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CLOSED: Bay Leaf

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 33 reviews )


Contact 503-232-7058

4768 SE Division St (at SE 47th St, Richmond District), Portland, Oregon, USA, 97206

Dishes are prepared from fresh vegetables and some soy protein: sizzling tofu, mushroom crisps, lotus root delux, eggplant with garlic sauce; also organic tea, smoothies, vegan cakes, and more. Mostly vegan except some honey and dairy products used in the desserts and other menu. DEC 2013 REPORTED SHUT, phone and web not working.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Chinese, Organic, Take-out, Asian

Reviews (33)

First Review by ChristinaZ

Horrible service - Edit

The old Asian lady who I assume was the manager was so incredibly rude, my friend found a hair in his food and she accused it of being his. I did not get food the way I ordered it, and the service was overall atrocious. There might be some good food there, but I am never returning.

Pros: The aptmosphere was great, The tea was delicious

Cons: Rude/ rigid staff, The food I got was horrible, Hair in food

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Really great food - Edit

Great food and service. They were able to make my Thai tea with vegan milk & I had a great sweet and sour dish with tofu. yum.

Pros: Vegan Thai Tea, Great Service, Excellent Food

Cons: Street Parking

1 Response

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Large portions of tasty food - Edit

Bay Leaf offers a varied menu of appetizers, soups, salads, 18 entrees and desserts. Plus there's a beverage bar that serves a vast variety of teas. Entrees are large, tasty, well presented and have great sauces. Service is friendly, and food is served in a reasonable amount of time. Bay Leaf seats 62 in the main dining area, and has two side rooms; one for large parties that seats 16 and one consisting of 6 two place tables. The restaurant is clean and uncluttered, with a somewhat spartan interior, which doesn't do anything to soften the noise level. With 1/3 of the tables occupied, the noise level was acceptable, but could become uncomfortable with a full house. The restrooms are large and well supplied. Bay Leaf has its own parking lot, along with street parking.

Pros: good menu, very good food, prompt service

Cons: a bit noisy

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Some Light at The End of The Tunnel - Edit

I have eaten at Bay Leaf a few times and overall found the menu to be uninspiring and the service marginal at best. The dishes are hit and miss with some being deliscious and others resembling a mixture of oatmeal and baby food (peas). On my most recent visit with my youngest daughter I was pleasantly suprised with how efficient and courteous the staff was. Not only that, the food was brought out pipping hot and our dishes were promptly cleared. It is a bit creepy the way the man and woman (owners?) stand over by the "bar" area and give non-verbal cues via scowl and head rolls to the staff but if that is what it takes to get the service and food we had that night then so be it.
Updated from previous review on Sunday March 09, 2008

Pros: ample parking, good service, vegan

Cons: not organic, boring menu, no free tea

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Everything from Bay Leaf is excellent - Edit

I've eaten at Bay Leaf multiple times, always ordering different dishes, and everything is really excellent. The owners are very nice, and the atmosphere is quite pleasant. Bay Leaf never seems to be very busy when I go in (it's a little out of the way, so maybe that's why), but it's definitely one of the best vegan restaurants in Portland, and definitely the best serving Asian cuisine.

If you have the time, you should definitely stop by.

Pros: Quality, Portion-size is very large, Nice ambience

Cons: Locations a bit out of the way

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Lettuce Wraps are TO DIE FOR! :) - Edit

I tried the lettuce wraps and green curry. Everyone at the table agreed the lettuce wraps were unique, fresh and not one bit short on taste.

Pros: great food, healthy, good value

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Great food! - Edit

I have tried many dishes from the Bay Leaf and loved all but the corn chowder(?). The Sesame Tofu and China Jade fried rice are my favorites as well as the Papaya salad and asparagus soup... clean,quiet and freindly.

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Friendly Staff - Edit

The thing that stands out to me most about my visit to Bay Leaf was the wonderful, personal service. It was fairly empty at the time we visited, and the staff was very interactive, joking around and offering suggestions.

First we had appetizers of peanuts and edamame and tried not to make too much of a mess. We had tea and smoothies, all very good.

The food was excellent. I had the China Jade Fried Rice and it was fantastic. I had leftovers which were very good the next day! The people I went with all enjoyed their entrees as well, and we all shared. The flavors were complex and light.

We had absolutely decadent dessert.

I definitely can't wait to visit again. It's a bit far away for us, so I don't get out there as often as I do to many other restaurants in Portland, but I'm sure I'll make the trip soon!

Pros: Excellent Food, Great Service, Many Vegan Options

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Authentic Chinese Vegetarian Cuisine - Edit

I'm of Chinese descent and this restaurant serves authentic Chinese vegetarian food. They were yummy! Mu shiu vegetables were great. I couldn't get enough of the pickled mustard veggie and pine mushrooms. The mushroom crips were good too. For dessert, the avocado shake was awesome. Atmosphere was nice too. Great place to hang out with family and friends.

Pros: Excellent food, Nice music, Pleasing decoration

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Very enjoyable - Edit

We had a lovely meal at Bay Leaf very recently. It may not have been the best Asian vegetarian we've ever had, but it certainly came close. The vegetable noodle dish was extremely good, and so was the eggplant with garlic. I liked the hot and sour soup very much, though I've had better. Overall, a worthwhile place to visit. Really warrants somewhere between four and five cows, but I'll err on the side of generosity on this occasion.

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Outstanding Vegan - Edit

We recently became Vegan because of an almost failed quintuple bypass on my part. I was not going to let them cut on me again. We liked what expert medical researchers have said about vegan food and restoring heart functions. So we first found that Vegan stopped my angina. Then we needed to find Portland restaurants serving vegan foods. First we tried the Sweet Tomato in Clackamas, which has a very good vegetable bar. Then two of our adult children and myself wanted to take my wife out for an early Morther's Day
lunch. The Happy Cow came up with the solution-BAY LEAF RESTAURANT. We tried it after reading all the reviews. FANTASTIC! Not only do they have a most pleasant clean atmosphere, but they are gracious in dealing with customers. Secondly, when we received our order after just a few minutes, we were absolutely amazed. Each plate served on our various vegan orders was artistically laid out in a style only expected to be found in high priced restaurants. Once we started eating the food we found it to be a true delight to the taste buds. Our daughter immediately said she was going to start bringing her friends there. We and our adult son will return again and again. Parking is very good. We were surprised there was not a waiting line to get in to enjoy this quality food, service and interior. Go there to experience exquisite reasonably priced vegan fair.

Pros: Outstanding food, Easy acces and parking, Quality presentation of food

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Awesome Place! - Edit

How do more people not know about this place. We first went there on Valentine's Day, and didn't even require a reservation, although by the time we left the place filled up. Very clean, nice decor, simple. Off-street parking is a major bonus. I HIGHLY recommend the Sesame Tofu, a sweet and sour fried tofu with just the right amount of fried breading surrounded by perfectly steamed broccoli. I have been back since then and found the servers to be polite and friendly. I love this place! The only thing I didn't like were the dumplings, I was expecting more of a fluffy bread dumpling but it was more of a noodle and just like the ones I buy at the store in the frozen section.

Pros: Sesame Tofu, Affordable, Friendly

Cons: Dumplings

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mediocre pan-asian vegan food - Edit

Ate there tonite, and was utterly disappointed. Really near my soon to be new home so I was hoping for some good vegan food, but it was all just so blah. The seaweed salad was tiny and one that could be picked up at a nearby asian grocery for a fraction of the price. The entree I got had a really nasty aftertaste that didn't want to leave your mouth for a long time. The prices are pretty high for low quality food, I've been to vegan pan-asian all-you-can-eat buffets for a little more than half the price of an entree here that while they were mediocre in their own right, blew this out of the water. Avoid at all costs.

Pros: clean

Cons: bland food, over-priced, small portions for the money

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Excellent Food, Wonderful Atmosphere, Great Value! - Edit

My wife and I both love Bay Leaf. The food is excellent and beautifully presented, the restaurant's atmosphere is clean, quiet, and pleasant. The service is great. You can tell that everything is prepared with great care. Lunch is a great value. For $5.95 you get a generous portion: soup, rice (choice of white or a mixture of brown and red rice), and your main course.

Our favorites are the spinach eggplant and the sesame tofu. Everything tastes fresh, with wonderful flavors. The hot and sour soup, the comes with the lunch special, is amazing! Probably the best hot and sour soup I ever had.

I am a vegan, but you don't have to be a vegan or vegetarian to appreciate the excellent food at Bay Leaf. We have brought many non-vegetarian friends and family and they all love the food

One of our favorites in Portland. I highly recommend it!

Pros: excellent food, friendly service and great atmosphere, good value

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Amazing :) Vegan Food - Edit

My husband a ( non vegan ) and my self a vegan went to Bay Leaf today it is the cleanest and the most relaxing enviorment the food was delish :) I would recommend it to anyone try their strawberry shakes and their fried tofu

We both loved it

Pros: clean, great food, nice staff

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Great Thai Restaurant/Amazing Vegan Dishes - Edit

My son (a vegan) and his wife took me (a vegan) and my wife out to the Bay Leaf in Portland where my son and family live. We had an extraordinary meal. Every dish was beautifully presented and all the sauces were subtle and distinct. We all loved it. The owners were warm and clearly love presenting fabulous vegan dishes to their customers. We can't say enough about this place. A real find.

Pros: Great dishes, Great Service, Reasonable prices

Cons: Place should have been packed., Too large a space perhaps

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Where is everybody? - Edit

Went to eat lunch today for the first time and we had spring rolls, hot and sour soup, Veggie Delight Noodles and Sesame Tofu. Everything was delicious and the restaurant was beautiful. Portions are large and we had enough food to bring home for dinner.

We got there at 12:30 and there was one person leaving and one person eating alone. We got excited to one group of three come in later and before we left a couple came in. Is it because it's a little pricey or is it because Portland has so many vegan friendly restaurants? It was nice to have an option besides a cult run chinese veg restaurant. We'll definatly go back but we need more people to go so they don't close or turn it into a meat friendly restaurant!

Pros: Parking, Large Portions, Lots of options

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good but nothing special - Edit

I eat Thai fairly often so maybe I'm picky. My friends & I enjoyed our meals but it wasn't anything special. The presentation was lovely, they have A/C and the staff is nice.

Pros: affordable, parking, nice staff

2 Responses

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kindlizard quite a difference between Thai and Chinese, if that was your first time having Chinese food. It is not supposed to be Thai food, they are different. Your dissing them for not being Thai is not really pertinent. As far as Chinese food goes, it is fresh and light, a rarity in Chinese food, even veg Chinese, which often just deep fries frozen food into oblivion. Nor does it have a fishy taste, that over salty taste you get from Thai food when the fish sauce they say can be taken out of your vegan plate is left in and you drink water for hours after. Neither nor... you should review it for what it is and not what it isn't. Start by what it is you ate...

Fresh and light Chinese in PDX! - Edit

Bay Leaf is a wonderful vegetarian Chinese restaurant at 48th and Division in Southeast Portland. The dishes are light and fresh, with clear taste. The service is friendly and prompt, while the dining room is spacious and well-lit (although never as full as I'd like to see it). I recommend the Edamame, Asparagus Special, Cold Noodle Special, Tofu Clay Pot and both the 8 Treasures and Jasmine teas!

Pros: Fresh tasting

Cons: Location relative to downtown

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Long-time happy customer - Edit

This place is so awesome; the food is so delicious and fresh tasting. The ambiance is relaxing and beautiful. The service is extremely warm. I've tried many things on the menu and the only thing I wasn't crazy about was the green curry. The tea is served in these lovely little glass bubbles and the whole experience is elegant.

Pros: Delicious, Fresh, Over-all pleasant environment

Cons: They don't serve alcohol?

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Reviewer Avatar

Great Food and Wonderful Easthetics - Edit

My friend and I had dinner at Bay Leaf on a Thursday evening. My friend had "Autumn Curry" dinner special and I had Eggplant in Garlic Sauce, with spinach. My Eggplant came with a carrot butterfly on the side. The plate was beautiful, that bright green spinach lying next to the eggplant which was excellent. My friend's Autumn Curry came still on the heat. The tofu was perfect, steamed rather than fried, the way we like it. The curry was just right with regard to heat and flavor. My friend and I have eaten a lot of curry, and I have eaten a lot of eggplant in garlic. These dishes we had at Bay Leaf were great and we will go back there many times. Aside from the food, we enjoyed the decor which was definitely Asian and so Feng Shui. The space felt good, I realize this is totally subjective but there many many people who will understand me on this.

Pros: good value, professional staff, proper portions

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Sad to Say Had To Change My Review - Edit

My family and I LOVED this place. It was hands down our favorite place in Portland. We have been vegan for many years and have discovered the Bay Leaf over a year ago. We would eat there at least weekly until this last experiance. From the moment we walked in the door the atmosphere felt different and customer service was not god as usual. My husband ordered one of those dishes that comes out served like a fajita (fire under the dish) and when the flame got out of control near our daughter and we ask they put it out the guy blew the flame out on the table in the direction of our daughter and to top that off blew black stuff into our food from the fire. When I tried to let the owner know I was unhappy at what just happened her attitude flipped a 180 and she acted like I was being rude to her. She ended up being extremly rude to my husband and sorry to say we will not go back. I understand people have bad days, but when you have a regular customer that has NEVER complained about anything before and then to bring up a safety and sanitary issue, I really was taken aback by her response. I am sorry that this happened and wish that she would have handled the situation better....Bay Leaf I will miss your hot and sour soup! :(

Cons: Service, Service, Service

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what a great place - Edit

Our first impression was a good one. There is off-street parking and nice little Japanese Maple Trees in front, possibly my favorite tree.

Upon entering, the place is very big, IMMACULATE, and updated. It looks as though it is either a new place or it was completely redone rather recently.

The menu is 100% vegan according to our server. We got steamed dumplings, I got Hot & Sour soup, and we shared the mu shu and sesame tofu dishes.

Though the dumplings were I think $6.50, they were all very good, and they seemed freshly made. What a refreshing change from normal West Coast Chinese. I would have ordered many more if they were a bit less money, though if they are making them fresh, with fresh ingredients, perhaps that's what they can do. No complaints.

The hot & sour soup was great. Not quite Philly Chinatown great, but I'd give the H&S a 4/5 happy cows alone. I love H&S soup and think it is importnat to try everywhere I go, although I have been so disappointed recently, all West Coast trips, I had almost NOT ordered it. I'm glad I did. It was very filling and tasted freshly made. My only point, though it could be a difference of philosophy, is I think they used white pepper, which I ma not a fan of, instead of black pepper, trad'lly what H&S is mostly seasoned with, though I know some people avoid black pepper not wanting to take in the black... I don't know if that's their case, but it needed some black pepper and maybe less white. Still very good, and it didn't overpower or ruin the soup at all, just took me a moment to readjust my taste buds.... I should mention that my partner loved her corn chowder. WE both got "cup" size, the small, and it was huge, possibly filling us for the rest of the meal.

The two entrees were great. Sesame tofu was sweet * sour, yet unlike most places, it was NOT too sweet, too fries or anything. It tasted freshly made, with a fresh sauce. The broccoli was a good accompaniment and it was very nice. Ample portion.

The mu shu was possibly the best I've had in memory. That was not greasy at all, it was certainly freshly made, and very certainly delicious. I really would love to have it all again, and again actually.

I have had no luck having good Chinese food in Oregon until I came here last night. This place rocks, does everything freshly. Everything is light, nothing heavy. They thank a few doctors for help w the menu. I would certainly suggest this place to all. Fresh, CLEAN, and yummy.

Pros: immaculate/ service/ parking, jasmine pearls!!!, clean, light, fresh food

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Best meal ever! - Edit

I recently had the best meal of my life at Bay Leaf. This is not an exaggeration. The food was exquisite and the presentation was beautiful. You can tell the chefs are professionally trained and take pride in their work. We had the Mu Shoo Pancake, Tofu with Mango and Mushroom Crisps (as an appetizer). My husband is a very picky meat eater with little experience with Asian cuisine and honestly he doesn't usually like anything but fried rice. I am a long time vegan who loves Asian food. Every thing was perfect and the husband agrees. I could not believe how much he loved the food, it was miraculous. We also had dessert which was also perfect. Black Forest Cake and Chocolate Mint Cheesecake. The restaurant is very clean and comforting. The service is outstanding in every way possible. Even though we over ate we left feeling happy, healthy and very satisfied.

Pros: Excellent wholesome organic cuisine, Outstanding service, Exceptionally clean

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OMG... Hits the Spot - Edit

Wonderful food, beautiful people, relaxing atmosphere! 5-stars in all aspects. This is the best Chinese restaurant (vegetarian or otherwise) I have ever dined at. The plates are a feast for the eyes, the nose and most importantly the tongue. Organic ingredients are the key to the delicious flavor. Very spacious; there is also a party-room. Immaculately clean. I have only nice things to say about this place. If you love eggplant, try their Eggplant with Garlic Sauce. I highly recommend Bay Leaf, you must try them!!!

Pros: Too many to mention

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Reviewer Avatar

Quiet, Serene, Vegan Friendly - Edit

My fiance and I decided to check Portland out for its Vegan friendly atmosphere and stopped by for a meal after visiting Clinton and Division. The place was easy to find and had a parking lot directly in front of it. I was a little skeptical since I wasn't sure if all the food was vegan and being a damp and cloudy day, I really wanted soup. Most places use chicken broth for their soups but I asked the lady (who may be the owner) if their hot and sour soup is vegan. She explained everything on the menu was vegan (except for the egg drop soup.) The food was delicious, very flavorful and the service was excellent. Granted there was only another couple at the restaurant when we got there but overall the experience was excellent. One of the better Chinese food places I've been to. The price was similar to most other Chinese food places - along the price ranges of P.F. Chang's.

Pros: Excellent Food, Friendly Staff, Vegan Friendly

1 Response

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Delicious, organic and vegan. :-) - Edit

I've been to Bayleaf several times, and every item I've eaten was quite good, except for the squash soup which was ridiculously bland and devoid of flavor. The two best dishes I've had there are the seaweed salad and the dong po tofu (stir-fried green pepper, basil, and fried tofu in black bean sauce). I had broccoli substituted for the green pepper in the dong po tofu. I've also enjoyed the mu shui vegetables. My partner enjoyed one of the specials, the red curry, but that was too spicy for my liking. The vegetable dumpling appetizer was good, but very doughy.

Some other things about Bay Leaf:
* Portion sizes are noticeably smaller than a typical Chinese restaurant, particularly lunch portions, yet prices are comparable to a typical Chinese restaurant. At first glance it appears the value is not as good as a typical Chinese restaurant, but the woman running the place told me the food is organic.
* All but one menu item is vegan.
* Service time was quicker than typical for a Chinese restaurant.
* They have their own parking lot.
* Wait staff is competent and not flakey.

Bottom line is that food and service are reliably good, and I look forward to eating there again.

Pros: All but one item vegan, Organic, Parking lot

Cons: Bland squash soup.

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I like the atmosphere - Edit

It's calm, friendly and a great place to take a date. The wait staff is excellent, and the food is pretty good if somewhat bland and overpriced. There are some very interesting selections on the menue, and a lot of choices for a vegan. $5 for a cup of tea is a little over the top though. The atmosphere is very nice.

Pros: atmosphere, waitstaff, interesting selection

Cons: a little spendy, bland

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Sesame tofu is divine! - Edit

Bay Leaf has delicious vegan food and is healthy. They have a great tea selection and offer vegan cheesecake. The service is always quick, and the restaurant is very clean. There are only a couple things on the menu that aren't vegan, and they are happy to tell you what they are.

Pros: Fast service, Clean restaurant, Delicious food

Cons: Just a few things not vegan

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I love this place - Edit

Bayleaf is very vegan friendly and the staff is friendly and prompt. The asparagus soup, lo mein, and anything with tofu is great. Nice dining atmosphere and the food is well presented.

Pros: Great food, Great service

Cons: Not vegan

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I'd go back - Edit

Recommended by the guys at Food Fight! and I'd return. Prices are average, food is good but not amazing. I think the dish I chose looked better than everyone else's at the table come to think of it.

Pros: Nice staff, large portions, Fair price

Cons: Typical fare

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