CLOSED: Casa de Luz - San Diego

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 23 reviews )
Hours

Closed

Contact
619-550-1857
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2920 University Ave (at 30th St, in North Park), San Diego, California, USA, 92104

100% Organic whole food plant based diet educational, communal dining room with another location in Austin, Texas. Provides breakfast, lunch, and dinner using fresh seasonal ingredients. Each day the one main entree, two salads, and one daily soup change for lunch and for dinner. The bakery case features raw pies and cakes as well as vegan muffins and chocolates. Modern, spacious interior with high ceiling, large wooden tables, a lounge area, as well as upstairs seating. LAST DAY DEC 8, 2013. CLOSED.

Categories: Vegan, American, Macrobiotic, Organic, Raw, Juice bar, Bakery

23 Reviews

First Review by steveveg

Totally Pleasant Experience - lovely meal - Edit

We're visiting San Diego, and looking for vegan food. Casa de Luz has been my favorite. First, they are incredibly helpful and friendly. We walked in, glanced at the chalkboard, and mentioned to the man behind the counter this was our first visit. He quickly explained that they are more than a restaurant (they have classes, a book area, probably more) but offer meals to visitors. They have a fixed menu that changes based on what they have that day. Everything is vegan, organic, and gluten free. I'm not gluten free, but I don't mind it if it's good.

The meal includes soup, salad, an entree plate, tea (green and black), and water. You can order beer, wine, coffee, smoothies, and desserts. We started with the fixed meals and then later also got a Mayan Chocolate Ginger Smoothie.

Everything was really delicious. We didn't try the salads because the rest of our meal was more than enough. There was kale, beans, a rice-based item, and beets. Everything was yummy with delicious sauces. The soup was cauliflower cream. The smoothie was amazingly good.

We'll definitely come back next time we're in San Diego.

Pros: delicious, friendly and helpful staff

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Great experience - Edit

I am visiting my daughter and her husband, who are vegan, and we looked online for a restaurant that featured vegan food. We found Casa de Luz in North Park and it was great. The food was delicious, the staff very friendly, and the decor delightful. They have one entree for each meal, but it includes many different vegan dishes on the plate, plus soup and salad. Also the desserts were delicious. This place reminds me of a restaurant I may have gone to in the 60s- very hip, wholesome 'real' food, and a communal feeling. Give it a try! We highly recommend it. If I lived here i would go every week.

Pros: Excellent food, Pleasant atmosphere, reasonably priced

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Pretty good - Edit

We went here twice while in SD visiting, and it was ok. I like that the food (buffet style) is healthy, but it was luke warm, and I would have enjoyed it more if it had been hot. We were the only people in the place both times we were there. The first day when I bought a juice, it was twice the size as when I got juice the second day, so I felt ripped off on the second day. I honestly don't know if I'd go back again, although if I lived in the area, I probably would.

Pros: healthy, tasty food, clean, very nice restaurant

Cons: luke-warm food, staff on some sort of ritalin?, "to-go" sized juice half sized

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An Experience - Edit

So glad I tried this place. The decor was amazing, the food even better. I had the lunch entree, spag squash, mushrooms, brown rice, kidney beans, etc...filling & enjoyable. I wish I lived closer because they offer cooking classes & the menu changes every day...

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Welcoming - Edit

I enjoyed Casa de Luz for the first time on Thanksgiving 2012. We had a 100% vegan special Thanksgiving entree. The food was outstanding including a lentil based loaf, fresh greens, soup, potatoes, gravy, and more. All vegan and gluten free. The staff to include the owner, manager, and investors visited and/or joined our table. The facility, is spacious, very clean, and designed to be welcoming to the community. We genuinely enjoyed the event.

Pros: Food, Value, Cleanliness

Cons: Parking, fellow customers

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Wonderful, Incredible, Creative, Delicious! - Edit

The food is amazing. Everything is organic which is wonderful. The only draw back is that if you do not quite like what is on the menu then that night isn't for you. The good thing though is that around the corner are Sipz and Ranchos, so for a vegan and haalthy eater your trip to North Park is not wasted. The soap, salad and entrees were all creative and delicious and not salted, wonderful!

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Awesome - Edit

The best! Could eat here every day

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Beautiful Trendy Place - Edit

Went here for the first time tonight with family. Their menu changes everyday which is odd, but neat in a way. They have an option of soup, salad, and an entree that changes everyday and this is the only thing they serve, so if you don't like those options, well then go somewhere else. But on the good side, the food is wonderful. Tonight was beans, pilaf, kale and yams, they give you a huge portion for $10. Absolutely must try the green smoothie, it was wonderful!!! The almond truffles are amazing also!! The interior of the restaurant is really cool looking. Nice friendly staff.

Pros: friendly staff, beautiful interior of restaurant , wonderful food

Cons: limited menu, not many options, expensive

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Awesome sauce - Edit

Definitely not "new school" as one reviewer said, but damn was it good. I had a black eyed pea, sweet potato, and squash combo, with quinoa, corn, beet, kale and some awesome sauce. The squash had a little plantain as well. It was the perfect compliment, and the rosemary was just right imo. I'll certainly be back. I actually like the evolving menu idea. They break the mold of the same stagnant menu choices, and force you to give what they have a go. I like the surprise element. I'm wondering if there is less food wasted this way as well.

Pros: dynamic menu, whole foods, tasty

Cons: maybe a little small on portions

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pleasant surprise - Edit

I went there to get take out lunch but it was breakfast time and lunch wasn't ready. I'm not a breakfast eater but decided to give it a try. I was extremely impressed!
First off, although I have been vegan for 15 years I'm a "new school" vegan. I love the faux meat and the comfort food. The meal I had a Casa de Luz was very "old school". We're talking hippy commune recipes in Vegetarian Times from 1982. Kale with almond creme, a bean and corn dish, a gluten free tortilla, scoop of cinnamon raisin rice, mixed veggies, millet porridge (with coconut), a rutabaga and carrot soup... I don't know how they prepared some of this food but it was SUPER GOOD. For $8.50 you went through the bar with your plate or take out container and basically put as much as you want! I was modest, wanting to keep my appetite for a different dinner, but I'd wished I had taken more!
The only thing that didn't wow me was the raw lemon lavender cookie. But that probably is because I'm getting bored of raw desserts.
This was an incredible meal and goes up to at least top 20 meals I've ever eaten!

Pros: huge bright seating, "old school" cooking, gluten free

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Nice Place Great Desserts - Edit

I had read about this place on happycow and ate dinner here on a trip to San Diego this summer. Here's my Casa de Luz review.

My first impression was that this place looked gorgeous. Out front is a covered side-walk seating area, then you see large front glass windows, a giant glass door, spacious interior with high ceiling and even a back seating area on the 2nd level, thick wooden tables and seats, a couch lounge area, open kitchen and prep space, glass desserts case -- overall simply designed but totally impressive.

The food menu is very basic. It's written on a chalkboard and changes from lunch to dinner. As of this time you have 1 soup, 2 salads, and 1 entree option. That's it.

For our dinner we got the soup (a sweet potato and vegetable puree), one salad (sliced cabbage with sweetened with strips of apple), and the entree of the night (a macrobiotic plate comprising brown rice, seaweed, picked raw cucumber & carrot slices, and beans).

The main entree plate was very simple in concept and flavor and affordable ($10). While I enjoy it alright, I make this food at home all the time.

The desserts case, on the other hand, was great. It featured a selection of vegan treats from a savory zucchini muffin (yummy) to raw pies, to a chia seed coconut pudding (yummy too). Not cheap but tempting.

Overall, this was an excellent dining experience.

My only suggestion for improvement and to help them get more business would be for them to offer an extended menu more than just one main entree for each meal. If I lived in this area of San Diego, I would definitely like to return for meals, perhaps even once a week, but I don't want to be limited to a surprise one entree choice only. If they could expand their food menu, Casa de Luz would have more return customers, in my opinion.

Pros: beautiful space, great desserts, healthy food

Cons: limited meal menu

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bomb! - Edit

Amazing place, great staff, good bang for your buck :)

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Amazing Gourmet (Vegan, Organic) Food - Edit

I came to this place with a date because it was listed as an organic restaurant. We are both not vegan or vegetarian, but neither of us missed any ingriedient in the food served.
The plant based entree just looked fantastic and tasted delicious. For only 10 dollars per entrée that is a real bargain. The portion size is just right for me and even a little too generous for my date.

One could argue that the salad is a little small for 5 dollars, but it was also very good.

I'm impressed with their bold move to just offer three meal options. That sets them apart from regular restaurants that offer hundreds of choices and all of them come pre-cooked out of the freezer.

If I lived in San Diego, I would probably go to Casa de Luz several times a week because it is so great!

The place is only 5 months old at this time of writing. Everything is new and shiny, even the bathrooms. I wish them all the success they could dream of.

Pros: excellent food, stylish place, no odd "replacement" ingredients

Cons: none, really

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My perfect place to eat - Edit

I first went here with my mom (we are both Vegan) and her cousin (meat eater) and we loved it, scraped our plates clean. My mom was sending pictures to my brother (also Vegan) of our food and the place. It's not often we eat somewhere before him. There are other Vegan options for us but whenever she comes down from North County we are drawn back here knowing the food is going to be amazing. The fact that the menu is always different makes it like a surprise, we can't wait to see what we are going to eat. We don't even look at the menu just order the entrée. I am normally a very picky Vegan and my friends joke I am a bad Vegan because there are so many vegetables I don't eat but here I don't ask for any substitutions and have actually ate vegetables I never would have eaten.

Pros: Amazing Food, Beautiful Space, Friendly Staff

Cons: None

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Delicious Healthy Food - Edit

Casa de Luz serves extraordinary food with a unique philosophy. The basis of the meal is the plate, which is attractively put together. There is one plate served per meal. Their plates combine vegetables, whole grains, beans, sauces, and seed or nut cheeses in playful, creative combinations. The owner and the chefs are all passionate about serving unprocessed, certified organic, whole foods. This is not the place for faux meats or cheese. You are eating the real deal straight from nature.

You can enjoy your meal without guilt or worry. The plates are quite filling, but if you want more there are desserts, salad, and soup. To drink, you can order tea, coffee, wine, smoothies, or juice. The friendly staff is always ready to answer questions. The dining area is all natural colors with wood tables that match the fresh food. I love this place. When you eat there, you are treated like family.

Pros: organic, whole foods, appealing plates

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very disappointed - Edit

I went to Casa de Luz and expected to have some great Mexican vegetarian food or some great food at all. They charged five dollars for a salad, five for soup and ten for an entree of a stale tostada topped with ceviche made from cauliflower. The pinto beans tasted like they came out of a can and the lentil soup was unappealing to look at and taste. I was very disappointed that those were the only items on the menu to choose from other than desserts, (which neither of my kids liked), drinks and a smoothie that costs 6.75. Nothing in there was worth the price, then I looked around and noticed that the locals weren't eating anything, they just ordered tea or drinks! We were the only suckers at the table eating! Don't waste your money there even though it looks like a nice establishment. I couldn't even finish my meal.

Pros: beautiful atmosphere

Cons: cost, bland, poor parking

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Impressive - Edit

A friend and I tried both of their daily soups and we ordered an entree to share. One soup was a miso broth that was delicious, if slightly underseasoned, and the other a creamy yam/cauliflower soup, which was very tasty. The entree was a beet burger (also delicious) and a mushroom/macadamia enchildada wrapped in collard green leaves that was my favorite. We also shared a dessert of raw chocolate cheesecake.
Casa de Luz's parking is limited (It's in North Park, what do you expect) but the food is worth the walk. The food is 100% organic, thus the prices are high (20$ for an entree and soup). The staff is friendly, the building is spacious, Casa de Luz is definitely a winner.

Pros: Quality, Service

Cons: Price

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Not spicy enough - Edit

First of all, it's nice to have something a little bit different from the other vegetarian/veg-friendly places in San Diego. They definitely have good quality healthy ingredients...but...there wasn't a lot of flavor as the food was under-seasoned. Also, the portion size of the main dish wasn't quite big enough for me (it was especially low on carbs, which can be good or bad, depending on your perspective). The latter should be a simple fix--perhaps a roll or two could be included for a few more carbs (and if they want to keep it gluten-free, there are plenty of grains that could be used).

Pros: unique, high quality

Cons: bland, a bit pricey

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Gourmet Quality At Reasonable Prices - Edit

I've eaten a vegan diet since 1996. I've explored restaurants in NYC, San Francisco, Portland OR, Minn/St.Paul, MN, and Los Angeles and I can tell you the main entree plate here qualifies as gourmet quality food. Fresh, flavorful, balanced in the contrasts of flavors and textures, well presented. For $10. How do they do it? They don't have a menu and offer one entree plate at a time. This lack of choice allows them to excel at one thing and keep the price low. They do have a small salad bar, and offer two different soups. I'm a robust adult male weighing 185 lb.s and I tell you that for my main meal of the day the entree plate is just right, and that the addition of soup and/or salad would be too much food for me. They open early and stay open late. They change the main entree plate for the three different meals; breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but I've only done the lunch. Organic, vegan, gluten free, gourmet quality, free wifi, 7 days a week from 7am-10pm for reasonable prices. I've not seen anything quite like it before. They just don't know how to market this gem. Also not well advertised is that for those with extreme food allergies they offer a simple macrobiotic plate.

Pros: Vegan, Organic, Gourmet

Cons: Limited Choice, They don't know what they're making next

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Vegan

  Contributions +27

It's good but limited. - Edit

Casa de Luz is housed in a stunning building in North Park, smack dab in the middle of all the action. The food was indeed delicious, well-prepared but very limited. There are only a few choices for food, a main course, 1-2 salads and 1-2 soups. I understand that organic food can be very expensive, but almost $17 for the three course can be a shock if you aren't prepared for it. They do give you the option of ordering just 1 or 2 of the 3 choices if you aren't too hungry.
The desserts on the other hand were plentiful in choices and absolutely stellar. A non-vegan friend immediately became addicted to the cheesecake upon first bite, it's that good. Definitely worth a visit.

Pros: Great flavor, Organic, Lovely restaurant

Cons: Few choices, Can be pricey

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Lots for your $ - Edit

I truly enjoyed my meal here. I had soup, salad and an entree with an awesome pineapple/giner aqua fresca. Everything was delicious. Add that to the fact that I knew I was eating something healthy - a nice spot to people watch while I ate - and a very friendly and helpful waitress...you couldn't ask for a better dining experience. As I could not finish all of my food, I had it wrapped to take back to the hotel (had to pass the dessert case). Couldn't leave without a slice of the chocolate cheesecake. Out of this world!

Pros: nice location, street parking, lots of good food

Cons: none

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Great food - Edit

What a delightful new restaurant to open in San Diego. I'm both vegan and wheat free, which adds a challenge, but Casa is both plus organic. I ate there just a few weeks after opening on a Saturday afternoon on the big round table out front. Highly recommend it for people watching.
There's different menu choice daily. Casa's concept is a healthy eating local spot with a feel of European community eating. Casa makes plant based eating addictive. The cilantro pesto-tangerine juice dressing was unique..I'd go back just hoping all their salad dressings are as exciting. Portions are plenty and those in my party took desserts to go.

Pros: Good value-1 price, Fresh and tasty, Plenty of near by parking

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great vegan choice - Edit

Excellent vegan food, lovely atmosphere. Staff very friendly and helpful. Manager came by to chat. Very grand spacious room.

Pros: excellent food, friendly staff, spacious

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