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My Vegan Restaurant is Pasadena's best kept secret

brown rice
brown rice
Diane Tegarden

My Vegan Restaurant

Rating:
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My Vegan Restaurant is Pasadena's best kept secret, located in a small shopping plaza on South Arroyo Parkway, they offer up a hearty breakfast, lunch and dinner menu that is so tasty, it could change the mind of the most avid carnivore. A far cry from the earliest days of vegan and vegetarian cuisine which used to feature tasteless slabs of tofu to replace any meat dishes, they cook with soy chicken, soy Pepper steak and soy fish along with the dizzying assortment of vegetables, spices and sauces.

Their breakfast menu includes: pancakes; vegan slam pancake plate (pancake with tofu scramble and bacon); tofu scrambled with soy cheese, hash browns and soy bacon; grilled soy chicken, potato salad and pancake; tofu scramble, hash browns and pancake; and grilled Portobello mushroom, tofu scramble and hash browns (from $5.95 to $9.95). Breakfast is served beginning at 10:30 AM from Sunday through Saturday.

At lunch they serve 9 salads; including papaya salad, Thai salad, spicy chicken salad, seaweed salad, the house salad and cucumber salad; additionally they serve their specialty salads like the Brilliant Salad (mixed spring greens, edamame, orange slices, avocado, cucumber, carrot, red cabbage, tomato and onion); the Yum Woon Sen Salad (marinated soy fish and soy shrimp with glass noodles, tomato, red onion, and green onions with a spicy peanut lime dressing); and the Waterfall Salad (your choice of soy chicken or tofu with red onions, roasted chili, roasted rice powder, mint leaves, and scallions served over the heart of Romaine lettuce with a spicy lime dressing), from $3.95 to $8.95.

Additionally they serve up 8 kinds of vegan burgers all for $7.95, served on a whole wheat bun, with veganaise, sliced tomato and lettuce, and your choice of French fries or house salad. They also have lavash bread wraps with either: chicken, nuggets, tofu scramble, bacon, chicken teriyaki, pepper steak, chicken curry, fish, mushroom or lentil filling, and served with your choice of French fries or house salad.

Their à la carte menu offers 16 dishes, including: American or Chinese broccoli and garlic, garlic and pepper, spicy bamboo shoots, spicy basil leaves, mixed vegetables, spicy eggplant, spicy green beans, Kung pao chicken or pepper steak or fish, cashew nut, ohhh! my potato, spinach and mushroom, green curry, yellow curry, red curry, vegetable curry or pineapple curry served with soft tofu and a side of brown rice for $8.95.

You'll never be bored as you sample one of their 6 fried rice dishes, especially the savory pumpkin fried rice or pineapple fried rice ($8.95), or one of the ten delicious noodle dishes, from the traditional Pad Thai to the vegan Pho Basil (rice noodles with spinach, bean sprouts, basil leaves, essence of roasted garlic and scallions in a vegan broth) for $8.95.

For the hearty eaters they offer a combo special which is served all day and includes your entrée, soft tofu, one spring roll, salad and brown rice for only $8.95. The choices for the special are: stir fried broccoli and garlic, garlic and pepper, spicy bamboo shoot, spicy basil leaves, mixed vegetables, spicy eggplant, spicy green bean, Kung Pao, cashew nut with vegetables, green curry, yellow curry and red curry.

For dinner you can start with one of their 7 soups, or 16 different appetizers. My favorite appetizer is their spring rolls (four for $4.95), which are made from freshly cut vegetables and just a hint of basil, lightly deep-fried to a golden perfection. Their other appetizers include: lentil or chicken tacos, vegan fries, vegetable dumplings, chicken sate or tofu sate, grilled potatoes, spicy edamame, tofu steak or fried Taro, to name a few (from $2.95 to $7.95).

They offer 4 pasta dishes, and no less than 11 original house specialties, including my personal favorite P.E.T. (pumpkin, eggplant, tofu, mushrooms, onions, garlic, bell pepper and basil lightly seasoned with chili). Some of the other house specialties include: lava noodles, sweet chili fish, teriyaki chicken, orange chicken, supreme fried rice, Japanese wonton noodle soup, yellow curry noodle soup or grilled Portobello burger (from $8.95 to $10.95). They are continually updating and changing their menu offering new items, and will cook your spicy food to your specifications, whether you like it mild or fiery.

Finish off your delicious meal with one of their desserts, they offer carrot cake, soy ice cream, banana spring roll, chocolate cupcake and my personal favorite, a very light and tasty coconut ice cream (from $3.25 to $4.50). They have the usual variety of sodas, orange juice, lemonade, coffee, tea, bottled water and apple juice, in addition they offer iced green tea, Thai iced tea, Thai Arnold Palmer, fresh coconut juice, organic soy milk and Kombucha (from $1.50 to $3.99).

My Vegan Restaurant is located at 633 S. Arroyo Parkway, Suite 3, Pasadena, California 91105 and they are open Sunday through Thursday from 10:30 AM to 9:30 PM and Friday through Saturday from 10:30 AM to 10:00 PM. They accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover card and require a minimum order of $10 for credit card sales. You can also call them at 626-578-9017 to prepare an order for takeout.

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