CLOSED: Radiance Cuisine

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 5 reviews )



923 C St (at 4th St), San Rafael, California, USA, 94901

Located within Open Secret Bookstore, a bookstore and exploratorium with 4,800 sq ft of books, a stage, sound system & big screen, and a temple, and hosts music, kirtan, and workshop events. The chef uses local produce for the menu-of-the-day soup/dal, rice/quinoa, curried vegetables, and salads. Also available are fresh-squeezed lemon mint cooler and Kilimba's organic confection made with garbanzo flour and chocolate. ON BREAK SINCE 2014.

Categories: Vegan, American, Indian, Take-out

5 Reviews

First Review by groovyvegan

Marindian food at its finest - Edit

Radiance serves health-optimized Californian interpretations of Indian staples such as dal and curries, along with salubrious green stuff almost unheard-of in far-away India.

Radiance isn't trying to be authentic Indian cuisine (for which your body will thank you, whether or not your taste buds concur), and the flavor and texture experiments are done more skillfully here than at many other pseudo-Indian places (read: it's a step above your typical hippy-Indian fare).

I had the yogi bowl and found it satisfying.

I'll agree with everyone else here that the choco-laddu is excellent (though not cheap for the tiny portion).

Central location is convenient, and on my visit everyone on both sides of the counter was warm and friendly, so it was a pleasant experience all around.

It's very nice to find an Indian-inspired place that's all-vegan, and this is currently (Jan 2014) the only all-veg option in San Rafael, so do give it a try.

Prices are reasonable considering the quality of the ingredients (organic and local), as long as you don't consider table service an important part of the value proposition (it's an order-at-the-counter place).


Pros: healthy and fresh, choco-laddu is great (though small), all vegan

Cons: limited hours

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Great vegan choice - Edit

This vegan restaurant is unusually situated. It dominates the bookstore that shares the space. The menu choices are limited, but adequate. I had the large Yogi Bowl. It was quite good. The Choco-laddu dessert was delicous. It was like a brownie, but tasted nutty. All in, it was a very good place for vegans.

Pros: Vegan, peaceful

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Love this place - Edit

I'm newly attempting a vegan lifestyle, and went to Radiance today for a late lunch. I am a big guy, but I got the small yogi bowl and it was perfect. The service was very friendly. The chef explained the ingredients to me and I could tell he loves what he does. I could not believe how delicious it was! I'll be going back, that's for sure.

Pros: Nice staff, Amazing food!

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My favourite place!! - Edit

Nice setting in a spiritual book store (Open Secret). Most delicious food ever eaten! All preparations are cooked with love and affection that you can feel and taste. Everything is organic, fresh and healthy. You can find little creative vegetable surprises on your salad that is made with an incredibly tasty salad dressing. It is difficult to say what I like most: the soup, the vegetable curry with grains, the salad, or the desserts. I can only recommend the amazing chocolate laddus!!!

Pros: Most delicious food, healthy, fresh and organic, Very friendly staff

Cons: no cons

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Fresh, organic, delicious, vegan food! - Edit

Radiance Cuisine is a unique, high quality, mom and pop restaurant located in "The Open Secret" new age bookstore. With the except of one dessert (which has a vegan version discussed below), the food is vegan, gluten-free, organic, and fresh and locally sourced. Every day that they're open, they serve a soup, a salad, a grain, and a vegetable dish. One can order a large Radiance Plate with all four of these items, a Small Radiance plate with all four of these items in smaller quantity, or a large or small Yogi Bowl (all these items except the salad). Or these items can be ordered ala carte. The large Radiance Plate IMO is huge, and most people other than large, hungry guys or teenage boys, will probably do best with the small Radiance Plate.

My husband and I had the Radiance Plates twice, and both times they were delicious! The combination of excellent cooking with quality ingredients is outstanding. One night our soup (yellow lentil dal vegetable) was out of this world, one of the best soups I've ever eaten. The salad dressings are restaurant-made as well--both nights delicious--one of them lemon tahini. One night the grain was brown rice and the other, quinoa with cashew, each served with a tasty fresh vegetable stew with a yellow curry sauce. My husband ordered the optional spicy hot, fresh, chutney with his meals, and enjoyed that quite a bit.

The reason this restaurant is technically considered "vegetarian" and not "vegan" is that one of the two dessert selections, the choco-laddu has a version made with butter, however, there is also a vegan version. The description of choco-laddu on the menu makes it difficult to visualize. The vegan one looks, feels, and tastes like piece of peanut-butter fudge, that is sweet, but not too sweet. Except that there's no peanut-butter in the dessert--the "peanut butter" taste comes from garbanzo flour. My husband and I both loved this unique dessert! Also, we enjoyed the coconut tapioca pudding dessert topped with fresh organic strawberries from the farmers' market. I would have preferred it a bit thicker, but it was delicious none-the-less.

The only issues I see with this restaurant have to do with variety, as the food quality is outstanding. For example, with only one main dish served, if someone has a food allergy that appears in one of these dishes (for example, tomatoes) and it happens to appear in one of four meal components, then one will have to make due with an ala carte "meal" that might

Pros: Delicious Food, Fresh, Organic, Local

Cons: Just 1 meal made a day., Parking charge before 6 (meter/garage)

1 Response
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groovyvegan 22 Feb 2013 - (Continued) ...that might just be salad and grain, or soup, salad, and grain. To avoid this sort of disappointment, one might want to call first to see what the meal is. I would be wonderful if they would post their daily meal selection on their web page. With only two desserts to choose from, as delicious as they are, it's conceivable that a regular would want to have additional dessert choices. The couple might want to consider having a "dessert du jour" in addition to the two they have, so they can take advantage of seasonal fresh fruits from the farmers' market and make them into to pies, etc.

If you are ever in San Rafael on a Wed., Thurs., Fri. or Sat. between 12 noon and 7 pm, I highly recommend you visit Radiance Cuisine!  

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