Posted on 09 / 03 / 2011
Ahhh, to walk into a restaurant with people you love and know that you will be able to enjoy the meal without having to worry about, "What's on the menu?" That is bliss. I didn't have to scan the menu to find the items with the V = vegetarian before entering to determine if there would be enough for me to justify sitting down. Even with only 2 items on the menu being listed at vegetarian... the rest were VEGAN!
My family ordered and shared the Braised Tofu in Black Bean Sauce over Asian Kale which very clearly resembles Zen Palette's popular Sesame Medallions that are served of large florets of steamed broccoli. Both come with rice but Gobo's is more than just a nutty brown rice with a few ingredients for texture and color as well as being served in a banana leaf cone. The little touches in presentation and flavor shows Gobo's execution of an almost identical dish as superior.
A meal I would frequently order at Zen Palette on Union Square is what Gobo has on their menu as Slow-cooked Malaysian Curry. A mild yellow curry with wheat gluten and root vegetables that have become so acquainted with each other that they are soft, relaxed and a real comfort food.
Other exciting things we tried included the Pine Nut vegetable Medley with Lettuce Wraps, Five Spice Tofu Rolls with Mango Puree, Organic White Bean, Root Vegetable & Pumpkin Soup, and Seitan Skewers with Green Mustard Sauce. Each were presented beautifully and well thought out as taste sensations on their own.
As a Pennsyltucky vegetarian, I was brought up in a time and area where haute Asian cuisine was more along the lines of opening a can of La Choy Fancy Mixed Chinese Vegetables and putting it over a bag of Chow Mein Noodles. Don't get me wrong, I have fond memories of that but it doesn't mean that a visit to Gobo is so far away from my roots that I can't appreciate everything it is. It offers soul satisfying flavor and a vegetarian experience that is one of the best I have ever had. The menu can please a brought range of desires with it's homemade veggie burger sliders to organic king oyster mushrooms in sizzling basil black bean sauce and everything in between. You would have to be a vegetarian curmudgeon not to love this place.
My whole review can be seen here: http://wp.me/p1GQWj-kP
wide selection, wonderful presentation, perfect flavor pairings