CLOSED: Ubuntu

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 12 reviews )



1140 Main St, Napa, California, USA, 94559

Vegetarian restaurant and yoga studio. Chef uses bio-dynamically grown produce in the dishes. REPORTED SHUT DOWN IN 2012, WEBSITE NOT WORKING - REMOVED.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, American

12 Reviews

First Review by plenty


Gourmet, great ambience, excellect service, pricey! I've been twice.
The first time I tried the 5-6 course tasting menu and it was divine...though some items had egg in the dough.
The second time, we tried the 8 course tasting menu and it was completely vegan but less spectacular. It wasn't as special (for us) and felt like too many salad courses(4). The soup was AMAZING! But then,we never felt like we had a "main" course item...just a series of what felt like salads. If we go again, then we will probably just order off the regular menu.

Pros: excellent food, great service, romantic

Cons: expensive, 8 course tasting menu is not as divine

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I understand the negative reviews, but I liked it - Edit

Yes, the portions are tiny for the high prices. Yes, it's too fru-fru fancy for any sane person not living on a 50% diet of pretension. Still, the service was friendly and helpful, the food was tasty and interesting, and the ambiance was delightful. It was certainly upscale, and is by no means a "regular" hang-out for anyone, but if you're looking for a high-class, celebrity level vegetarian experience, you'll get it here. Just bring lots of money, 'cause they got high rent in that fancy Napa area.

Pros: Good food., Excellent service., Lively environement.

Cons: Too expensive., Small portions.

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Ubuntu - Edit

Great vegetarian food. This ranks right up there with Greens in San Francisco. Gayot ranks it 16/20. When in Napa, we will always stop in at Ubuntu. The vegetarian dishes served were superior to any meat dishes we ate at other restaurants. The new chef Aaron served a wonderful combination of dishes to us:
slow roasted 'ox-heart' and crisp 'white satin' CARROT salad -s-
NASTURTIUM panade, MAGENTA SPREEN , ras el hanout

"inside out" arbuckle grits cooked with goat's whey, cast iron PADRONS
goat's milk ricotta, assorted RADISH, 'delfino' CILANTRO, smoked corn husk

garden inspired extruded pasta: FENNEL fiore, assorted SQUASH (v)
lemony CARROT TOP broth,  miso pickled RADISH,  sweet HERBS

rootbeer cupcakes

We enjoyed everything we ordered.

Pros: will make a dish vegan

Cons: expensive but well worth it

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Noisy, disappointing - Edit

Having been a vegetarian for most of my life, I have had a chance to sample and experiment vegetarian cuisine. I have only tried this restaurant once, but neither my companion nor I thought the food was worth the price, and yes, we were still hungry after our meal, even though we are slim people who eat moderately. The restaurant was also unpleasantly noisy and the seating was not comfortable.

It is really too bad that Napa does not seem to be able to support a really good vegetarian restaurant, or even a restaurant that has well made vegetarian/vegan meals made with high quality ingredients. There are so many delicious vegetarian cuisines to draw from.

Cons: Noisy, Portions miniscule, expensive for what one gets

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overpriced - Edit

Pretty place, interesting menu, creative food...small portions, big prices. Once was enough for us.

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Ubuntu - Bantu for "overpriced & still hungry" - Edit

So if you want fu-fu & a restaurant that rhymes w/ that word, I suggest Ubuntu.

I traveled for a living for 5 years. I've eaten at hundreds of vegan/vegetarian restaurants all across the US but Ubuntu ranks as the most expensive / least fulfilling combo to date.

Not only are the items on the menu more interested in presentation than taste, but to claim to be "vegan friendly" & have one (1!) vegan dessert (sorbet- good grief) on the menu? It was almost insulting.

Save your money: Buy fancy plates, squirt sauce out of a diner ketchup bottle in random patterns & colors & call it a day.

Pros: Falcon Crest country club? You're in!

Cons: Falcon Crest country club? You're in!

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Mind Blowing! Eye Popping! Taste rocking! - Edit

I read a review for this restaurant probably over a year or more ago in VegNews and its been roaming around in the back of my head for ever eating away at me beckoning me to come visit Napa Valley and eat here. I must thank the writer of that article because what ever they wrote that made such a strong impression was SPOT ON! We had the most delightful evening at Ubuntu tonight! First off the place is spectacular from a decor stand point. Next time I go I want to sit at the community table in the center so I can enjoy the views from every angle. You really spend most of your night there looking at every dish on everyone's plate around you that come out because each one is an insane work of art consisting of flowers, veggies you've never heard of before, and fun and different plates and arrangements. You really spend a lot of time wondering if it tastes as good as it looks or looks as good as it tastes! I highly advise going with someone you can share plates with because you'll really want to have them come out one after another and pick at them in the middle of your table. We went with Bean Salads, Heirloom Tomatos, and Ghnochetti, however the names on the menu are a bit like trying to decipher a foreign language. Don't be afraid to ask your server what the item is actually, everyone around us was as well. Only 2 items on the menu were not veganizable and the chefs outstandingly prepared ours oil free Dr. McDougall style and we lucked out with a sorbet float for dessert that pretty much sums up the fun you have in store for you at Ubuntu - Watermelon Sorbet in a watermelon soda with tapioca infused balls on the bottom, and 5 types of red fruit floating in it from raspberries, strawberries, peaches, and who knows what else, eye popping and mind blowing! Deserves 10 HappyCows!

Pros: outstanding produce, artfully prepared, beyond creative

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Great and very healthy - Edit

The food was great, local and organic. They even grow vegetables that I have never heard of called ice plants! Apparently the only place in US that uses them on the menu. The atmosphere was very chic. The service was decent.

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Only restaurant I've ever walked out of - Edit

I would be giving this place a 0 if I could. We went there for a friend's birthday, she made a reservation for the 14 of us, only to arrive and be told they did not have any vegan entrees that night, that we should be paying more than we were told, and were treated very unprofessionally. We were shocked that a cafe would go out of its way to be rude to a large group of paying customers, particularly in this economy. I sent an email the next day and spoke with the owner, who apologized but I still got the impression that he felt the "communication breakdown" was largely our fault somehow, as if we'd drive an hour to Napa if we didn't expect to have vegan food.

Pros: Lovely room, 100% vegetarian

Cons: Horrible service, Small portions

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Classy place with fresh food and interesting menu - Edit

The atmosphere at Ubuntu was chic and classy. The menu was varied and there were actually many items I didn't recognize. They use a lot of local food too. My non-veggie friends weren't as happy because they struggled to know what to order (sounds familiar as a vegan ordering in non-veg restaurants). Chic pea fries were great and I've made them at home since.

Pros: good decor, varied, local menu, good service

Cons: little noisy, little pricey

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This is a wonderful dining experience, go now!!! - Edit

I had the pleasure of eating here a few months ago and can't wait to get back. The food was wonderful, excitingly different menu. The selection was wide and varied. We ordered the tasting menu and each dish was better than the one before. This restaurant is simply wonderful.

Pros: quality , variety, unique

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Recommendations aren't always satisfying. - Edit

Although the atmosphere is lovely, the food was disappointing. The menu consists of tapas. We ordered the fried sunchokes with romesco sauce (overcooked and hallow tasting)$6, cauliflower in a cast iron pot with vadouvan (I couldn't eat more than one bite)$13, farm egg with robuchon potatoes & red wine (the potatoe part was good but about as much as 1/2 of a baby food jar and I haven't been able to eat fried eggs since)$21, and the escarole and fingerling salad (the greens were good, but I couldn't eat the rest ). Our server recommended all but the sunchokes. I guess we have different tastes. My sister and I ate a bunch of bread and left the tapas to my husband since we didn't like them. My husband ate the tapas because he was very hungry.

Pros: nice atmosphere, nice bathrooms, good bread

Cons: small portions, overpriced, lacks quality and good flavor

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