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CLOSED: Vegetarian's Paradise 2

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 24 reviews )
Hours

Closed

Contact 212-260-7130
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144 W 4th St (at Mac Dougal St, in West Village Manhattan), New York City, New York, USA, 10012

JAN 2016 Phone messages states closed for renovation -- please let happycow know when it re-opens! Extensive Asian food menu with some American dishes (like sandwiches and soul drum stix). Offers faux meat in many dishes and has dim sum. APR 2016 SHUT DOWN AND RE-BRANDED RE-OPENED AS GO ZEN - SEE THAT LISTING.

Category: Vegan-friendly, American, Chinese, Delivery, Take-out, Asian

Reviews (24)

First Review by Poundie

It's really a 1 star... - Edit

Walked in because I didn't want to wait 45 minutes at Red Bamboo, a few doors down. Noticed that they had a "grade pending" sign en lieu of a letter grade. Sat down to a dirty table and handed a sticky menu.

One of my dinner guests went to the washroom and reported back that everything was sticky and the crud on the toilet seat could be scratched off with your fingernail... not that anyone would dare do that. Being the matron of the group, she convinced us to promptly leave.

Glad I did because, three days later, I just read this:
"A restaurant has two chances to earn an A in every inspection
cycle. If it doesn’t earn an A on the first inspection, it’s scored but
ungraded. An inspector goes back to the restaurant unannounced, typically within a month, to inspect it again
and the re-inspection is graded. If the grade is a B or C, the
restaurant will receive a grade card and a grade pending card. It
can post either card until it has an opportunity to be heard at
the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings Health
Tribunal.
Until a restaurant has a graded inspection, it is listed as Not
Yet Graded on the Health Department website."

Those grades posted in the front windows are so reassuring. On my last NYC trip to didn't even bother to walk into a crummy C-graded restaurant. I haven't visited a B-graded place yet, but I think that's as low as I'd go. Maybe.

I wanted to give this place 1 star but for some reason the lowest rating you can give a vegan/vegetarian establishment is 2


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Highs and Lows - Edit

First, the lows: The wasabi-avocado appetizer was served with very greasy tortilla triangles. The spread had no wasabi flavor at all and was quite devoid of flavor. We left this pretty much untouched. I ordered the citrus mock chicken with broccoli. There was no hint of any citrus flavor, and the dish was made of mock beef, and not chicken, which was too salty and tasted of MSG. The broccoli was undercooked. My companion ordered the Chinese broccoli and ended up wiping off the brown sauce from the Chinese broccoli.

However, there were two amazing highs: We both ordered the wonton soup which was served in a delicious and not over salted broth. The wontons and vegetables, including snow peas, were fresh and delicious. For dessert we got the carrot cake which was absolutely out of this world!

I hope this restaurant will improve...

Pros: Great wonton soup, Fabulous carrot cake

Cons: Some dishes may have MSG


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Not impressive - Edit

I used to live in the nyc area, but I'm currently working in Asia and have eaten my fair share of mock dishes. I would come here if I wanted some vegetarian food nearby, but I wouldn't go out of my way.

If your a fan of mock meat, this restaurant has quite a few dishes with it. The number of options in the menu reminds me it's definitely asian, but it's definitely overpriced. I'm not impressed at all by this place.

Pros: Lots of options, Chinese food

Cons: Overpriced


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Fine choice - Edit

We had dinner here recently. It was quite enjoyable. The dim sum we had were quite good - tofu roll and siu mai. The Spicy Shitake Mushroom With Roast Duck was made with tofu skin, and did not have enough mushrooms. All in, we were satisfied.

Pros: Good food, convenient location


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Fair - Edit

Rolls sampler an exercise in deep fried batter. Avoid.
But, on the plus side, the Soy sizzling steak was excellent!
Well, it was almost excellent.

Beer glass had lipstick on it, I consider that a minus.

Is next door to, and seems to be very closely related to, Red Bamboo. Shares the same flavors and cooking styles.
Basically the same place, with a different look.

Updated from previous review on Monday February 04, 2013

Pros: Steak, Friendly

Cons: Rolls, Dishwasher


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Great food - Edit

While more expensive than some of the other veg options in the city, VP2 is definitely good food. You may have to wait for a while if you go at dinner time (especially on weekends), but it's worth the wait. The 2 times I've been here, friends and I have ordered different things and sampled off each others' plates, and everything was always very good. Nothing I didn't like.

Pros: All-vegetarian

Cons: Price, long waits


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Vegetarian's Paradise 2 - Edit

The line was long at Red Bamboo, so we headed next door to Vegetarian's Paradise 2 and it did not disappoint. While the menu was very long and cumbersome, we did managed to find some good options per the recommendations from our waiter. For starters we began with the Roll Sampler, consisting of a spring roll, a curry roll, a hoisin roll, and a satay roll - this appetizer was fun because each roll looked the same but contained different fillings, all of the rolls were good. I was in a veggie mood so I went with a veggie Beef Szechuan, although I think they messed up and gave me the chicken instead. I was tired of vegan chicken at this point in my trip, so I pushed all of the fake meats to the side and just at the veggies - the sauce and the veggies were really wonderful. My bf went with the Crispy Soul Chicken and was very impressed. He even said that he's had real chicken that didn't taste nearly as good as this vegan version (it was very crispy and very well flavored), so I'd definitely give it at try if that's the type of food you're looking for. I'll definitely go back to VP2. And P.S., they carry baked goods from Vegan Treats.


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lots of choice on the menu - Edit

Didn't really fancy this place. Not so nice atmosphere, in a demi-cellar, none or hardly any daylight.
Lots of 'faux meats' on the menu. enormous variety.
Soup was good. The fake veg chicken (also looking like a piece of 1/2 chicken) was placed on top of the salad which made it soggy and unappetizing. The large piece of faux 'chicken' itself was quite boring to eat (and needed a better knife to cut!).
as there are so many dishes on the menu, I would maybe go again to try different things.

Pros: varied menu list

Cons: atmosphere


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It was awfull - Edit

Me and my friends had a take out order here. It was my first time having food from there and also the last one. The food we ordered were whether tasteless, not original or just bad. I remember also that I ordered a dessert with banana flavor. First we thought it was some sauce for a particularly dish because it just didnt look like dessert whom you would go 'yummy!'. Let me just tell you that it didnt taste good..
Yes, they do have a lot of choices on the menu. But I think somehow the essential taste got lost, since they cant focus on making one good meal. It definitely needs some improvement!

Cons: the food


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Good if you want Asian-style mock meat - Edit

I've eaten here a few times, and it's never really impressed me too much. I like it, but it's not fabulous. I prefer the creative dishes of Red Bamboo (a few doors down the block), as this place just seems to be standard Chinese food dishes with mock meat. I agree with reviews below that the food is reasonably prices and comes in large portions.

Pros: Great variety of food, Reasonably priced, Cozy atmosphere

Cons: Not the tastiest veg/vegan food I've had


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Awesome choy sum - Edit

I have to start off by saying I am a long time fan of this place. We used to live off their delivery service when I worked on the lower east side. I can't possibly mention every dish I have eaten there. And loved! The last time I was there I got the most exquisite dish of choy sum and shitake mushrooms. It was presented in a most striking way on a long platter. The stems of the vegetable were peeled so they were nice and soft. The dish was cooked to perfection. Crunchy, but not too. Aside from that, I have my safe standards that I order over and over. They make an awesome vegetable chow fun, a delicious hot and sour soup and excellent vegetarian roast duck. I am not a fan of the fake meat nomenclature. However, on one of their menus over the years they explained this is a Buddhist tradition for times of religious observation that do not allow meat consumption. I like that it is traditionally based and not just FAKE MEAT.

Pros: Food, Price, Location

Cons: Gets crowded at times


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Love it! - Edit

I have honestly been going to VP2 for like 15 years now and I love it! Genral Tao's Chicken with cashews and vegetables is my favorite!!

Pros: great selection, good prices, great hospitality

Cons: small and cramped sometimes


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we dig it; - Edit

Same as its neighbor, mostly I think, but we dig what we get here. Been here 4 times, had one off meal, though it wasn't bad, it was just not a rush to get back...

def check it out, its worth the trip and it is not outrageous on the wallet.

Pros: good stuff, not too spendy, neighborhood


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Mixed review - Edit

I've eaten here twice, once with a friend and the second time with a group of people. The second experience was more varied. We were able to order several dishes and share. I'm not a fan of vegetarian "fish" options, but I did like the veggie Mahi-Mahi. It looked like thin slices of eggplant but it was tasty. I have to recommend the Veggie Pad Thai. I have pad thai at regular thai restaurants but I really liked it at Veg Paradise. One must also order the portobello mushroom appetizers that is breaded in various seasonings. At one point I wasn't sure that I was eating portobello mushroom, but it was delicious. Loved, loved the batter! I thought the meal was wonderful, but people in the group (who were Taiwanese) found that the food had too much MSG, no surprise for vegetarian substitute foods. Sometimes vegetarian options aren't always healthy as we'd like to think. Some need to add extra salt, spices, and in this case, MSG for tasty flavoring. So beware.
But all in all, the food was satisfying.

Pros: great alternative asian dishes

Cons: Too much MSG in dishes.


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Enjoyable Meal - Edit

We took everyone's advice and tried the soul chicken. It was a little too much like chicken flesh for me, but my dining partner loved it. We also had the lemon "duck" and "BBQ Ribs". Had good flavor if you like meat substitutes, the staff is friendly and meals are served quickly.

Pros: Varied menu, Near Subway, Tasty

Cons: Close tables, Small


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Highly recommended - Edit

My boyfriend and I went back to VP2 again and again the last time we were in NY. The roasted chicken and paradise sandwich were very good. Just a little scary how much it looked and tasted like chicken. I had some fake duck as well, but it tasted a little to much of smoke.
One of my favourite places in NY. Situated in a cozy neighbourhood and has a nice atmosphere and friendly staff.

Pros: excellent food, good value, friendly staff


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amazing food. great price for nyc! - Edit

my boyfriend brings me here every time we come to nyc. we have nothing like this in the midwest! he always gets the fried chicken and is never disappointed. i try something new each time. last time i had a great roasted chicken dinner and this time i had the paradise turkey. it was like a whole thanksgiving dinner. i could not even finish...even though it killed me to leave any! i highly recommend this place!!
i was able to overlook the unfreindly staff because everything else was so great.

Pros: great price, amazing variety, food superb

Cons: staff semi cold


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Decent, but not stellar - Edit

I found Vegetarian's Paradise to be less tasty or eclectic compared to its neighbor Red Bamboo. My stir-fry was sticky and heavy and they don't have any standard desserts like tofu cheesecake or pies. The service was slow and inattentive, too. There was nothing special or unusual about this place and I'd probably skip it on the next trip. Red Bamboo has a bigger, better menu with more desserts and better service.

Pros: Location

Cons: Limited desserts, Service, Mediocre

1 Response

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Simply the best! - Edit

The best Asian style mock meat place ever!
A couple of doors away from its' sister restaurant, Red Bamboo, this chinese style place has a huge variety of dishes on the menu and every one I have tried has been awesome. Always busy, you normally have to wait for a table but it is worth it. huge protions, fresh juices and freindy staff, VP2 is a must when in the West Village (or New York in general!)

Pros: mock meats, big portions, variety


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I miss vp and vp3 - Edit

Im probably being harsh on one of the great vegetarian restaurants of our time, but i've been eating at Vege Paradise since janet owned the original on the bowery and i was a fetus in the womb. VP2 was a franchise of the original with different ownership which has unfortunately changed the recipes. The spicy gluten which i dreamed of when out of town isnt good anymore, The Peking spare ribs which used to be made from taro (and were the most mouth watering food ever known to man) are now soy based and not as good. Meanwhile in fairness this restaurant does still ave some great old selections and amazing new ones. the curry bean curd is still the only tofu dish ive ever eaten where the tofu is 100% immersed in the sauce. vp2 still has the most al dente cooked broccoli ever. Meanwhile the mango chicken is awe inspiring and The szechuan beef is delicious. This restaurant is a culinary force to be reckoned with, unfortunately neither this or any other vege chinese restaurant will ever live up to the legacy and standards set by vp and vp3.

Pros: mouth watering food, Amazing variety of flavor, Quick Service

Cons: Doesnt live up to name, crowded atmosphere


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Mmmm Crispy - Edit

We arrived at the restaurant and were told there was a 25 minute wait. We waited. Half hour goes by; we remind the wait staff that we would still very much like to eat there. Our name was circled on the list the hostess held. 1 hour goes by, again we remind the hostess of our desire to eat at their fine establishment. Our name, again, was circled with zest on the list. After an hour and a half we were seated--near the John, behind a junglesque potted plant. Having decided during our epic hour and a half wait we ordered vegetable pouches, tofu rolls, General Tso's and crispy noodles with chicken. We were so ravenous the potted plant began to look absurdly delicious. Within 3 minutes of ordering our pouches appeared. They were inhaled. Hear you me, it was epic. The tofu rolls followed in short order. The crispy noodles likewise were some of the best any of us ever ate. The general Tso's was forgettable. The portions were huge; three starving people could not finish the two entrees and the two appetizers we ordered. It was pretty good food, next time we'll try and go when it is less crowded.

Pros: Yummy food, Quick Service once seated, Sassy clientele

Cons: Rushed Waitstaff, Absurd Wait


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Excellent place - Edit

This place has recently been overhauled (as of September 2006) and is much improved. It is run by the same people as Red Bamboo (three doors down) and is of similar high quality, except that VP2 serves Chinese food. Like Red Bambook, the food here is delicious, the portions are are huge, the price is reasonable, and the place is often very crowded. Much better than the vegan Chinatown restaurants, though not on the same level as Gobo (of course, few places are).

Pros: Huge portions, decent price, good taste

Cons: can get crowded


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