All Reviews by FinalTwilight
319 W Main St Ste 4, Lansdale, USA
A MUST visit if Raw
Arnold himself is reason enough to visit this place. That man is crazy. Crazy awesome ;) He's got youtube videos you can look up to see what you're getting yourself into. He's very, very, very into raw and can talk to you all day about it.
The Banana Whips are also a must, assuming you like bananas. Very awesome raw treat. Probably my favorite thing there.
Cute little place, has lots of neat things to buy other than food, and the dehydrated fruit-nut leather things are quite good, if not a bit pricey, but I like to think the money goes to a good cause :)
The entrees and actual food you can order here are all quite good. I've probably had everything they serve at least once, and I like it all. It's been about a year since I've been, though, so I can't remember what I'd suggest, but I remember feeling that for the amount of food you get and how good it is, the price was quite fair- even thought it was rather cheap.
I've eaten at at least 6 other raw places in the country, including many of the so-called posh raw restaurants in LA (Juliano's), and this place serves better food. And that's not saying anything about how awesome a place this is besides- very dedicated to raw veganism. And there's Arnold :) If you're ever in the area, I really don't think this place can be missed if you're a raw foodist.
16563 Brookhurst St, Fountain Valley, USA
The Best Raw Food Around
I've been raw a number of years and eaten at raw places around the country- I think I count at least 7 now- and this is probably the best raw food I've had.
Absolutely everything surprised me. For instance, I ordered the garlic bread (chimchurri), expecting some flax cracker-type thing to come out, and was absolutely amazed at these two spongy, bread-like pieces of food that came out that were DELICIOUS. How Chef Ito makes them is beyond me, but i've never seen it's raw like. Then my dining partner ordered the norrito wrap and said I should try some, but in the past any nori-wrapped raw concoction I've always found pretty gross, so I didn't try it until the end. I had some of his vegetables, and WOW! The raw sauce, with the mix of vegetables in that wrap is so amazing... bean sprouts, avocado, whole lettuce leaves, cilantro, among other ingredients- very unusual combination of ingredients, but very, very good. The sauce really made it. Yuuuuum. I got the BBQ Chicken Pizza and was surprised at the presentation when it came out- huuuuuge bowl, little tiny circle of "pizza" in the middle. But holy god, just to taste that... absolutely amazing... I've never had anything so good :P And the portion, though it looked small, was surprisingly filling. All the food up to this point was just astounding... I never knew raw could be that good.
Then dessert. Again I expected when we ordered a slice of raw pie (chocolate mint or something), I was expecting something like what you can find in Whole Foods, just a normal raw dessert thing. Wrong again. It was 3-layered pie, with the bottom layer being similar to chocolate cookie crumbs, the middle layer being maybe coconut creme with mint, and the top layer being like chocolate fudge. Frozen, so it's like ice cream cake. And the taste? Heavenly :P I was blown away, it was so good... unbelievable that it was raw. Again, never seen another raw place do what Chef Ito can do. And then I think they gave us another raw dessert compliments of the chef- the chocolate candies with butterscotch flavor. Little, unassuming candies, but once again, the flavor was just out of this world. I was astounded over and over again by this place, I highly, highly, highly suggest it for raw foodies.
Oh, and really neat drink menu too, that I didn't get to.
501 Main St Ste E, Huntington Beach, USA
I haven't been here very much, so keep that in mind. I've had the spring rolls appetizer, the spicy chicken baguette sandwich, and--i forget the exact name-- but some grilled fish wraps that's like $15 or something, a big dish i split with someone else. Oh, also the pineapple smoothie with boba :) And that drink has whipped cream on it that is the best vegan whipped cream I've ever had. So, those things are all really, really good. Like, really good. I've had part of some pork dish that wasn't that good-- I think most vegan dishes are better with "chicken," seems the easiest to pull off. Though those grilled fish wraps here are REALLY good too.
So, I think there's probably a number of things here that aren't super good, but the items I listed above are definitely good and worthwhile. Oh, and cheap :) The sandwhich is like $5.50, and it's quite enough food, I think. And you can split those grilled fish wraps with someone so that's like $7.50. Really, really good food for the price.
As for the place itself, the restaurant is nothing that special, just kind of a room with some tables, but the whole front of it is windows, so at least there's a lot of light. And it's in downtown Huntington Beach, right by the pier, so you can go be social outside on weekends or walk to the beach/pier. Pretty nice location for a little vegan place.
Though, some of the drinks in the drinks case are not completely vegan, so... I'm not 100% sure if they're more on top of that as far as cooking ingredients go. I have not inquired.
2981 Bristol St Ste B5, Costa Mesa, USA
I'm glad raw places are catching on- I've been raw a few years and recently have had the opportunity to eat at a number of raw cafes and restaurants around the country. This is one of my least favorite.
Let me start by listing its positives. The raw drink menu is pretty good, and the desserts are quite good- I suggest the apple pie.
Everything else is a negative. It's too pricey for what you get. EVERY entree I tried- and I tried, the New Mexico Nachos, Spinach Mushroom Crepes, Basil Pasta, Pizza.. probably another dish or two I'm forgetting, but they were ALL terrible. Everything tastes the same- they use flax/coconut crackers or wraps for everything, which might be okay if it had flavor, but it has none. The basil pasta was basically zucchini strips doused in oil... the tiny spot of nut cheese they give you with it is good, but the pasta made me feel sick it was so oily. Same with the pizza- basically a crust with greens doused in oil, again little flavor... so, so gross. The nachos were soggy and also flavorless. Ugh, everything here tastes so bland and boring and often made me sick. There are much better places in the area to get raw food, I do not suggest this place. Try Au Lac.
394 N Watkins St, Memphis, USA
We had falafel and a hummus plate here, and each (two of us) got a vegan smoothie (have to ask for dairy-free). It was all good. I liked the authenticness of the greek food.. I mean, greek people are making it and bring it out to you. It's pretty cool. The little bit of food we tried was all very good... probably the best falafel I've ever had, too, as far as falafel goes.
609 Broadway Ave, Santa Monica, USA
Not too bad
This place is pretty chic- smallish portions for biggish prices. The food is not really all that good, either. I cannot suggest Au Lac strongly enough if you want delicious raw food :P But, this place is better than some (118 Degrees).
What's good? I had the Fat Cheez Melt which I think may be one of the best dishes. I was very happy with it. Has raw things one it that taste just like mayonnaise and ketchup. Tastes like a burger. I sampled the pasta fresco, and it wasn't that good, but I really don't like zucchini. The people I was eating with complained the salad was overdressed, but I liked it fine- not super delicious, but good. The dessert drinks, though, were -great-! The chocolate shake and the mocha shake were really, really good.
Most of the desserts aren't completely vegan, though, most of them have honey in them, and if you get the shakes you have to ask for agave instead of honey, because they normally put honey in things. So, not 100% vegan as it claims to be. A bit pricey, and the portions are a bit small. But, we sat next to Alanis when we went here, so I guess that counts for something :P
2301 Main St, Santa Monica, USA
I'd definitely go to this place over Juliano's. The prices and quantity are way better, and I think the food tastes better, too. I had the raw breakfast bagel, some spicy raw tacos, some cereal with almond milk, and many of their raw candies, and it was all pretty good. The taco "meat" patty thing was like a dehydrated nut pate thing which was too dry, but other than that it was good. The bagel was really good, though don't order if you don't like raw onions. The candies were good- Oh and their mint chocolate chip pie was really good, though they serve it room temp. If you took it home and froze it and then ate it, I bet it'd be a lot better- the consistency isn't quite right at room temp. But the flavor is good. The ambiance of this place is really nice, very chill, good place to relax. I still suggest this place over Juliano's.
2299 Young Ave, Memphis, USA
So, I went here with two other people, with high hopes. This place has been talked up on vegan blogs and people have generally been super excited about Memphis's first all-vegan locale. But, well, I found it wanting for a lot. Sadly. I really wanted this place to be awesome.
I'll start off by saying the food was at least decent. Nothing was horrible or made any of us want to stop eating or send things back. So, maybe that's something. And we each tried several things. We started off with the cheese sticks and dogs in a blanket apps, which were definitely the best part, ad those two items were very good. But then nothing else was anywhere near as good. I got the french dip, my friends got the mahi mahi and a grilled chicken sandwich. The sides we tried were the carrots, mac and cheese, and green beans. The sides were the worst in that they reminded us all so much of school cafeteria food... just really mushy, lukewarm, overcooked... ugh. I mean, again, not disgusting.. just like.. felt like we were eating reheated frozen tv dinner sides. The main courses left a lot to be desired... they were also just kinda mushy and not presented very well.. the sandwiches were just the bread and meat, you know... just not really impressive.
Then we had dessert, figuring dessert's pretty hard to mess up. And the dessert was more acceptable than the meal, I'd say. The chocolate ganache cake was actually really good. The cookies and cream cake was just okay... nothing special, but not bad. And we got a banana split, too, which had all the right ingredients, and I think with better presentation (and more banana) could have been a real winner, but it was just half a banana spliced in half covered in a mess of vanilla ice cream and some whip cream with some strawberry stuff plopped over that. It tasted okay, but like everything else, could have benefited a lot from effort on the presentation end.
So, all in all I was glad to support a vegan business. But I've been to many vegan eateries around the country, and this place hardly passed as acceptable.. I would not take non-vegans here unless they're very non-picky eaters who think cafeteria food/reheated tv dinners are lovely. But I do hope Imagine stays in business and maybe gets their shit together sooner than later.
2937 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, USA
One of the best vegan establishments anywhere
This place is fantastic, and of any Native Foods locations, this one is the best. I think chef Tanya favors this location, as she's there quite often and holds several events here, including vegan thanksgiving. The food is *spectacular*. The menu has recently been updated, so old reviews may not reflect how this place is now, and the location itself does make small changes all the time-- more and different staff, new items on the menu, etc. All the normal items on the menu are all good, one of my favorites is the Chicken Run Ranch burger.
However, here are the things here that are AMAZING, and you should get them if and when you can: sweet potato fries have recently been added to the menu, which are phenomenal. The seasoning really makes them-- some kind of combination of salt, cinnamon (I think), sugar, anise, and some other magic potion that makes these super uber delicious.
Then, there's a special sometimes, not often enough, of vegan chicken-fried steak with mashed potatoes and gravy, and oh.my.god. Never had I had anything so delicious. If you find yourself fortunate enough to stop by here when that special is being served, you are obligated to try it.
Other than that... everything is really good, although sometimes the burger buns seem super fresh and make a huge difference in the meal, and sometimes they seem not so fresh. But, really, the food here overall is just delicious, and of all the vegan options, this is definitely a top contender.
I haven't experienced rudeness from the staff, but I'm pretty laid back and wouldn't notice that a whole lot anyway. Anyway, I don't go there for service-- it's mostly self-serve, anyway, after you order. Food is brought out quickly and have I mentioned how good it is? :P
Oh, also, the location is really neat. The cafe is in a yurt, and it's in this hippie-ish complex with other neat stores and atmosphere around, so the whole experience is that much cooler.
As an aside, Wheel of Life in Irvine has much better cheesecake :P Also, Au Lac in Fountain Valley is another stellar place to go, though the cuisine is quite different.
51 N Cleveland St, Memphis, USA
The curry lemongrass tofu dish here is probably the best curry dish I've ever had anywhere, and I feel like that's saying a lot as I've eaten my share of curry. The staff here is on top of things, too... I just have nothing bad to say about this place. Delicious.
14370 Culver Dr Ste 2G, Irvine, USA
This Place is Pretty Cool
Firstly, this place is cool because it's owned by a medical doctor who opened a vegan restaurant because he thought being a doctor wasn't helping *enough* people, and that offering people vegan food would help a lot more.
Secondly, have no worries that this place is definitely 100% vegan, you just don't ever need to worry about whey or rennet anywhere.
And now, the food :) Well, there's a lot to choose from... almost too much :P The fake meat here is all pretty good, and one of my favorite dishes is the silver noodles (Pad-woon-sen I think) and I get it with fake shrimp. The flavor is really good. However... everything here is pretty greasy. Which is fine once in a while, but I can't eat here that often because of that. It's absolutely great if you're craving some junky asian food. If you want to be a little healthier, they have some fresh stuff and veggie soups that I honestly haven't tried much of-- I've had their fresh spring rolls and vegetable soup, both of which were good (spring rolls quite so), though I don't get why the fresh spring rolls are more expensive than the cooked ones :/
Their deserts are really, really good, too. Their fried banana spring rolls with coconut ice cream is so good... I've never had coconut ice cream that good, so much coconut flavor, and the ice cream has a really neat texture, like little ice crystals in your mouth. Put some ice cream on the warm banana rolls for a hot-cold combination that's pretty fun.
And also their cheesecake here is absolutely THE best vegan cheesecake I've ever had, must try it if you're a fan of cheesecake, or were, as the case may be :)
And they can put boba in any drink you like-- I've gotten it with the young coconut meat drink and the pineapple drink, both of which with it goes really well.
So, if you're vegan, this place is pretty worth going to every once in a while, or more if you can handle the grease. And if you want to take non-vegan people to a vegan place, this is a good place to go as well. Also try Au Lac in Fountain Valley of the Native Foods Costa Mesa location.
4595 Bryan Station Rd, Lexington, USA
This place was better than expected, though my expectations were a little low/skewed, thinking this place being in Kentucky would be all about fried food and meat. They only really have like two vegan things on the menu: the tofu po boy and the superfood salad, and you have to get the po boy without the special sauce bc it has mayonnaise in it. But those two items are actually really good, and the grain salad you can get as a side with the sandwich is also really good- tastes like stuffing. So, pretty good place, I'd come here again. There are quite a few flies outside though, I guess bc of the horses.