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rating star

This is an old-school Buddhist vegetarian (vegan, actually) restaurant. It's in a bleak, decaying 1970s stripmall and the location (across from a shady motel, next to a grimy South Asian grocery store) really depressed me. This is not a place to take a date, to be sure.

It's cash-only, so make sure to have plenty of money on you, as most dishes run in the $9-10 range. It seems pricey to be cash only.

I had an order of homemade pancake ($3), a side of brown rice ($1.68), a curry veggie shrimp ($10), a black pepper veggie beef ($9) and a hot and spicy veggie chicken ($10).

The pancake was great: a flaky, tender roti-paratha style bread. It makes a good accompaniment to the main dishes, so I'd order it alongside rice, actually.

The veggie shrimp was pretty tasty, though I probably wouldn't order the mock shrimp again---the texture and taste are a bit too close to the real thing for my likes. This dish was unusual in its use of potato and apple slices as well which, taken together, worked pretty nicely.

The black pepper beef looks like chicken---long, dense strips of soy protein. These old school restaurants have never been good at differentiating between their mockmeats. This dish was okay, but a bit too dry (some more sauce would have helped).

The hot and spicy veggie chicken was the best dish, in my opinion, and is truly a spicy one. The "chicken" consisted of chewy-springy curls of shaved wheat gluten which could have been firmer (they were just a tad too chewy for me), but the sauce on this dish was excellent. I wish the dish came with bell peppers instead of celery and carrots.

A couple pieces of advice:

-Expect a 15-20 minute wait for your food, as it seems understaffed.
-They use really cheap styrofoam containers that don't form seals so, if you're getting take-out, make sure that the stuff is secured properly. Sadly for me, all the containers tipped over, and liquid sauces quickly spilled out into the carrying bag, at the first stop sign on the road.

All told, this is a decent place, but not great. For my money, Garden Fresh in Palo Alto or Green Cafe in Milpitas offer better vegan/vegetarian Asian food.

rating star

I eat here at least once a week. Everything on the menu is vegan. I usually get the "daily special", which includes soup, two scoops of brown rice, and a choice of two items from a selection of four items which changes from week to week (sometimes more frequently). The eggplant item is fantastic, and the other items are very good as well. Occasionally they will add an additional appetizer (usually something pickled), or a vegan dessert. Price is $6.95.

The restaurant itself is clean and bright, though a bit "plain". The location is in a small strip mall just off of El Camino. The host is *very* friendly and helpful.

I have taken other people here on several occasions, and everyone has thought it was great. Definitely one of my favorites!

rating star

Very well-lit interior with offbeat painting scheme, bright summer-colored walls in several surprising shades. It would be hard to be somber in here if you tried. Not romantic because of the loudness of the colors and the high light level, but certainly very clean and well put-together looking place. Charming natural wood chairs that don't go well at all with the rest of the decor. Recently remodeled according to the owner and shows it.

Owner/waitress is very friendly and welcoming, happy to chat. Restaurant was not busy so I got plenty of attention. Owner is Taiwanese with Henan ancestry, don't know about the cooking since she has someone else doing it. Cook passed through the dining room and was friendly as well. Presentation of food was above average aesthetically. Brown rice was available, very nice.

Appetizers, shui jiao (dumplings), were quite bland. Had to make my own dip on my plate using soy and pepper sauces already at the table. Main dish, veggie chicken with vegetables, was also quite nondescript, typical veggie meat in unimaginative puddle of light brown goo. Not appealing at all and needed the same hot pepper and soy treatment as the appetizers, sign of mediocre cooking. Vegetables in the dish were cooked really nicely though, crisp yet tender.

The oolong tea was tasty.

The owner was really sweet and a pleasure to talk with. She brought out orange slices for my dessert which was the best part of the meal. I wish I liked the rest of the food more because the environment here was really pleasant, mostly because of the owner's glow which is almost entirely responsible for this restaurant rating over 3. If the food were more appealing this place would be a fine spot for informal get togethers with buddies thanks to the atmosphere.

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