Sunday, July 1, 2007

Restaurant Review: Vegan Zone (San Diego, CA)


Hey, Art here; Vicki has been a little too sparse on these posts so I thought I'd hijack the thing and do a quick restaurant review. Last week, my buddy, Chris, in San Diego, told me about this place he really thought I would like. By my information, this would be the newest vegan eatery in the San Diego -- called The Vegan Zone, located at 859 Hornblend in the Pacific Beach area. Vicki and I lived in "PB" for several years, but we moved away in 1997. It seems like each time we get back to PB we find more and more healthy food options. I can't find a website for the Vegan Zone, but their phone number is (858) 272-1913, they are located one block east of Mission Boulevard, just south of Garnet Avenue.






We were parched so we started with vegan smoothies, forgot the flavor but damn they were good. It was like strawberry and another fruit, maybe pineapple.


The best way for me to describe the event was to snap pictures on my cell phone camera and post them up here. They actually turned out pretty good for cell phone pictures and no flash.










Fake "chicken" drumsticks with sauce -- the same ones we have found at some Thai places (MaiThai in Boise serves them). It's some kind of seitan wrapped onto wood sticks, crisp fried. I got them out of curiosity to see if they were the same ol' thing, and they are; they were good, I would have used a different sauce instead of the teriyaki stuff that came with it, but they were really good with the "stock sauce."











Chris ordered the quesadilla, it was good with the vegan "cheese" and a little guacamole, but it needed hot sauce (we scarfed it before asking). Each table had Braggs and also organic condiments. I'm not big on vegan cheese, and the tortilla was a little dry, but the guacamole was tasty. We were hungry and this was gone pretty quickly, and we just shined the hot sauce request.












The fries that came with the burgers were delicious! I also had a bite of this burger (for sake of doing this, because dudes generally don't share bites like that). If I went back, I'd get this burger, it was killer. The menu was substantial, but they did not have "to go" menus available. I did actually try to snap some photos of the menu (for Vicki to check out) but then I felt funny, I was already taking tons of pictures and I didn't want to blow my cover.












Chris loved his Hawaiian Burger which was soy chicken and pineapple, tomato, lettuce, & fixins. I overheard him raving about it later to his roommate ("it was actually really good.").















I had sweet and sour chicken, which was great, and different, kinda cutlet style below larger, chunky vegetables. I was glad that the veggies were not cooked into submission, but instead, they were still crisp and fresh.



The place is brand new, people were streaming in and freaking out on the menu. There is a fantastic Thai place one block away (Karina Thai) which has famously served "mock duck" and such for decades, but it's all Thai, and more of a "restaurant" than a cafe. Adding the Vegan Zone to PB makes it possible to actually eat somewhere else other than Sipz (thank Kleo for that great find!).

97 comments:

bazu said...

I love this post, Art! The restaurant sound fantastic, and your photos really bring it to life. Sigh- now if only there was a trip to CA in my immediate future...

Rachel said...

Wow thanks for this. I just found your blog and what do you know, a post about my home town, or home county to be more exact. I live North of SD in Oceanside. My husband, 15 month old son, and myself are vegetarians and have SUCH a hard time finding good veggie eats in this relatively conservative county. Thanks again!!

laura jesser said...

This sounds great! Thanks for the wonderful review--I'll remember this one for whenever I finally make it out west to check out the vegan scene!

julie hasson said...

Love the review Art! You should come to Portland and do a review of the local restaurant scene. It would be fun to see how it compares to the California scene.

Isil Simsek said...

Vicki, you rock! check my blog at http://veggieway.blogspot.com/2007/07/dear-amy-aka-crunchy-domestic-goddess.html

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

Art, your review is wonderful and hilarious all at once!

Guys sharing bites of each others foods might not be the manly thing, but hey - thanks for doing that for us, your readers who live vicariously through your adventures!

Liliy said...

Art, great review!

VeggieGirl said...

sounds like a great restaurant - next time I head out to California I'll have to remember to try Vegan Zone!!

Theresa said...

Hey Art, hoorah for new vegan restaurants!

theONLYtania said...

Yay Art! Nice entry, those drumsticks look neat. What a cool place. And I agree on the fresh veggies.. yum. Good review.. now if I ever get to San Diego.. hehe..

Anonymous said...

Vegan zone is cool. Owned by Ivory Thai. Burgers and fries. Whatch know about that. Just to let you Karina which is across the way is not Vegan atleat their curry has shrimp paste. They use some pre mixed curry powder. I asked them if I could read the ingredients. Just looking out for you fellow vegans. Spring rolls are good there.

KleoPatra said...

i'm so there. THANK YOU!

textual bulldog said...

great post! this is my hometown and i love finding new vegan restaurants to try when i'm visiting! thanks for the info!

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