want it to stay in business.

Vegan Glory in Los Angeles, California
Apr 13 09

rating star

We recently tried this restaurant and although the food wasn't bad, we were disappointed. Everything seemed kind of average, from the Tom Kah Kai coconut soup which was laden with tofu, veggie "chicken," and lemongrass that we couldn't chew and kept having to fish out, to the red curry which had too much cabbage in it. The food was pretty forgettable, and we were annoyed at having to pay to park in the restaurant's parking lot. All in all, not an exciting place to eat. I much prefer Ayara Thai Cuisine for Thai food, even though its not a vegetarian restaurant. I doubt we will be returning to Vegan Glory.

Vegetable Delight in Los Angeles, California
Nov 18 08

rating star

My boyfriend and I were both disappointed in the quality of the food at Vegetable Delight. Since its rating here at VegGuide was almost as high as that of Madeleine Bistro, we came in with high expectations. Unfortunately, the restaurant did not live up to them. Following the suggestions here, we ordered the mixed appetizers, the wonton soup, the lemon chicken and the eggplant with basil. The eggplant basil and the wonton soup weren't bad, but the mixed appetizers and the lemon chicken, although they had the texture of meat, were nearly flavorless. The lemon chicken was also much too sweet. All in all, we can't fathom why Vegetable Delight has received a relatively high rating here. On the upside, though, the meal was affordable (especially for L.A.), so if you want to check it out for yourself, you won't be out too much $. As for us, we don't plan to return there.

P.S. For much better seitan, I recommend A Single Pebble in Burlington, Vermont.

The Veggie Grill in Los Angeles, California
Apr 6 09

rating star

Veggie Grill is a fun place to eat if you're not looking for a fancy atmosphere. For vegetarian fast food, I think it's as good as it gets. The "wings" appetizer is terrific. For sandwiches, I recommend the Santa Fe Crispy Chickin' (my favorite!), the Carne Asada, the Grillin' Chickin', and Papa's Portobello, all of which I like to get with the Spring Mix Salad with chipotle ranch dressing. I love their carrot cake, which is moist and has a creamy frosting with just the right amount of sweetness. Mmm.

Veggie Grill is also affordable for LA. Dinner for two usually costs us $30 to $35. And since everything on the menu is vegan, we don't have to ask a lot of questions to figure out what we can eat there.

Abyssinia in Rochester, New York
Sep 2 07

rating star

Unlike the previous poster, I prefer Abyssinia to Dashen, mainly because the atmosphere is a bit nicer, the injera bread is really terrific, and the food has a more stew-like consistency than at Dashen (at Dashen is is a bit too liquidy). It is a bit more expensive than at Dashen, but still quite affordable. A combo platter containing seven or so different dishes is only $11 per person.

As at most Ethiopian restaurants, the food is served atop an injera. I can't remember the Ethiopian names of the dishes, except the Shiro, a spiced chickpea stew that is my favorite and which I often request extra of (you can get extra of one or two dishes free of charge at Abyssinia). Besides the shiro, there is also a spicy lentil dish that is pretty good, collard greens that I enjoy, yellow split peas that are solid, but could be better, a simple dish of potatoes, carrots and green beans which is quite tasty, a salad of tomatoes with onions and chili peppers in a lemon oil dressing that I love, and probably one or two other vegan options that I am forgetting. The food is plentiful, so you will not leave Abyssinia hungry. The server is very friendly but the kitchen can be slow.

Right now, this is the best Ethiopian restaurant in Rochester, in my opinion.

Dashen in Rochester, New York
Sep 2 07

rating star

I've only eaten at Dashen three times, mainly because I prefer Abyssinia for Ethiopian food in Rochester. The food at Dashen was pretty good though (I ordered combo platters each time I ate there, and can't remember the individual dishes that well). I find the stews a little bit runny and the injera (flatbread) has more teff flour in it than the injera at Abyssinia. Dashen is a very simple place, so the atmosphere is kind of low-key, but the owner is very friendly. The first time we ate there the waitress was inattentive and took a long time to get to us, but the other two times the service was good. Prices are quite reasonable.

The King and I in Rochester, New York
Sep 2 07

rating star

I've lived in Rochester for 20 years, and in my humble opinion, The King and I is the best of the vegan-friendly restaurants in Rochester. Most dishes at this Thai restaurant is made with a wonderful variety of vegetables cooked to perfection, and the sauces are delicious. The food is served very promptly and the service is terrific.

My personal favorite is the eggplant vegetable, while my boyfriend and a good friend can't get enough of the evil jungle. The phat thai is also excellent. Other favorites include the ginger, the cashew, the panang curry, the phat phet, the spicy veggie, and I could go on and on. While I do agree with the previous poster that the sesame tofu is good, I actually think it's a bit too sweet, and it doesn't come with much in the way of vegetables, just fried tofu, broccoli, and a sweet sesame curry sauce, so, even though it's quite good, I actually don't get it very often.

The soups at The King and I are also good (we especially like the Tom Kar coconut soup) and so is the Som Tom (papaya salad) which can be made without fish sauce on request. The only thing I haven't been that impressed with are the spring rolls, which are okay, just not as great as everything else. Overall though, the restaurant is excellent, and the first place I would recommend that a vegetarian or vegan coming to Rochester should try.

Munjed's Middle Eastern Cafe in Syracuse, New York
Aug 21 07

rating star

On a recent trip we stopped in Syracuse for dinner. China Road was closed that day and Alto Cinco was packed with a 20-30 minute wait, so we went to Munjed's. I should add that I spent my childhood in the Middle East so I know Middle Eastern food. Munjed's was decent for the most part, but unexciting.

We had the veggies and rice (not bad, except for the awful tahini dressing that came with it), a garden salad, and Sam's veggie combo, which included hommus, falafel, grape leaves, tabouli and spinach pie. The hommus, grape leaves and tabouli were solid, but not exciting. The spinach pie was disappointing. The falafel was better than average for what you can find at most Middle Eastern restaurants in America. We also ordered a side of babaganouj, which was pretty good.

The biggest disappointment was the garden salad, which had a lot of iceberg lettuce as well as some other veggies. The garlic dressing isn't vegan and the tahini dressing was terrible. The only other choice of dressing available was oil and vinegar so that's what I had. Service at Munjed's was fine, but I ended up wishing I had eaten at Alto Cinco, where the food looked much better.

A Single Pebble in Burlington, Vermont
Aug 21 07

rating star

The food at a Single Pebble was the best Chinese food I've ever had. I was with a group of 9 at lunchtime and everyone enjoyed the food we had. I recommend the scallion pancake, the steamed vegetable dumplings, the spicy three river soup , the tan tan noodles, and especially the seasoned pressed tofu with cilantro and the tangerine peel seitan. I don't normally like seitan, but I loved theirs. The chef also sent over a dish of Chinese greens with his compliments and we enjoyed this a lot as well.

All in all it was a wonderful meal -- our food was brought to the table as it was cooked and it was very fresh and delicious. Many dishes are either vegan or can be made vegan. It was also more affordable than we expected. We were there for lunch but ordered a couple of dishes off the dinner menu as well, and when the bill came, it was only $136, including tax and tip, for nine people (4 adults + 5 kids). The menu can be seen on the restaurant's website at http://www.asinglepebble.com .

I am normally not that into Chinese food (I prefer other cuisines like Thai and Indian), but A Single Pebble made a convert out of me. Vermont Life and Vermont Magazine both chose it as the best restaurant in Vermont. If you are ever in Burlington, don't miss it.