Reviews written by inah

Registered on Mar 24 03

Millennium in East Bay, California
Sep 3 04

rating star

We had high hopes for Millennium. Apparently, they were too high.

First off, if you are supposed to be a premiere restaurant, your service had better be that way. Our server failed to inform us of any specials, and we had to ask about the available soups. We had to pour our own water and wine, at least three times.

The starters were nothing special. A corn chowder and a caesar salad. It existed, and tasted like peppered (wow! fresh cracked pepper, how avant garde!) romaine leaves and corn in water. Yes, I am being sarcastic and honest at the same time.

I had a promising gratin that came with a wilted salad. I had to pick out yellowed and slimy leaves, not my definition of a wilted salad. The side of artfully stacked steak fries were good, with an aioli sauce.

The chocolate decadence was ok. It may be the pinnacle of vegan desserts in the Bay Area. If so, I will never become vegan.

Compared to Counter (in NYC), Millennium comes off like Perkins. You will not find greatness here. Just attractive people sitting around in a hotel restaurant, playing hipster.

Greens Restaurant in San Francisco, California
Sep 2 04

rating star

They are 25 years old. The view is exceptional on a clear day. You see the yachts bobbing on the water, framed by the bay and the Golden Gate Bridge.

If you eat nothing but the appetizers, you will be amazed. They had a gorgeous heirloom tomato salad and corn chowder (vegan if they left out the creme fraiche). Those were 10s. The bread, from Acme, was impeccable. The butter was amazingly sweet. Also, I greatly enjoyed their herbal tea.

Unfortunately, the rest of the meal was not as great. The entrees were on the bland side. Vegetable brochettes with pumkpkin basmati rice was pleasant, but nothing special (a Vegan item). The spinach fettucine (egg based) was surprisingly bland. I am very salt averse, and enjoy delicate flavors, but I badly wanted salt in this case.

Dessert was a disaster. I had a chocolate pavlova. The meringue tasted of RAW egg whites, and was drowned in a sickeningly sweet pool of raspberry sauce. Inedible except for the chocolate sorbet.

(For Minnesotans, this is what Good Earth in Roseville/Eden Prairie tries to be, and falls far short)

Cafe *** Peace in Kyoto, Japan
Jan 21 05

rating star

The gyoza (potsticker dumplings) were plump and truly flavorful, with a dipping sauce of infused soy sauce.

They had sweet and sour vegan pork that was incredible. It was excellent, a translucent amber sauce filled with fresh seasonal fruits (musk melons) and juicy. The ginger ale was lovely, with a mild bite to it.

SyouzanKaku in Kyoto, Japan
Feb 9 05

rating star

Kyoto is known for it's vegetables and tofu. These were beautiful, treated with love, care, and respect.

This was a 5 course meal, prix fixe, for 4400 Yen a head in the Eat Paradise of the JR Isetan in the Kyoto JR Station.

Kyoryori (Kyoto Cuisine) is extremely seasonal, so the items will change. It took exactly 50 minutes to scarf down our meal in order to catch our train. The staff spoke some English.

Yes, it can be vegan, but again, beware the broths for soups. They gave us a fish based one and then immediately switched it when they realized they had made an error.

Other than that, we had: silken tofu, skewered vegetables steeped in kombu (kelp) broth, two kinds of miso for dipping said vegetables, agedashi tofu, and rice with pickles.

Finally, we had hot coffee, fruit, and a chocolate tofu pudding for dessert.

Yuba Sen in Kyoto, Japan
Jan 21 05

rating star

Fresh yuba is one of those things you must try for yourself.

Fresh yuba, yuba rice, yuba roll, fried yuba, and dried yuba! It was so creamy, it was amazing. The quality of their soy beans really stood out. The only things used in making yuba are: water, soy beans, and kelp (a thickening agent).

Textures ranged from creamy, smooth, chewy, to unbelievably complex. This place uses fish stock in their sauces, so please be very careful and come well armed with Japanese phrases.

Evergreen Chinese Restaurant in Twin Cities, Minnesota
Mar 23 03

rating star

Extremely clean restaurant with shining floors. I personally have a thing against carpet in restaurants, and here, I find no fault with their flooring of wood laminate.

Sincere service. They noticed I was putting ice in my cup of tea, and they brought over a cup full of only ice to the table without even asking. They had wonderful fresh soy milk. It was very soothing, slightly sweet, and just fantastic. Their sesame paste noodles are great! Not overly sweet, with the right ratio of noodles, bean sprouts, and scallions. It's addictive.

Great cheap place. Definitely worth going out of your way to find. It's one of those rare Chinese restaurants that will actually have Chinese people as patrons.

Good Earth in Twin Cities, Minnesota
Dec 14 03

rating star

This place is extremely inconsistent.

Sometimes, your black bean tostada will come nicely loaded with beans, good chunky salsa, guacamole, and romaine lettuce. Other times, it will be soggy beans and sad looking iceberg lettuce.

The juices are fine, but the breads and cookies are not very good. The place is pretty forgettable.

They have a lot of meat items, so it's baffling why this place gets voted "Best Vegeterian." It would be more accurate to call it para-vegetarian.

Grand Shanghai in Twin Cities, Minnesota
Mar 13 03

rating star

They have good dumplings, mock goose, and fresh greens.

An order of veggie dumplings is typically good for 2 people. The mock goose is very rich and very satisfying. It is black mushroom wrapped in crispy fried tofu skins. The texture is excellent, and doesn't have the fake plastic feel of a dish trying to be too much like meat. It is a very good dish, with a name that doesn't do it justic. This tastes way better than any "real goose."

Singapore! in Twin Cities, Minnesota
Mar 13 03

rating star

Fantastic place. It is a slower paced restaurant. Nice service.

I had the most amazing curry in the world here. It was a weekly special. I am one who does not like turmeric or curry, but this curry had me raving. I'm surprised a fight didn't break out at the table over the last scrapings of curry. I resorted to cleaning up the bowl of curry with a spoonful of beautiful jasmine rice (perfectly cooked) to get every bit of it eaten.

Udupi Cafe in Twin Cities, Minnesota
Dec 14 03

rating star

Remember, this is a personal review!

The only thing I can eat without getting ill is the mango lassi. Yes, it is sad. Even the biryani gives me problems.

Typically, I have an iron gut, but my kryptonite is grease. I find Udupi to be very oily. You're forewarned.

Village Wok in Twin Cities, Minnesota
Apr 17 04

rating star

I call it the village roach. And I will rather eat out of a dumpster before going here.

Please don't get me wrong, I enjoy ghetto Chinese, and grew up with it. I love heap rice fried with disturbingly uniformly cubed vegetables, things doused in unnaturally red sweet and sour sauce, and that light orange batter that deep fries everything beyond recognition. Yet somehow, they make it very badly.

Please go to Hong Kong Noodle, just a few blocks away. You will do everyone a favor.

Angelica Kitchen in Manhattan, New York City
Mar 27 03

rating star

I have been here 3 times and have never been really wowed. The first time they had a great vegan udon special that was good (not great).

The subsequent times, it got worse. I ordered from all over the menu, and nothing was particularly yummy. They had a bizarre lasagna that was a mushy nightmare. To me, it seems like the quality has slipped. Since they are so venerated, I will give them one more try next month and update my verdict.

Better Burger - Murray Hill in Manhattan, New York City
Jun 22 06

rating star

Avoid the fries. They are baked, which makes them worthless in my book. F&B had much much better fries. The fake meatloaf dinner is good, as are their salads. The breads are dense and too oily. It is a nice, cheaper place to eat.

This place does a solid job on take out and delivery. There isn't too much of a space to sit down, but it's good for a quick bite on this side of town. It is next door to Josies, an extremely image conscious restaurant, that also owns the Better Burger chain. They bake their buns, and attempt to stay organic and avoid preservatives.

Blossom in Manhattan, New York City
Sep 25 06

rating star

Solid vegan food, but for some reason, it wasn't as exciting to me as Counter.

Enjoyed the Seitan Medallion, but found porcini in another dish to be AWOL in all but a few paper thin slices.

Came away full, but not blissed out. Desserts were solid, but some simply failed due to gritty "ice creams."

Service was attentive without being overbearing, but our table wobbled. It was kind of ridiculous that such a thing could occur in a "gourmet" restaurant. Anyway, Chelsea is off my beaten path. I wouldn't seek this place out, unless I happened to be in the area.

Brick Lane Curry House in Manhattan, New York City
Dec 14 03

rating star

An Indian restaurant that doesn't need to be told to ratchet up the heat. Some fellow diners looked like it was a bit too hot.

Had the Goa Curry, which was excellent, and rated a medium spiciness level. It made me glad to have a mango lassi (very yogurty, not over sweet, nicely done).

You do not end up drowning in food, so big eaters should "upgrade" their items to entree. The service was fine, and spoke good English (this stands out on this street...).

Chennai Garden in Manhattan, New York City
Mar 28 04

rating star

I like their dosas. Vegetarians, I highly recommend their butter masala dosa. It is so crispy and light! You will understand when you rip into it. Let me correct myself, I love their dosas.

Even the rice was fantastic. Light, fluffy, and delicately saffroned. You can tell at lot of love went into this place, with bold decor, clean tabletops, and careful attention to detail. The service can be fantastic to ok, depending on who's working that night.

Chikalicious in Manhattan, New York City
Feb 28 04

rating star

This is a place for girls, gay men, and the people who love them. It serves phenomenal desserts that changes with the seasons and moods of the classically trained chefs. Yes, they ONLY serve dessert. It is 7 months now. I am finally admitting to have been there more than 3 times.

They have a counter, surrounding the kitchen area where you can see the meticulous preparations. They also have 4 small tables. They make their own sorbets, fruit soups, gelatins, marshmallows, you-get-the-idea. The chefs are classically trained in the French manner, so there are a lot of quenelles involved here. Service is great, since 3 of the 4 workers are owners in this place.

The latest three course was: lemon sorbet in pineapple gelatin, panna cotta w/pineapple sorbet in champagne, and petit fours consisting of a white chocolate chip cookie, coconut covered marshamallow, and banana bread. This was washed down with strawberry green tea.

Cho Dang Gol in Manhattan, New York City
Jul 11 03

rating star

Best Gop Dol Bim Bim Bap. That is sizzling stone bowl with rice, mixed vegetables, and hot sauce. They are the only Korean restaurant that does it correctly. The bowl is VERY hot, so be careful. I am guessing that other restaurants just use the bowl for presentation, and do not heat it up to the correct temperature for fear of burning patrons.

You add spicy red paste to taste. Then you mix it up, and eat it. Just gently stir it around, and the rice will not burn. Some of it will stick to the bowl, but leave it alone. You will get a lovely, crunchy crackly brown layer of rice you can chip off and eat at the bottom of your bowl. Specify you want it without meat and/or egg.

Also excellent is the Ya Chae Cham Doo Boo, a tofu and vegetable casserole. It is perfectly vegan. It is filled with a beautiful, daily made tofu. It is not like any tofu you've had before. It is creamy, rich, and almost like ricotta/custard.

Be careful with the Ban Chan (the little side dishes that come traditionally with every Korean meal). Make it clear what you can and cannot eat at the beginning and you will have no problems. We've never had a mistake made at this place. We've gotten exactly what we've ordered every time.

Check the daily specials. They currently have a cold noodle in bean and spinach soup that's absolutely wonderful. It is vegan, and is a spinach soy milk soup spiked with pine nuts and served with sesame salt so you can season to taste.

They also make their own makkuli! This is a very peasant style alcoholic drink, that comes with it's dregs. They also have some other Korean liquors, like Chung Ha (very easy to drink Korean Sake), and about 6 types of Soju.

Lunch or dinner, this place is excellent and consistent. You can get away with paying $7 for lunch specials, and you get a good amount of food (not overwhelming). Do not miss this place. I eat here at least once a week.

Counter in Manhattan, New York City
Nov 13 04

rating star

Swanky vegan restaurant and wine bar. They have a wide selection of organic wines and beers, and do indicate which contain honey. They also have wine tasting menus, serving organic/biodynamic wines. On Tuesday nights, they have a three course raw food tasting menu for $35, with optional win pairing for $18.

The place is wheel chair accessible, very clean, and pretty laid back for it's price range. Dinners range from $7-$10 for appetizers, $11-$16 for entrees. Desserts were about $7. They have a Weekend Brunch from 11-4 that we still have not tried yet. Must try to get there.

They also have a selection of vegan wines (processed without animal products). We just tried their raw prix fixe, and it was really good. I was skeptical, but I've been converted. Their raw nut creams are simply incredible. And their dessert items of coconut custard (raw) and their chocolate tart are fabulous.

PLEASE MAKE SURE TO MAKE RESERVATIONS ON WEEKENDS. Otherwise, you will be made to feel like a second class citizen. Also, it is not quiet, and it is NOT recommended as a romantic setting. I just sat next to a screaming baby for an hour during dinner. Not particularly enjoyable.

Frites & Beignettes in Manhattan, New York City
Mar 31 04

rating star

Really yummy frites. Buns are nice, but the dogs are not filling. Everything is fried fresh in vegetable oil. Get the pommes frites.

It is a little expensive, but it is cheap for Chelsea.

Skip the fruit based beignets. They were hard, crusty, and too oily. My hopes were dashed when I bit into one. I have been to the mecca of beignets, Cafe du Monde. It broke my heart.

Hangawi in Manhattan, New York City
Jul 11 03

rating star

This place has been around a few years, and it's still very good. Consistency is typically the bane of good restaurants, but this place has managed to keep up their good work. Quality is good, and the seasonal specialties are good. This past winter, there was a squash noodle soup (hobak kalkuksoo) that was to die for. Also, their sweet & sour mushroom (busut tangsooyuk) has always been impeccable the last 4 times we've been there.

They have a great tea selection, and do serve the more esoteric Korean liquors. They are imported, and rarely seen outside of traditional Korean restaurants. They even had makkuli, which is more of a country/rural alcoholic beverage.

The place has an irritating faux Zen atmosphere that keeps most Koreans away (mainly the music & weird uniforms). It is very expensive, and lunch is not that much cheaper than dinner. The service is mediocre for a place that charges as much as it does.

Take out lunch menu is now available for 2003. Prices are cheaper. All entrees are under $10 (which means $9.99 before tax!). Note that you must come pick it up OR they deliver within a 5 block radius.

I've taken Hangawi down to 8 because I think they have become too much of a rip off. They nickel and dime you, and even charge for a bowl of rice. This is unheard of in Korean restaurants. I believe they started their take out lunch menu because they are not getting a lot of customers at lunch. At lunch time, they are very, very dead. It has become a tourist destination, and they are only busy during dinner time. I will go there on very special occassions, maybe once or twice a year from now on. In my opinion, there are better places for less than half the cost of Hangawi.

Rungsit Thai Restaurant in Manhattan, New York City
Nov 28 07

rating star

I love this place. They deserve more business than they're getting. Here is what we typically order:

Ka Ree Puff Appetizer, deep fried crispy puff pastries filled with gently spiced potatoes
Vegetarian Duck, with Chili and Basil. The mock duck is stir fried, caramelized, and crunchy. It's in a realm of yumminess that requires you to eat it at the restaurant, do NOT get this as takeout.
Pad Kee Maow, with choice of one: veggie, tofu, and other options.

Spicy levels can vary, but they tend to play it safe here if you're not Asian. Be very careful if you order spicy, you may get Thai level spicy, and pay for it dearly.

Tibetan Kitchen in Manhattan, New York City
Sep 25 06

rating star

ARGH! They expanded their space and they taste terrible now! I can sense that nothing is handmade anymore. I've left my old review below, in the hopes that they will return.

I no longer order the Then Thook. The dumplings have become thin, and are obviously cut by a knife, not pulled off by hand. The broth has become flavorless, and some of the vegetables have decreased in quantity and quality. Too bad, but they're off my list of neighborhood eats.

OLD REVIEW, was given a 7---

I always get the vegetable then thook when I feel sick. It is the best comfort food. Also, get the steamed "ting mo" bread if possible. It is rolled bread, and good with the soup. The food comes out of the kitchen on the bland side. I recommend spicing it up with the chili oil and soy sauce on the tables.

For those familiar with Korean, then thook is like sujaebi, hand rolled dumplings (not filled, just dough blobs) in broth.

Vatan in Manhattan, New York City
Aug 25 04

rating star

Indian cuisine done in three courses (for dinner).

The quantity is a bit overwhelming. I would recommend fasting for at least one day. Also, if you are not starving, avoid the lassis. They are thick, rich, and a meal in and of itself. Vatan is 100% vegetarian, but had a lot of yogurt based dishes.

It is not a buffet, it is an all you can eat "thali" type of affair. Servers will ask if you want more food, and will bring it to you (point and ask, if all else fails).

Their samosas were impeccable, small mouth sized triangles of crispiness, greaseless papadum, and great masala chai.

Vegetarian Dim Sum House in Manhattan, New York City
Feb 15 04

rating star

It's addictive. Turnip cakes (fried or steamed!), Half Moon Pockets, Sesame Paste Buns (got them steamed, and they were uber rich) and Vegetarian Mock Roast Pork Buns. Also enjoy rice rolls with Kale. We go here once a week. Extremely inexpensive: you could eat to bursting on only dimsum for under $7 a person.

Stick to the tea and canned drinks. They do have fresh juices, with caveats. I once got the pineapple ice water, which was laughably enough, a few chunks of canned pineapple in a cup of ice water! Mango juice had too much fibrous pulp in it, making it unpleasant to drink.

The clientele is very mixed these days. You will see students, chinese families, and buddhist monks all chowing on dim sum. The food's gotten better and better! The last two times, we have had to wait for a table. This has never happened before. Despite the popularity, the food is still good. They are proving to be very consistent.

For those wondering, this place was highly recommended by Jeff Steingarten (food writer) in his book "It Must've Been Something I Ate" for having the world's best turnip cakes.

Cafe Arirang in Eugene, Oregon
Aug 31 09

rating star

They have "dolsot bibimbap" which is a pile of rice and veggies that comes in a sizzling hot stone bowl. You mix this up with "gochujang," a spicy pepper paste, and then squish the rice down to get the rice to crisp and caramelize in the bowl. Very well done!

Veg*ns should specify no egg or meat.

Sanchon in Seoul, South Korea
Feb 22 07

rating star

Excellent. Grilled the owner, and the entire place is free of any anchovy broth, meat, and dairy.

Come hungry, because the wave after wave of food automatically sent to the table will be a little intimidating.

Lunch on a Saturday was pleasant, and we had no trouble getting in as a walk-in. There is a specific order to how the dishes are to be eaten. The waitresses will urge you to eat them in the most healthful and delicious order and combination. The first items are typically a porridge and a mulkimchi (white turnips in a cold salty broth) that are supposed to be eaten together.

The dessert was fantastic: light, grease-less fried rice puffs. They were almost as good as my grandmother's.

Araya's Vegetarian Place in Seattle, Washington
Jul 21 08

rating star

Food was mediocre. Service was ok.

The spiciness levels were problematic. They simply added heat without adjusting for the flavor when asked for a level 5. Sure it was spicy, but it wasn't tasty. I found vegetable pancakes were overly greasy, but do tend to be sensitive towards oily foods.

Bamiyan in Seattle, Washington
Mar 1 09

rating star

There is great care taken in their preparation. They have two menus: one Afghani and one Persian.

I always have a house tea (a spiced black tea) and start with their Quruti (a flatbread with a yogurt-garlic sauce, walnuts, and olive oil) or their Bolani (fried pockets of phyllo dough filed with potatoes and herbs).

The Ashak (thicker dumplings) are very tasty as well. Haven't gone wrong with their Bamiyan Plate either.

For dessert, can't go wrong with their house ice cream and some Turkish style coffee: strong, dark, and sweet.

Mmmm-mmm good.

Udupi Palace in Seattle, Washington
Aug 31 09

rating star

We went here for dosais. Was sorely disappointed. The batter must have been old, since the dosai tasted tough and a little sour. Prices were fair, but the place felt sticky and service was slow.

Ratings Without Reviews