Kalga Kafe

Portland, Oregon


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Since moving to Portland, this has been a bimonthly stop. I especially love their Pad Thai (though medium spicy ends up slightly mild). It runs at $12 but I always end up with leftovers. They have an excellent wine selection including organic. The only item on their menu I felt was slightly overpriced per portion received was the black bean burrito.

The atmosphere and music is incredibly soothing - and the waiters/chef have always been informative and gracious. Its great for a romantic dinner or an after work indulgence.

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F R E S C A ! ! ! That salad is worth more than just a short mention. It is simply the best salad in town. The falafel sandwich and phad thai are also yumbelievable ( did I just write yumbelievable? Kalga makes me say weird things ) The staff rocks! They rock almost as much as the samosas, though the samosas aren't as talkative. Eat it!

Yeah, go over to FOOD FIGHT first ( they close earlier than Kalga does ) and get some Uncle Eddie's vegan cookies and a bumper sticker. The bumper stickers are FUNBELIEVABLE!! hehehehehehehehehehehehe

Image for Ramona

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Kalga is located in a beautiful space; the wall towards the street is curved and full of big, spacious windows. The place is nicely decorated inside too, with copper colors, interesting paintings and candle lights. I was impressed with the atmosphere; it seemed a bit too fancy for me, but a great place to go out for dinner with certain other people (parents, colleagues, or a date).

But I was not super impressed with the food. It was ok or good, but not great; not great enough for the price anyway. It was somewhat expensive for me ($10-12/dish) and all the dishes I tried (three - Asian stir fry, a Thai dish, and an Indian dish) were very small for the price paid and they were mostly rice (that's the part that made the meal substance). They also had some normal veggies (e.g. carrots) or tofu; nothing that would, in my opinion, justify the price. The service was pretty bad when I was there (our server seemed absent minded and a bit cranky), but I've only been there once.

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I liked this place a lot. Everything was vegetarian, and most things could be made vegan. My husband got a yummy Indian dish, though he ordered it too spicy (so watch out!). I was totally sold on the vegan pizza. SO GOOD. And the cheese was melted! Amazing!

We stopped by here while on vacation, and we liked it so much we returned the next night. Definitely worth a visit.

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Kalga Kafe is one of those places doesn't fit neatly into any one category. Its both a great place for a meal and late night hang out. Grab a glass of wine or beer or have a big meal. It's one of the better veggie Indian places in town but it's also known for its veggie or vegan pizza and burritos.

The menu has everything from Thai, Mexican, Italian and India and everything we tried was really good. On the Indian side the Thali - traditional India dinner, was fantastic. I ordered it medium-hot and it had a great kick while still having full flavor. My wife ordered the Dal which was also very good. We brought our kids who split a personal size pizza and they both gobbled it up. I grabbed a bite of the pizza and it's that great New York style thin crust with really tangy and flavorful cheese.

Also Kalga doesn't scream 'VEGETARIAN', the menu has so many choices from so many regions and almost all of them aren't tofu or meat alternative based. It's the kind of place you can bring your meat eating friends and with all the great choices (including good wines and teas) they probably will overlook the fact that there's no meat on the menu.

After you eat at Kalga, be sure to venture next door to OTSU which is a neat little vegan clothing store and Food Fight! a tiny vegan grocery store that's fun to check out.

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