After seeing the reviews here on HappyCow, we decided to try this place, and found it easy enough down an empty side street. The interior is lovely if you are into buddhist paraphernalia; with all the random junk thrown around it is as if you walked straight into the living room of the head priest of some obscure local sect. The staff ignored us until we sat down at the counter in front of them. Then they asked us about egg and dairy and showed us the vegan menu, which turned out to be a pathetic joke: both English and Japanese versions were literally photocopies of the lacto-ovo vegetarian menu, with the non-vegan parts taped over or simply crossed out with a marker. Despite making a huge fuss about their vegan options, nothing was apparently replaced or reconsidered for vegan customers. What do you get when you subtract egg from an omelet? Ketchup, apparently, which is what the owners of Ashura tried to sell us for the same price as their ovo-vegetarian omelet.
We settled for the curry, which was ok but nothing more, and neither spicy nor sweet. One of us made the mistake of paying extra for the fried gluten meat option, which turned out to be half a dozen cold chunks of non-seasoned gluten patty thrown on the plate, drenched in oil and hardly edible. Ordering the salad was our next mistake: it came more than twenty minutes after anything else we'd ordered, and looked like someone had just bought it in a convenience store and thrown away the free dressing. All we got was a salt shaker.
The samosa was an insult: a scrap of already-deep fried tofu stuffed with samosa dough, closed with a toothpick and badly fried again. Croquettes, served with plain soy sauce, were very bland but forgivable considering the rest of the menu.
Others may have had better experiences and perhaps we were just unlucky. But considering the hostility of the staff, their complete lack of cooking skills and the insulting vegan "menu", I hope that anyone in need of a vegan meal in Nara stays away from Ashura in favor of a better option.
Cons: Awful food, Fake vegan options, Ignorant staff