Saturday, October 10, 2009
VeganMoFo: Vinh Loi Tofu
I've been known to be a creature of habit when it comes to food at times. A perfect example is that I routinely order the same dish at Vinh Loi Tofu every time I'm there. This summer, however, I broke free of that box and ordered the Curry Chicken with Rice Noodles (Vinh Loi Tofu is an entirely vegan Vietnamese restaurant, so that chicken is faux; don't worry). The menu describes this fresh-yet-spicy meal as "Rice vermicelli noodles with curry chicken, mixed greens, cucumber, pickle radish & carrots, peanut, and curry sauce." Truth be told, it's almost exactly the same dish as my beloved favorite, but I really loved the spiciness that the curry sauce imparted. Next time, I just might order my favorite, but with the curry sauce instead of the lighter coconut sauce.
My dad was with me on this Vinh Loi Tofu visit and we had a great time chatting with Kevin, Vinh Loi's proprietor, and his wife. Kevin even prepared a very special fried rice meal for my dad, one that he made up on the spot. I had enough on my plate (literally) and didn't try my dad's fried rice, but he proclaimed it the best he'd ever eaten.
Vinh Loi Tofu is easily one of the best vegan restaurants in Los Angeles. Kevin makes tofu and soy milk from scratch on premises, giving us a fresh source right in the heart of the San Fernando Valley. His restaurant also houses a small market of Asian specialty foods. I've stopped in just for ingredients on many occasions.
Today is a special day, not just because I'm going to see Jason Mraz (a raw vegan, yoga practitioner, environmentalist, and hopefully my future husband about whom I wrote briefly here) play at the Hollywood Bowl, but because today is the 11th anniversary of the day I became vegetarian (and later vegan) and never looked back.