CLOSED: Yam Leaf Bistro

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 5 reviews )



699 Calderon Ave, Mountain View, California, USA, 94041

Food is made to order and kitchen could make a dish vegan upon request. Create-your-own papusa. Lunch 11:30-2pm, tapas 4-5pm and dinner 5-9pm. REPORTED CLOSED, OCT 2016.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Beer/Wine, Take-out, Mexican, Salvadoran

5 Reviews

First Review by kfritz

Good vegetarian, vegan friendly place - Edit

We finally made it to this place few days ago after couple of unsuccessful attempts (they are closed for sometime during every afternoon and entirely on Sundays!)

I took advantage of their special offer for weekday lunch. I got the following for just $10 and felt it was a pretty good deal.

- Lentil Soup: It was kind of funny because the taste was exactly like a South Indian “sambar” which we generally eat with rice. Anyway, it was hot, flavourful & nice.
- Black Bean Quesadilla: I wish I hadn’t ordered vegan cheese along with it. Other than that, it was very nice, I would definitely order it again.

My wife ordered a Kale Salad with Butternut Squash, it was very forgettable. Flavour, seasonings everything was so less and we were very disappointed with such a bland salad.

Overall, I am pretty excited about this place and want to visit many times. However, one of my friends cautioned that experience here is not very consistent and he stopped going after 3-4 times. Let’s see how my own experience goes during subsequent visits :-)

Pros: Calm & quiet location, good ambience, cl, Plenty of vegan options, Great weekday lunch offers

Cons: Limited vegan dessert options, Need to be careful about their timings

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Delicious freshly made food - Edit

We ate dinner at the Yam Leaf Bistro on Thursday evening. This vegetarian restaurant has many options on the menu that also fit into a bone-friendly alkaline diet. Except for the rice and beans, every dish is freshly prepared while you wait. The service was perfect. The server really knew the menu and could easily answer questions about how the dishes were prepared, did not rush us but we never felt neglected, and was more than happy to accommodate our request to not add any salt while cooking our food since we prefer to add our own later knowing it won't be too salty for our tastes.

I ordered the Kale Salad with Roasted Yam but was informed that in place of yam the dish included squash since that is in season. It was delicious. There was plenty of lightly sauteed kale with a good sized portion of cubed cooked orange squash pieces on top. You could easily make this more of main dish by adding pumpkin seeds. I also ate the lentil vegetable soup which was a little salty for my taste but not as bad as most restaurant soups. It had some small floating peppers in it so it was slightly spicey but not too hot. Lastly, I ate the bean and squash pupusa. The "crust" was sort of like a cornmeal pancake and obviously made fresh as you could really taste corn. It was light, not heavy with fat, and the outside was had a little crunch to it when you bit into it. My mouth is watering as I type this. Yummy! The pupusas were served with cole slaw that was crunchy with a flavorful vinaigrette dressing.

My husband had braised vermicelli which was a stir fry of rice noodles with slivers of carrots and veggies and seasoned but not salty. He also had the tomato and basil pupusa which looked great. I didn't get a taste because he ate the whole thing!

We are definitely planning to go back. We wish they would offer some more healthful desserts - not containing cream or coconut fat so that we could enjoy a dessert without having to workout for a couple of extra hours the next day! We were told they are very busy on Friday and Saturday nights and it could take a while to get your food served to you since everything is made fresh to order. However, on Thursday the food was served in a timely fashion.

Pros: Freshly prepared unique cuisine., Willing to adjust seasonings on request., Wide variety of vegetables in dishes.

Cons: Desserts tend toward high calorie/fat, Closed Sundays., Restaurant in residential neighborhood.

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yummy and fresh - Edit

Got here late after a delayed flight and just wanted something fast, fresh and light. The front desk person at Hotel Strata recommended Yam Leaf and it did not disappoint. I got the kale and roasted yam salad with a quinoa black bean soft open taco. Oh and white sangria to drink. Everything was vegan and delicious.

Pros: fast, fresh, delicious

Cons: a little noisy

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Friendly service, but food is meh - Edit

Up front I will say that my dining partner and I had two very different opinions of this place. While she didn't LOVE it, she liked it enough that she would want to go back. I disliked it enough that I felt that I would never need to return here. But the good stuff first: the staff were very friendly, and our server was careful to make sure our whole order was marked vegan in their little tablet ordering system, which took some time, but we appreciated the vote of confidence that we wouldn't end up with cheese in our food.

Now on to the food: To start, we shared a tamale, which had nothing inside of it, but was just corn masa wrapped in a banana leaf. It was like eating cornbread, and the flavor was nice, but it was a bit dry and we expected some filling. It was also oddly served with a sprinkling of walnuts and raisins on the plate. Trail mix with your cornbread...felt like a dinner I'd prepare in the backcountry over my campstove.

For entrees, we had the platano platter and the broccoli pupusa. Both weren't bad; they were edible, decently flavored, but nothing to write home about. Nothing held my interest enough to make me want to go back, since I feel like could make the same food or better at home, but my friend is willing to give it another shot.

Pros: Friendly staff

Cons: Mediocre food

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Vegan Options for Almost Everything on the Menu - Edit

The cuisine is Salvadorian -- I think this used to be a traditional Salvadorian restaurant before it was converted (though I'd never been to it before). They also have Buddhist options for many of the items on the menu.

I ordered the Pupusa/Plantano platter, with a bean & squash pupusa. It came with some re-fried beans, Spanish rice, and mildly pickled cabbage. The pupusa only contained a small amount of vegan cheese (which I'm not a fan of). All the items were well prepared and fresh tasting. They apparently have sprouted brown rice and quinoa options, but these were not offered to us when we ordered.

On our visit, the service was not great. To be fair, it was a crowded Friday night, and only one waiter was serving the whole restaurant, and they're still working the kinks out of their fancy iPad ordering system. I'll definitely be back and reserve the right to add a star when the service kinks are worked out.

Definitely worth a visit!

Pros: Friendly staff, Wine and Beer!

Cons: Understaffed, Limited hours

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