To wrap up vegetarian restaurant week, I'll post three more short reviews from my posse of restaurant critics. One restaurant even serves a vegan cheese that is supposedly just like the "real" thing. Here ya go…
Java Green in Washington, D.C., offers a delightful mix of vegan Korean dishes like gimbob rolls and bibim noodles—all of which can be ordered with spicy mock chicken—alongside deli wraps and sandwiches like the Veg Max (soy chicken, soy ham, and soy cheese).
In addition to a full juice and coffee bar, Java Green offers milkshakes as well as my personal favorite: mocha, green-tea, and chocolate "frappes," which can be topped with dense, sweet mounds of vegan whipped cream. Java Green also has a weekend brunch menu that kicks some serious ass—think French toast, tofu scramble, and unbelievable veggie link sausage.
The food is delicious and satisfying but also very healthy—you can really chow down and leave without feeling sluggish or stuffed. The restaurant is always packed with loyal patrons—at my old office, even carnivores would make the 10-block trip to Java Green on their lunch hour. And our Korean intern Min Hee gave Java Green a big thumbs-up for its Korean dishes.
With an all-vegan menu ranging from Italian to Asian selections, Sage's Cafe in Salt Lake City will serve up something that will hit the spot, regardless of what you're in the mood for. The unlikely combination of tahini, guacamole, and pesto make up one of my favorite dishes, the Guac-N-Roll burger. Although they are a bit pricey, you also can't go wrong with any of Sage's pasta dishes. And if you are extra-hungry, try starting off with the lettuce wraps as an appetizer.
On a recent trip to L.A., I stopped at the famous vegan restaurant Madeleine Bistro. The owner and executive chef, Dave Anderson, is known for his gourmet vegan cuisine with a comfort-food twist. I've heard rumors about Madeleine Bistro's vegan cheeses that taste just like the "real thing," so I just had to try them.
A lunchtime visit started with the vegan cheese plate: Champagne, brie, and farm cheeses decorated the plate and were heavenly! A vegan Big Mac is on the lunch menu, and I just couldn't resist. Just like my childhood favorite, this burger was on a sesame-seed bun with special sauce. It tasted even better than I remembered.
No trip to Madeleine Bistro is complete without dessert. There is an out-of-this-world crème brulée that is better than its egg-based counterpart. A light flick to the caramelized sugar rewards you with the famous snap and leads you to the creamy custard. Divine!
The menu has so many delicious options that it was hard to choose. Next time you're in the City of Angels, be sure to visit Madeleine Bistro for a four-star meal.
Now, they can't all be named "Best Vegetarian" restaurant in the Zagat Guide—as Candle 79 recently was—but each vegetarian restaurant out there is delicious in its own unique way. For more info on vegetarian restaurants around the country, visit PETA's Dining Out Guide.
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