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Viewing profile :: chris
Avatar All about chris

Level 5 Vegan / Mentor
Joined:  06 Dec 2002
Total posts:  1170
[23.27% of total / 0.27 posts per day]
Find all posts by chris
Location:  San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Website:  http://www.BayAreaVeg.org
Occupation:  Computer Engineer
Interests: Vegan Living, Animal Rights, Web Development, Star Wars, Movies, Tivo
 
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Ultimate Guide Reviews
Blossom Vegan Excellent addition to the Golden Era "family". Food & service have been excellent on 2 visits. Just wished we lived closer to eat there more often. 5 stars 2014-11-06
Veggie Today Great to have this place relatively close. Most everything is vegan except for the chowmein noodles and won ton wrappers. Friendly service, quiet ambiance. 4 stars 2014-11-06
Melted Great sandwiches. Pesto one is the best. Will be back. 4 stars 2014-09-07
Planet Raw What a strange a short visit we had at Planet Raw, but it was most memorable.

Short version: Rude chief/owner pisses of new customers within 60 seconds of entering restaurant.

Long version:

We had a long drive from the San Mateo Coast up to Pleasant Hill, being so far away we had confirmed that morning that they were open ALL day (11am-8pm).

We arrived around 3pm, and as we got out of the car we joked that the place looked closed, but as we approached we could see people inside, so thought we were in luck.

I went inside to see if they were still open, and my wife waited outside and read the menu on the door.

As I entered a tall skinny blond woman, head down and putting on her coat was rushing out. She pushed by as I was asking the staff if they were still open. They explained the chef had left for the day and there was no food to be had, and I noted we'd driven a long way to try their food and was disappointed as we'd come so far.

So I turned around and followed the woman outside. My wife asked, were they open, and I said no - the chef had left for the day.

The woman could have kept on walking and we'd have been none the wiser who she was. BUT she just had to stop and turn and give us a piece of her mind, and how grateful we should be that she's working so hard for us all.

I was gob smacked; I couldn't believe how bitter she was and the tirade coming out of her mouth . All I had said to my wife is that the chef was leaving, nothing more.

She jumped in her car, slammed the door and drove off still steaming as she went. I could see the staff inside looking on, so I went back inside and asked who she was and why she was so mad. They were very apologetic and said she was the owner and was having another "bad day" and it wasn't out of the ordinary.

We never did try the food, and were encouraged to come back some other time - but why would we give such an arrogant b*tch our money.

I really don't understand why some people go into the service business. She obviously has zero respect for her customers and should think about a career change - but I suspect with her business acumen the place will fold very soon. 0 stars

2010-02-16
Kokila's Kitchen Great food and the people.are always friendly and welcoming. Lots of vegan options at the lunchtime buffet. But since the prices have gone up ($13 at the Friday buffet) they're not very competitive compared to the other great veggie places in the area, I could get two lunches at Merit Vegetarian for the same price as one here. 3 stars 2010-01-31
Garden Fresh One of my favorite places to eat in the South Bay/Peninsula. Orange beef still one of my favs and they have this new dish called Black Pepper "Chicken" that's pretty good too. Service can be a bit spotty at times and if you're with a large group plan ahead as the space is tiny. 4 stars 2010-01-31
Merit Vegetarian Probably my most favorite place to eat out at. Menu look virtually identical to Golden Era/Golden Lotus, which is no surprise as the owners are related - but the food just seems that much better here. Very high quality food. Big clean modern restaurant. Staff are super friendly, specially the owner. If you like GE you'll love this place. Close to Fry's Electronics for the geeks among you. Fav dishes: Lemongrass tofu, Spicy Mongolian Chicken, Lotus Salad - and of course the vegan choc cake. 4.5 stars 2010-01-13
Symphonie I'm vegan and so wanted to like this place, but it came up short on so many levels. Not sure where to start - Food was average to bad, a few of the potatoes in our curry dish had rotten spots that should have been caught. Prices were above average and portions small compared to similar restaurants (Golden Era/Merit.) Waitress was very annoying and hovered around us the whole time pretending to adjust table settings. But not once did she ask us how the food. was The place was dead the entire time we were there, music was at a low level so we could hear their kids running around playing in the restaurant and kitchen. They use weaved mats on the table and I cringe thinking of the germs they're harboring, especially as our new cutlery was resting on them. On top of all that they overcharged us on a few items. I will not be going back. 2 stars 2010-01-13
Loving Hut Chinatown really needs a nice veggie place, but Loving Hut sadly comes up short. Decor is nice and bright, but service was lacking/indifferent and the food wasn't great. We ordered the sample starter plate but it was bland and looked nothing like the menu photo. lemon grass dish was good, but no real veggies with it, and all it was was seasoned fake meat they bought in. The veggie stir fry was just okay, but over cooked. Best parts of the meal was the Black China which can be had at much better restaurants. 2.5 stars 2008-11-29
Loving Hut Palo Alto really needs a good veggie place, but sadly Loving Hut comes up short. Offerings are over priced with a limited selection, and no real kitchen to prepare freshly cooked meals to order. Mostly sandwiches and deli style foods. 3 stars 2008-11-29
Udupi Palace Very nice addition to the Mission. Great decor and the food is tasty - I highly recommend the Spring Dosa. I much prefer Udupi over Dosa which is just down the street, as they're all veg and the restaurant doesn't feel as cramped. 4.5 stars 2008-11-29
Judahlicious This place has evolved over the years for the better. Plenty of vegan options, tasty food and generous portions, but service can be a little slow as everything seems to be hand "crafted" from scratch. 4 stars 2008-11-29
The Usual Suspects Cafe Awesome food and the best service in town. Love the decor. Most everything on the menu is vegan or can be made vegan. Similar menu to Herbivores, but done much better. Hard to believe they've only been open less than a week and hitting the mark already. Will definitely be back for more. 5 stars 2008-06-26
New Leaf Market Best thing to happen to the San Mateo coastside in years. No more long trips to Rainbow for me :) 5 stars 2008-06-17
Cha-Ya Good food. Bit on the pricey side if you're hungry. Fast service. 4.5 stars 2008-06-02
Vital Ital Calabash Friendly but quirky atmosphere, Very laid back staff that seem overwhelmed at times. Tasty but small portions. The Supreme Burger wasn't very super - hardly any filling. 3 stars 2008-06-02
Cafe Soulstice Fresh raw food in a bright and welcoming space. I had the sampler plate and 'cheese' cake which was incredible. 4 stars 2008-03-30
Shangri-La Good food and service. Probably one of the best veggie Chinese restaurants in the Bay Area, but recent problems with mix-ups on what's vegan and not has drop it down on my list of places to frequent. 3 stars 2007-10-25
Vegi Garden Friendly service. Clean and welcoming space. Moderate sized portions and huge menu that's heavy on the fake meats. Looking forward to returning and trying out more options. 4 stars 2007-10-17
The Flying Falafel Tasty and large portions. On the dry side and could do with extra sauce, being take out you'd not know to ask for more till it's too late, and the 'spicy' falafel really isn't spicy at all. Not so good for drop in/take-out if the weather is bad as they have no real store front or counter service. They're basically setup for delivery and expect you to stand on the street while you wait for your order. 3.5 stars 2007-10-14
Bok Choy Garden Their food is a bit spicier than some Chinese restaurants. I recommend General's Beef (made with faux meat) if you like spicy foods. Really disappointed they claim to be vegan when they've been misleading people for a while about the Tofu "Cheese" Rolls. 2 stars 2007-09-21
Golden Lotus This used to be one of my favorite restaurants in the East Bay. Food is still good, but the prices keep going up, smaller portions and service has gone down hill. I still really like the fu young, eggplant claypot and the fake caramelized chicken. 3 stars 2007-09-18
Fragrance Land Only been for lunch. The lunch special menu is very limited when it comes to vegans. Lots of eggs and dairy in things, like the egg rolls and soups. No alternatives or substitutions. So the lunch special deal isn't so special or money saving. Much prefer Garden Fresh for a quick lunch. 3.5 stars 2007-07-16
Malabar Cafe I've only had dinner there so far, but did try the sample plate (SriLankan Plate.) New place is very nice. Looks like a total remodel. Big step up from the old locations. I'd give them a 5 for the food, and 2.5 for service. Place is always busy, but they refuse to get enough good staff in to handle everything and the owner always seems in a bad mood or short with the clients. Food sometimes arrives cold due to overloaded staff. If they could figure out service this place would be a solid 5 because of the food. 3.5 stars 2007-04-04
Pizza Plaza Fantastic Pizza. Majority of the menu is vegan. Tried 4 different pizza and they were all good. Favorite was probably the Hawaiian. 5 stars 2007-01-17
Dosa Westernised/Californian 'authentic' Indian food. Space is a little cramped and I could imagine that having more than 3 people on their 4 person tables would be a problem. I really enjoyed the food and service was very good. 3.5 stars 2006-10-04
Komala Vilas One of my fav south bay restaurants. Great deal on the buffett lunch at $9. Always a line out the door, but it moves pretty fast. Food is taste, but not overly spicey. Very sparse utilitarian decor and great service. Definitely not the place to take a date or anything - but great for a casual lunch with friends. 4.5 stars 2006-07-17
Golden Buddha I had high expectations going to GE2, but sadly they didn't not live up to the original. Maybe it's because it's new, but you'd think they would have some of the big sellers on the menu like the Fu Yung. Service was better than the orig. location, but language is still an issue and they get confused easily. They also recommended some real bad 'specials' that really shouldn't be on offer. Sweet and Sour 'Chicken' was not crunchy at all, just soggy doughy. Not going to rush back, but will try again once I've heard they've ironed out the kinks. 3 stars 2006-07-10
Saturn Cafe My summer 2006 update. Still has great burgers and extensive menu with many vegan options. But the garlic fries are a must try along with the vanilla peanut butter shake. Between them they're a meal. Very "Santa Cruz" and worth a visit. Super friendly staff that are very attentive and fill water often - which is lacking at many restaurants these days. 4 stars 2006-07-02
Black China Bakery and Cafe Very small menu, but it is a cafe after all. Tasty sandwiches, a tad on the expensive side for portion size and a little disappointed that the black china cake was so expensive considering they make it themselves. Can be found in other local establishments for a few dollars less. They also only had two coffee options (3 if you include espresso), and the soy milk used sadly curdled/separated in the coffee. They've got a great job on the decor/both inside and out given such a small space. I can see it being rather cold or snug in the winter months. 4 stars 2006-07-02
Zao Noodle Bar Menu only has a few vegan options, and vegetarian options are said to contain fish. So not a good start. 3 of us got the Monk's Delight, and mine came out about half the size. They really didnt want to fix it, but finally did. Food was average. Very loud and small tables. Service okay, but very keen to get people thru quickly. 3 stars 2006-05-20
Cha-Ya Fantastic food and a great addition to the Valencia Vegan Corridor (TM). Menu looks identical to the Berkeley location, but the space is much bigger. Would be good if they could adjust/replace the over bright fluorescent lights. Definitely on my new fav list and will return soon and often. 4.5 stars 2006-04-24
Cafe Gratitude I really want to like all of the Cafe Gratitude. Food is great, not too expensive, tasty, prompt service. Warm and inviting locations etc. etc., but the pretentious and totally false attitude of the company and staff stops me from making this a regular hang-out. 3 stars 2006-03-02
Vegetarian Gourmet taste food. uncannily similar to garden fresh in mountain view. with many of the dishes the same - both in look, quality and taste. excellent service. will be back soon i'm sure. 5 stars 2006-02-18
Medicine New-Shojin Eatstation Enjoyed an excellent dining experience -- top notch food, good service. Greatly appreciate the organic food quality. Highly recommend and will return. 5 stars 2005-12-23
Dharma's Natural Foods Large portions. Good quality home-style cooking. Non-vegan items clearly marked. The decor/atmosphere is not very good though. Feels very 70's and cafeteria style - cold and uninviting. I had the 'small' Bo Thai, which is twice the size of an average dinner at most places. 3 stars 2005-12-22
Feel Real Cafe Food is very tasty and wholesome. Loud music at times. Owner/staff were enthusiastic and friendly, but it's really bad that they openly smoke in the back of the restaurant/kitchen area, so will not be returning. Erratic hours even though they now have set hours, so best call before hand. 2 stars 2005-12-06
Fellini Vegan corn soup was great. Tried 3 different vegan pizzas with some friends. Good, but definitely not enough topping. All 3 were drowned in the vegan cheese which hide the real favors of each. Would be nice to try the pizza again with no cheese and ask for extra toppings. Going to reserve full judgment until I try their brunch. 3 stars 2005-09-06
Zante's Pizza & Indian Food I've changed my rating from a 4 to 2 - they say they have vegan pizza, but there's some confusion about what's in the crust. The curry pizza is very taste, but sadly I'll not be visiting this place again unless they regain my confidence somehow. 2 stars 2005-08-12
Pacifica Farmers Market Large produce section. Quality of organic produce varies - maybe due to volume/turn-over. Good selection of packaged veggie staples, breads, some bulk items and frozen or chilled items. Gross 'organic' meat counter in back. 3.5 stars 2005-08-12
Millennium Great if you want to dress up and have a fancy night out, but over priced and over rated. Sad to say I know, but people get all defensive about this public symbol of veganism in the bay area. I used to really love Millennium, but over the year’s subtle changes and higher prices, make it hard to justify spending $50+ a head. The yummy appetizer spread is no more, as well as the signature Napoleons and Millennium 'steak' entrees. Bottom line, the food is good but not as good as it used to be. 3.5 stars 2005-08-03
Tofoo Com Chay Good sandwich -- cheap price! -- not as much filling as Good Karma, but for $2, can't complain. Lemongrass tofu good 3.5 stars 2005-08-02
New World Vegan Good honest food, friendly service and really nice decor. 3 stars 2005-08-02
Mother Nature Vegetarian Cuisine A rather quiet place, but good food, which is mostly organic. Interaction with staff was a little strange. 3.5 stars 2005-08-02
Juicey Lucy's Interesting place, recently remodelled. Food is carefully prepared with lots of love, so be prepared to wait. A bit pricey, but it is all organic. Great desserts. 3.5 stars 2005-08-02
Hulu House I want to like this place because others rave about it, but every time I've eaten here I've been disappointed by the dishes. Either to small or no taste. I'm sure I need to go with someone who knows the menu. Very friendly staff, and nice atmosphere. 3 stars 2005-08-02
New Leaf Market Great natural food store in the heart of Santa Cruz. 4 stars 2005-08-02
Animal Place A must visit for anyone in the Bay Area. 5 stars 2005-08-02
Vegetarian House Long time fav in the South Bay by many folks, lots of fake meat dishes, vegan options clearly market - prob. 99% of menu can be made vegan if not already. Some would say it's a little sterile. 4 stars 2005-08-02
Other Avenues Great natural foods store. Close to a few cool veggie places and the beach. 5 stars 2005-08-02
Body Technician What can I say, Jordan is amazing. 5 stars 2005-08-02
Hobee's Okay tofu scramble and salad bar. Great if you need to find a restaurant to go with meat eaters if they'll not go to a veggie place. 3.5 stars 2005-08-02
Good Karma Excellent value. It close to a 5 star, but can't really compare to more sophisticated restaurants. In it's price bracket it's a leader. Very nice decor. Friendly staff. Thai curry was very tasty. 4.5 stars 2005-08-01
Annapoorna Tried really hard to eat here, but nobody could tell me what was vegan. Kept on getting a different answer from staff. I'm sure the food is great, but can't recommend it to vegans. 2 stars 2005-07-15
Supreme Vegan Good honest food, but a little over priced. Not much atmosphere, and many of the items on the menu were not available so was disappointed. 2 stars 2005-04-16
Kaleva Good food, friendly service, small portions. Great naan bread made fresh. 2 stars 2005-02-08
BayLeaf Cafe On the menu, quesadillas and mighty carrot roll are favorites... Check out Ravi's delicious Indian curries; really enjoyed today's coconut mung bean curry. Go on a 2nd Tuesday for Sean's BAV BayLeaf dinner -- it's really a fun community event. 4 stars 2005-01-01
New Ganges Food is just okay, nothing special. Service can be a bit over-powering. Atmosphere doesn't feel right, specially on a quiet night. 3 stars 2004-11-22
STOA Restaurant & Wine Bar 0.5 stars 2004-11-04
Spice by the bay Excellent food. I've had an opportunity to eat their food at several events and it's always been great. Highly recommended and really nice to work with. 5 stars 2004-10-05
Urban Forage - Mission This place has really grown on me. I much prefer it to the original UF and Herbs just down the block. No loud music or dining. Great atmosphere. Some of the portions may seem small compared to other restaurants, but everything is filling and probably one of the only true all ORGANIC and vegan places out there. Entrees on their own sometimes need a side dish or extra rice too. Also has great vegan desserts - Some home made and the more familiar Black China Bakery cakes. 4 stars 2004-08-27
MaggieMudd If you feel like treating yourself then head over to Maggie Mudd's. Great stuff. Try the Peanut Butter Palooka! 4 stars 2004-08-11
Otsu I love this place! 5 stars 2004-08-02
Bay Area Naturally Great local guide. 4 stars 2004-08-01
Urban Forage - Lower Haight Portions are super small for the price. I recently had the wasabi vegetable/rice bowl. It was almost all rice and for $6 a bit of a let down as most places charge $1-2 for a bowl of rice. This is almost boutique raw dining. 3 stars 2004-06-01
Rainbow Grocery Wonderful place to shop if you're vegan. Worth the trip to the city - make a day of it and go to Herbivores on Valencia which isn't far away. Bulk section is the best I've seen. 5 stars 2004-05-27
Geranium As a vegan I was pretty disappointed with the menu options. Service was excellent, but for about the same price Millenniums is far better and 100% vegan. Herbivores is also very close by and has a much better menu selection and much cheaper. This was their first week, so hopefully given time more vegan friendly menu options will be added. 2 stars 2004-05-23
Cafe Gratitude Awesome raw German chocolate cake. Main dishes are a tad small for the price and you may end up leaving wishing you went to Herbivores around the corner instead. 3 stars 2004-05-22
Golden Era Probably one of the best asian restaurants in the Bay Area for quality of food. Service is not good which detracts from the whole experience, making it a 3 out of 5 for me. 3 stars 2004-05-19
Pacifica Pet Hospital Very professional friendly staff and modern facility. Dr Hurlbut has taken care of our cats for many years after we moved to the coast. Highly recommended. 5 stars 2004-05-18
Sparks Great food. Big portions. Save room for their home made desserts - German choc cake is brilliant! Highly recommended. 5 stars 2004-05-17
Great Vegi Land good service. portions are large. not as good as it used to be since changing hands a few years ago. 3 stars 2004-05-17
Amarin Thai Food is good, but portions are a bit small and overpriced compared to other veggie restaurants in the area. 2 stars 2004-05-17
Herbivore Great sandwiches. If you're hungry the best deal is probably the basil linguine or the baked falafel. Service could be better. 4 stars 2004-05-07
Farm Sanctuary Their Thanksgiving for the Turkeys is a must if you live in the Bay Area. 5 stars 2004-05-07
Trader Joe's Go for the Jo Jo's!!! These are TJ brand vegan orio like cookies that are very good, plus they don't use hydrogenated oil. 4 stars 2004-05-07
Herbivore Every bit as good as Herbs on Valencia, maybe slightly better service. 4 stars 2004-05-05
Lucky Creation Not my favorite restaurant, but the only all vegetarian place in Chinatown. 2 stars 2004-05-04

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