All Reviews by spiceislandvegan
8851 Garden Grove Blvd, Ste 115, Garden Grove, USA
Traditional Vegetarian Buddhist Vietnamese
30 Mar 2013
The first time I visited this restaurant, I brought my vegan Vietnamese friend to translate the menu for me. My friend talked to the chef of the restaurant. It's a good thing because of the language barrier. I was told that although the menu says 'eggs', there are no eggs in the dish. Due to language barrier, they don't know how to translate items on the menu from Vietnamese to English. We were also told that they are making new menu.
The chef is a Buddhist nun and when we were there for lunch we (with my Vietnamese friend) were served by nun and monks. We were told that the restaurant does not use MSG or processed sugar. There are no animal products in the dishes. Although they use milk in the coffee drinks.
Location: It's in the New Seoul Plaza in Garden Grove. It is next to a big Korean BBQ place for crying out loud. Parking maybe crowded so I don't know what to do if I can't find a parking spot. Maybe park at the shopping center next door to it.
Food: OMG! This is the best Vegetarian Vietnamese! The second time I visited, I brought my husband and he said that he had the best BBQ vermicelli dish in this restaurant. I had the Smoked Duck Noodle Soup. So yummy! I like the hot tea since it tastes a bit sweet, like it has a flower or something in it.
Price: Reasonable since portion is big. My husband could not finish his BBQ vermicelli.
Service: Very good! The first time I was there, we were served by monks. They were very polite and friendly. The second time, a young guy served us and he can speak English so it was great. All in all, they provide a great and friendly service.
Atmosphere: On the outside, parking lot is crowded and a lot of people come and go to the Korean restaurant. However, once inside, it is peaceful and tranquil. There is a wall of water or a fountain that provides a peaceful sound. The music is also calming all the nerves of fighting for a parking spot outside.
We came back again the following week and this time there were a lot of parking spots. I think Friday night is better than Saturday night. Maybe Sunday is even better with the parking situation.
Food is so delicious. It is our little secret place and not too many people know about it yet.
My husband ordered broken rice. I ordered 'fish' noodle soup.
Service is always excellent. Workers are so humble.
621 W Main St, Alhambra, USA
Delicious and Good Price Vegan Dishes
12 Apr 2009
I finally visited this place. I brought my mom who is NOT a vegetarian. Our experience was mostly all positive. We ordered Spicy Mambo (fried mushrooms) that was very delicious. The texture of each nugget was like a scallop but it was actually a mushroom. The price of this dish is not low but considering the kind of mushrooms they use, I think it is reasonable. We were addicted to this dish and ate them all up. We asked for spicier dishes since my mom loves spicy food. The other dishes are cheaper. We ordered Bliss Chow Mien and I just love the taste of this fried noodle. My mom said that the fake meat in the noodle was good. We also ordered Eggplant Tofu (asked for spicier) and my mom just ate that with a gusto. I love to see her eating so much in a vegan restaurant. It's rare that she likes a vegetarian restaurant. Bravo to the chef! If she likes it then this restaurant passed the test to satisfy vegans or non-vegans alike.
I took Guru's Curry and vegan carrot cake home. The taste of the cake was good but I agree that it's kind of doughy or gummy.
The restaurant is CLEAN (restroom is clean), bright, and open. The atmosphere is very good. It's definitely the cleanest Asian restaurant we go to.
I will definitely go back again. Next time, I'll order the spicy cha cha.
10408 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, USA
30 May 2011
I thought it is the best tasting North Indian vegetarian cuisine. I usually eat South Indian because lots of vegetarian dishes available and lots of spices but this chef has created dishes for only veg and vegans. I gave him 2 thumbs up since usually North Indian includes meat dishes in their warm buffet. He is able to provide about 20 for vegetarians and vegans. Yay! We should not be complaining!
It was hard to choose so I chose the jackfruit perwoshari (or something like that), the soy fish and soy chicken dishes. They are delicious. I chose whole wheat roti which was excellent. My husband had the garlic naan and he thinks it was too thick. He had the black garbanzo dish and some other legume dishes which were also good.
There was also a 'salsa' station like in Baja Fresh (a small one). What was called salsa is actually sliced onions with different spices. We tried that and they were GREAT condiments.
The dishes here are NOT HOT. They have complex flavors and lots of spices but they are not hot to burn your mouth. They are quiet enjoyable and very flavorful!
The Chef is a systematic and methodical guy. He showed us how to arrange our trays on our table, where to put our salsa, etc. He meant well though and maybe some people took that the wrong way. He even showed his worker how to dip the curry from the warming table. I think he is just that kind of guy who wants everything done right. We weren't offended.
The place is clean but too small. We saw a South Indian restaurant next door that is bigger. I wonder why he didn't pick that location or maybe that restaurant was there first. I think this restaurant is going to do well since it was crowded with people coming in and out to dine in or to take food-to-go.
Unfortunately, it is too far for us to dine here often. We also took food to go and was suggested to get the Grilled Jalapeno dish by a customer.
We will definitely be back when we are in the area.
BTW, the combo dinner price is now $9 which is not bad considering the area.
6634 S Lewis Ave, Tulsa, USA
It is as a good as everyone says in the reviews!
30 Dec 2009
We drove to Missouri from California and faced snow and sleet blizzards in Oklahoma. After driving for hours in bad weather, visiting this restaurant was a gem. The food was so good that we stayed long and relaxed. I had the noodle soup and husband had the Vietnamese Vermicelli. Then, we finished with vegan chocolate marble cake and vanilla soy ice cream and lots of jasmine hot tea. Of course, we ordered food to go for dinner. After the meal, we feel that we can take on anything snow or sleet.
On our way back to California, weather was better, but we stopped anyway. Husband ordered mongolian mock beef and I ordered sweet and sour mock chicken. Again, we ordered special lomein and mock fish with ginger sauce for dinner in the motel room. It was great for travelers. They also have tofu dishes and not all mock meats. They have lots of vegan choices. Oh, their fried wontons appetizer is so good we ate 2 orders. Good food, reasonable prices, and in the middle of Oklahoma, you got to be kidding!
930 S Robertson Ave, Los Angeles, USA
Healthy and Delicious
20 Jan 2013
I've been hearing about this place and saw it in fb right before they opened but it is so far away from us. We drove early from OC to LA to avoid traffic. Sure enough, the freeway was really good.
The owner was really nice and gave us a great service. He was also very informative in giving us ingredients of the crepe. Everything here is vegan, he says. Amazing! We tried the Parisienne and Breakfast Crepe with tempeh and salad. Both were YUMMY and we were both satisfied with the taste. We already decided to try the dessert crepe also before we ordered the savory crepes.
The savory crepe is made of buckwheat and the sweet crepe is the normal yellowish crepe kind (although no egg in this one since it is vegan). We both enjoyed our savory crepes. Then ordered the Apple Cinnamon Crepe with ice cream and split it. I think that 's the good way to do it for 2 people. Yummy also! Not to sweet but it is sweet enough with the ice cream. The food here is light and healthy. You'll feel full but the food doesn't weigh you down afterward. It is also so classy. Everything is since this is a French vegan place.
I love the decor and the paint color. It is so welcoming. There is a sofa to sit for people who have all day to enjoy coffee, crepes, and sweets. We felt comfortable and welcomed in this place.
The delicious dishes do not stop on crepes only. They have croissants, chocolate croissant, turnover, and other selection of decadent desserts such as Chocolate Fudge Cake, Chocolate Raspberry Sacher Torte, Carrot Cake, Tiramisu, Banana Chocolate Mille Feuille (don't ask me how to pronounce that), cupcakes, and truffles. You can eat light on crepe but continue with a latte and decadent desserts. We took home some of these desserts (hey, if you have to drive 40+ miles to get there, might as well splurge and take home something).
I would not recommend to take home the crepes unless you live only 5 minutes away. The crepes are better consumed right away after they are cooked.
They also provide juices and smoothies. We didn't have enough room to consume more but definitely will be back on weekends.
100 S Fir St, Ventura, USA
1 n only 100% Organic Vegan Rest. in 2 counties!
08 Aug 2008
We visited Mary's Secret Garden the 2nd time. We were both pleased and satisfied with the dishes. They are tasty and flavorful. We went up as far as Cambria/San Simeon and didn't find any veg. restaurant (that has a vegan option) as delicious as Mary's. This is truly the only 100% vegan restaurant in 2 counties. We splurged. We ordered Mushroom Bakin Burger, Vegan Shrymp Pad Thai, Bluberries/Pineapple/Coconut smoothie, Mock Salmon Raw Sushi, Vegan Chicken Cilantro salad, Middle Eastern Plate, and Coconut Cream Chocolate Cake. We went 2 times for 2 lunches in 2 days. We filled up before we went to the Ventura County Fair (knowing that there is no vegan item in the Fair but roasted corn). The service was pleasurable and we even met Chef Mary. The menu has half vegan raw and half vegan cooked items. I thought that each item has a lot of umami in it (especially the Mushroom burger). The waitress, Rose, suggested the Stuffed Grape Leaves filled with rice and garbanzo beans. It was delicious. The smoothie was very colorful and yummy. The coconut chocolate cake will satisfy vegan and non-vegan alike. Mary has 'specials' all the time so even if you come back often you'll not be disappointed with eating the same thing all the time. Who knows what you'll get when you come to this restaurant. But it will be a nice surprise! Unfortunately, we live about 1.5 hours with no traffic and 3 hours with traffic from this restaurant. We will only be able to dine here when we travel up the coast. But the secret is out. Mary's Secret Garden is not a secret anymore. We'll stop by Ventura when we drive up there. This restaurant stays permanently in my Garmin GPS. Hail Mary!
2453 Park Ave, Tustin, USA
08 Feb 2010
We've been coming a lot to this restaurant since it was opened. The food is delicious and the service was really good. It's a great location next to AMC theatre. I usually park on the West side of the District and was able to go to it in just few feet away (from the side door). They have new menu and frequent customer card which is good to have to earn points. They also have special each day such as Taco Tuesday and Philly Friday (Philly steak sandwich). Great to have one close to me!
18210 E Gale Ave, City Of Industry, USA
Simple and delicious!
31 May 2011
It was hard to find since there is no sign about it anywhere near the street. I can't find the street number either but my Garmin told me that I arrived at my destination. It is in a small shopping place where Starbucks is. So as soon as you see Starbucks on Gale Ave. that intersects Fullerton Rd., go into this shopping mall and the restaurant is next to Smart and Final store.
I didn't have time to dine in so I took some food-to-go. What I like about this restaurant is that their menu is marked clearly with icons or symbols for each item for 'peanut', ' milk', 'eggs', and 'spicy'. This helps for vegans and people who is allergic to peanuts. Great job!
Also, some items that have 'eggs' symbols can be made without eggs but some can't. For example, their Korean Bibimbap is marked with 'eggs' symbol but it can be taken out since a sunny side up egg is added later. However, the veggie meatball has egg powder in it so that's impossible to take out. :-)
Since I don't eat eggs, I ordered the Bibimbap without eggs. It was delicious and spicy, the way I like it. I also ordered spicy wontons. They are steamed (dim sum style) and top with a yummy sauce. I also ordered vegetarian steamed buns, they were good too since I ate 2 of them.
The restaurant sells items to cook with and snacks. I bought instant vegetarian curry paste. It was delicious. I made the curry at home and my husband likes it very much.
The prices are very reasonable but it is CASH ONLY. They now serve brown rice. The place and bathroom are clean. It's a plus for a Chinese restaurant.
I would like to visit again and hopefully able to dine in. I saw that they have vegan cheesecakes with 3 flavors. I didn't try it but will come back again.
The lady who helped me was very helpful and nice although I don't speak Chinese. It doesn't look like there is a waiter or waitress so you have to order food in the with the lady in the register (just like Native Foods).
The only drawback I think is TRAFFIC but this is not the restaurant's fault. The traffic around this area Fullerton Rd. and Gale Ave. is TERRIBLE. Maybe if I go back on a Sunday evening it will be better but I was there on Friday, lunch time before Memorial Day and I thought I was never able to get out of this area.
15435 Jeffrey Rd Ste 110, Irvine, USA
Now they have vegan buffet on Sundays
23 Sep 2009
I wrote a review in the past (see below). I just found out that they came up with Sunday Vegan Buffet! Great idea! We don't have that around here. For $11.95, you can try their vegan dishes (some in the menu and some are not). We enjoyed it. The Joy Fried Rice was in the buffet. Also, their soy chicken fingers were there. Yummy! They have salad, crystal wrap, all kind of fruits, flan (for dessert), and all other tasty morsels. The only thing is that they are still learning about serving buffet. I found that the food is not that warm. I think they need to turn on the chaffing dishes higher. But fresh food keeps coming out. I think if you come during dinner or lunch time, there will be no problem.
My past review:
I have been to this new restaurant twice. Both times my experience have been excellent. I had the Crystal Wrap, Jumping with Joy Fried Rice, and Roof Top Spaghetti. They were all great. The food is not greasy and healthy. The fried rice is made of a mixed grain rice instead of white rice. Spaghetti was whole wheat spaghetti. Everything in this restaurant is organic, too. Wow! The taste was very good. The restaurant is clean, bright, and pleasant. I saw lots of vegan dessert in a glass case but didn't order any. One major plus is that their portions are large.
The second time I visited, I ordered Fragrant Soup and Joy Burger. Our friend ordered Crystal Wrap and Fragrant Soup. The soup is actually like a stew and is hearty with soy protein chunks and lots of veggies. Yum! The Joy Burger was popular in yelp.com review of this restaurant. Right, it was delicious! I really don't have any qualm about this restaurant other than that it is kind of hiding from the street. However, once you know where it is, you'll come back again and again. I still want to come back to try other vegan dishes and desserts they have. Almost forgot, I tried their Iced Roselle Plum Tea and it was refreshing.
Placentia, Orange, USA
A great vegan and healthy food store!
29 Mar 2010
I love this family owned health store. They have frozen vegan ingredients that I may not find in any other stores/market. They have a cooking class on Sunday afternoon for vegans. I have participated in 3 classes. Each time is $5 and you get to try what Linda cooks. Arthur demonstrate the green/fruit smoothies before class and recommends healthy habits in eating a lot of fruits and vegetables before meals. I got a lot of ideas what to prepare for dinners from perusing their store and attending their cooking classes. The stuff they sell promotes health and vegetarianism. I love how the items are marked 'vegan' or 'vegetarian'. I wish that it is closer to my house.
841 W Las Tunas Dr, San Gabriel, USA
Yummy Dim Sum
28 Oct 2013
I tried the dim sum today and was impressed. I have heard about veggie dim sum restaurants in San Francisco and drooled about them but now I can come here. I love dim sum before I became a vegetarian and missed having it for years.
I love their taro cakes. It came out warm and with nice gooey filling. Their turnip cake was good. Siu May, Char Siu, Har Kow, all of these were yummy. They also have sweet rice wrapped in lotus leaves.
Wow, service was good also but waitress may not speak English very well. However, there are pictures of the items so you can point and tell her what number you want to order.
I went with friends and ordered 11 dishes. Prices were so reasonable.
I love this place.
191 E Main St Ste 1B, Tustin, USA
A blessing to have this caffe in my home town!
01 Nov 2010
I have been visiting this caffe since they were opened a few months ago. I love their coffee and baked goods. I stopped by 2 or 3 times a week to get my coffee drink. I don't go to Starbucks anymore since I can't buy their breakfast goodies (not vegan). This caffe has all the vegan goodies all you want from muffins, scones, cupcakes, tortes, cakes, cheesecakes, and cookies. The baked goods were baked daily and fresh. The coffee drinks are large in size and very good. I have tried several sandwiches such as panini and smoked ham sandwich. They are good and big. I think to eat their dessert I have to eat only half portion of their lunch. My favorites are pumpkin cake, pumpkin and apple muffin, pumpkin scone, and peanut butter torte. Their peach roibos tea is also so good.
1015 S Nogales St Ste 127A, Rowland Heights, USA
The BEST Chinese Vegetarian in US
16 Aug 2007
I think Happy Veggie Garden is the best Chinese Vegetarian restaurant in US. I've tried many different chinese vegetarian restaurant in different places or states. This one is the BEST! It is very tasty, good prices, good quality, and the waiter/waitress there are friendly and helpful. The owner is very nice, too. You won't be disappointed.
15-1403 Nanawale Homesteads, Pahoa, USA
This store is awesome!
01 Jun 2009
We stayed at Kalani Honua Ocean retreat in a recent visit to Puna district, Hawaii and were not satisfied with what they provide for vegans and vegetarians. This store in Pahoa which is now named Island Natural Foods, a market and deli, saved us a lot of trouble for finding out delicious vegan meals. We found it by accident, actually. We just roamed around and decided to come in. During our visit to this area (Hilo and Puna district), I think, we went in this store for about 5 times to get vegan ready-made. Every time we shop from their del/hot and cold bars we got DELICIOUS stuff. They open at 7 am and at the hot bar, they provide warm baked vegan stuff such as vegan scones (pineapple vegan scone, lilikoi (passion fruit) vegan scone, almond, scone, etc.) that are so yummy. They have warm vegan blueberry muffins that are sooo goood. They have vegan breakfast burrito with potatoes and black beans. Their organic coffee is so delish. Come early or you'll not find any. For lunch they have vegan wrapped sandwiches and desserts that you can bring to a picnic on the beach or volcano national park. They also have hot deli for dinner (the deli is closed at 5 pm) such as chana masala, brown rice, quinoa, couscous, tofu curry, thai tofu, etc. that are all vegan and so yummy. We bought tofu teriyaki sushi rolls for trip back home (for in the plane). I love their pad thai with tofu that is even great at room temperature. They also have tasty vegan desserts (haupia with lilikoi), vegan choc chip cookies, vegan carrot cakes, etc. Amazing! We quit eating at Kalani and spend less bucks in this store and were very satisfied. The staff is friendly and helpful also. To us, this is a gem for travelers to find. We also visited their store in Hilo (located at the shopping center where Wal-mart is). If you are traveling in Hawaii, I really recommend that you stop by this market and deli and get a cooler to bring to the beaches.
1221 Kilauea Ave, Hilo, USA
This is an awesome store!
01 Jun 2009
We visited their sister store in Pahoa a lot (see my review of their store in Pahoa) but also visited this store 2 times. They have great hot deli with lots of vegan items. I love their tofu sushi rolls and vegan sandwiches. These are great items to bring to the beaches or picnics. They have delicious choices of vegan baked items. If you are vegan travellers don't miss visiting this store. All other choice to eat vegan are Thai restaurants and after a while, you can get tired of thai food.
31 Fortune Dr Ste 300, Irvine, USA
New veggie menu
28 Oct 2013
Kudos to the chef for providing a veggie menu. It is a delicious and extensive one too. We visited this restaurant for the first time and asked the waitress details about it. It is vegan! Yay! They use vegan mayo for the spicy tofu.
So we splurged and ordered: Spicy Tofu on Crispy Rice, Mizuna salad with 3 dressings: kale mustard, black sesame dressing, and honey tofu dressing (only this one is not vegan since it contains honey), Veggie Rainbow Roll, Veggie Ramen, and Veggie Tofu Katsu with brown rice
Spicy Tofu on Crispy Rice is out of this world! Yummy! The spicy tofu filling is the same as the one used in Veggie Rainbow Roll so it is a duplicate but we love it. Rainbow Roll was also good and addicting! The toppings of sushi are all veggies and colorful.
Mizuna salad has raspberry, blueberry, green apple, edible flowers, roasted almond, and urugula. Dressings were good. Colorful and refreshing!
Veggie Ramen has a lot of kale in it. It came out pipping hot. It's not that salty. I added a tad of soy sauce and sriracha. It was good and will keep this in mind for the coming winter.
Tofu Tonkatsu was bland and crispy but hubby dipped it into wasabi and soy sauce. Then it was good. The black sesame dressing on the side was not the appropriate sauce for it, we thought. But wasabi, soy sauce, and pickled ginger was good for it.
We were stuffed! A lot of food and portions were generous!
Service was helpful and friendly. Our waitress, Sophie, was generous with her answers and even went back to the kitchen to check for the ingredients for us. She also told us that a few items in the regular menu are vegan such as the Spicy Miso Ramen, Garlic Edamame, and a few others (just ask). Yay Sophie!
I highly recommend! We love Japanese food and don't have any veggie Japanese restaurant in OC. This is a good find. Thank you for the delicious and extensive veggie menu.
We went to Kabuki in Ventura, Ca and they weren't as good as the one in Irvine.
27522 Antonio Pkwy Ste P2, Ladera Ranch, USA
Delicious food and happy atmosphere
08 Sep 2009
The restaurant looks very clean, sophisticated, and has a happy atmosphere. It was just opened for a week when I came. I tried the Spicy Cha Cha and Vegan Lavar (veggie fish) dishes. Both were delicious. I didn't have a chance to try the noodle soups yet although they look yummy (watching neighbors consuming them). I noticed that there were no eggplant and tofu dish and no guru curry dish in their menu. I would love to eat something 'saucy' on top of my rice. Both the dishes I tried were something dry on rice. They were great and tasty but a saucy dish to accompany it would have been better. The desserts were good, I tried the Mocha Cake and the Lemon Creamcheeze cake. Both were delicious however the price is kind of high for $6.50 per slice. Dinner dishes prices were reasonable but the slice of cake price was too high, in my opinion. I make vegan cake myself and I would not have sold it for $6.50 per slice. I still give an excellent rating since it is a new restaurant. I am sure they will make some adjustments in their menu.
237 S Tustin St, Orange, USA
Tasty vegan cuisine!
10 Jan 2010
This Loving Hut was just opened last month. It is closer to our house so we decided to try it. We ordered burger and fries, spring rolls, and bbq noodle bowl. The burger was outstanding. It is a large patty on a wheat bun with a side of fries. The burger was lathered with some kind of sauce and mushrooms. It was TASTY. The BBQ noodle bowl was also tasty. Spring roll has vegan shrimps in it. It tasted fresh. The portions are big. We ordered vegan chocolate cakes and were not able to finish them so had to bring them to go. They were delicious for breakfast with coffee. The prices are reasonably cheap compared to other vegan restaurants. I say that this is the best Loving Hut I have been. The only thing that is lacking is space. This is more of a mom-and-pop restaurant that is cozy and small than a large fancy restaurant. I came for the food so I didn't mind.