Reviews written by salixantheia
Registered on Jan 7 10
We dined here for my birthday. We had to wait a few minutes to get a table, but it wasn't too bad. We started off with the thai skewers appetizer with peanut sauce. It wasn't exactly what I expected; I'm not a huge fan of processed faux meats and this was 3 slices of it, and the peanut sauce tasted like peanut butter with a little spice. I saw the bruscetta that someone else ordered and that is probably what I would get next time. For an entree, I ordered the green enchiladas, which were good. My favorite part of it was actually the refried black beans served on the side, they were the best I'd ever had! My boyfriend ordered the coconut curry which was the nightly special, and it was lovely, not too sweet like other coconut curries I've had. The portions were perfect, I was very happily full at the end. We also ordered dessert, I had the french silk pie, which was fantastic, the cream was the most realistic vegan cream I've ever had. My boyfriend got their bread pudding, which for only $4, was a great bargain. His piece was just as big as my piece of pie.
One thing I noted while we were waiting to be seating is that a lot of the Karyn's brand foods they sell at the front contained honey. It seemed to be mostly the raw foods, like the crackers, so I'm not sure if this is something that raw vegans often do, but if you avoid honey, be careful what you purchase.
I have eaten here once, but gotten take-out several times, and it is consistently fantastic food. We usually get 2 meals per 3 people. Several of their dishes are vegan naturally, and others can be adjusted, and the staff are very knowledgeable and helpful. My favorite dish is the Sambal Goreng Tempe, which is quite sweet and delicious!
If you've never had African-style food, you're missing out. There are flavors to be found here that are quite unique, but still manage to feel homey. Make sure you get the injera, a sourdough tasting pancake, rather than boring old rice with your meal. Veg. options include a peanut stew and a spicy lentil stew.
Chautara is partnered with Himal Chuli, and it represents the more meat-centric side of the spectrum, while Himal Chuli is more veg. There are plenty of veg options at both places, but the veg items are listed second at Chautara, with fewer choices, and first at Himal Chuli, with lots of them. Chautara is a safer bet when you're dining with omnivores, as they will probably be more comfortable with the atmosphere and choices. If you're with your veg friends though, go to Himal Chuli. The quality of the food is the same, in my opinion, quite good.
They always have 2 soy flavors, which I've seen alternate between oreo, espresso oreo, vanilla chocolate chip, and rasberry nebula (raspberry with chocolate chunks). Their "Italian Ice" flavors are also vegan, and are basically sorbet. The staff definitely aren't always knowledgeable about ingredients; I had one person try to tell me the frozen yogurt didn't contain dairy.
The food here is so satisfying! I highly recommend the sweet potato wrap and the bajio's style seitan. My dishes have been served with beans and steamed greens, or chips and fresh salsa on the side. Their "side" of vegetables is quite substantial, and can be considered a light meal to itself!
I've had mixed experiences here. I had an amazing dinner on my birthday with excellent service and great food. When I brought my family for lunch, however, we were quite disappointed. The menu was quite different, with fewer vegan options. The service was very slow, and the food pretty average. Both omnivores and vegans were not very satisfied. The portions are small by American standards. I will visit again hoping to capture that awesome first experience though!
They have one vegan bar, which is peanut butter and chocolate. They didn't have it for awhile, but I guess demand brought it back. Their soups are occasionally vegan, and they occasionally have vegan sandwiches available, but it's pretty hit or miss, depending on the day.
They are very understanding and helpful for vegans. You choose all your own ingredients, and they stir-fry it up for you. There's a lot of risk for cross-contamination, because everything is laid out buffet-style, so probably avoid if you have allergies. But they do a great job of labeling all their sauces with "allergens" (which for me just makes it easy to avoid fish sauce, milk, eggs, honey, etc.) They have several styles of mock meat (found in the vegetable section, it took me awhile to find them) which I haven't seen other places. They have Quorn (NOT VEGAN), but also something called "veet" which is vegan, as well as tofu and some others. You can ask the staff. You can also request that your meal be cooked in a separate wok rather than on the big grill with everyone else's. Tip: dish your rice out onto a separate plate, which can be found on the counter by the cooks, so that it doesn't take up valuable space in your veggie bowl!
These guys have done a really great job of being vegan accessible. They carry lots of vegan products such as Tofurkey, many kinds of non-dairy milks and ice creams, Vegenaise, faux cream cheese and sour cream, and frozen vegan meals. Even some of their deli items are vegan (be sure to ask, ingredients aren't listed visibly). They also carry East Side Bakery items, which I love to buy to encourage them to continue carrying vegan products.
I went to brunch here and ordered the tofu scramble. The menu they give you at the restaurant doesn't have the useful notation that their online menu does, so be sure to look before you go. Also, when I asked to double-check that the dish was vegan, the waiter informed me that the marinade for the tofu contains honey, so be sure to inquire if you care about this. I am sending them a note suggesting that they eliminate honey from their dishes marked vegan.
As for the food, it was presented nicely, with a lovely salad. The tofu itself was passable, it's sort of asian style. The place is quite pricey, so give it a shot only if you're willing to pay a premium for location and atmosphere.
You can get vegan food here, but you have to work pretty hard at it. We tried to order their veggie burrito sans dairy, but they informed us that some part of it contained dairy and couldn't be changed. Their peanut stew also contains cream. The falafel wrap is fine without the sauce (I sneak in some of my own), and you could probably customize a salad.
I've enjoyed the seitan hash a few times for breakfast. They always offer to sub some grilled veg. for the eggs. Unfortunately, last time I was there, I ordered the hash "vegan", and the guy asked if it was okay that there is honey in the marinade. I don't know if they recently changed it, but I've always said I was vegan and no one had ever mentioned that to me. I've never been there for lunch, so maybe there are some options there, but besides concocting your own order, the seitan hash is really the only option for breakfast, besides their few vegan scones.
This place has great atmosphere, and a large selection of games available to play while you wait. That ends up being necessary, because the service is usually slow. The bar service is fine, so it's a good place to relax and have a few beers while waiting for your food, which is good once it comes. People go on about the chili, but I think it's pretty average, as is the nacho plate. The roasted veggie salad is fantastic, and the Tom Ka Tofu is also quite good.
Their tofu scramble is amazing - they offer daiya cheese and earth balance for your toast. The vegan french toast (with real maple syrup) is also worth it. It's a greasy spoon sort of place, awesome for breakfast with friends or family. So inexpensive for the quantity, and I've never seen it overcrowded. Very easy to be vegan there, they understand and you don't have to make a fuss.