In The Mood… For Some VEGAN Food!   »

While sharing a Gracias Madre taco at Green Festival with the Pink Dino (a PREVIEW taco, Gracias Madre still hasn’t opened), I was given a prehistoric mission: report on your underground dining experience to the Vegansaurus Massive.

So I ask you, trusty Vegansaurus readers, do you like dinner and a show? Of course you do.

At least one weekend a month, Chef (and shakuhachi musician/instructor) Philip Gelb of In The Mood for Food hosts an underground dining experience in a top secret West Oakland location. His four-course dinners are locally sourced, completely vegan, and every dinner includes a show featuring accomplished musicians handpicked by the chef himself. Gelb makes everything from scratch- all tofu, tempeh, and noodles are made in-house. He has a passion for sustainability, and the food speaks for itself. No shortcuts, just plain delicious. Don’t expect granola fare, you’re getting an often Asian-inspired ecletic blend of fresh cuisine and whimsical (I’ve always wanted to say that) flavor pairings.

The meal started off with a Roasted Acorn Square with Shiso Yuzu Pesto. Umm… let me just say that I want to take a bath in shiso yuzu and rub it all over my face. The soup was sweet and complex, but that salty shiso yuzu dollop completely blew my mind.

Next, we had a Homemade Socca with Caramalized Onions, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Olives, and Hummus. Socca is a middle-eastern inspired flat bread made with chickpea flour, so the whole things happens to be naturally gluten-free. Sorry guys, the moment I saw this dish I ate it all up without getting a picture.

The entreƩ soon arrived and I was in heaven. Delicious Basmati Rice Pilaf with HUGE speckled purple lima beans, homemade pomegranate tofu, and broccolini. I ate every little speck off of my plate, and wished I could make something so fantastic at home. Could you post this shit on VegWeb?

Now came the music… it was wonderful. A beautiful way to digest. Dessert comes after the show (music typically lasts 45 minutes). We ate pears poached in oolong tea, and a rosewater-saffron-cardamom ice cream. My iphone picture does the color of this ice cream no justice. It’s a crazy color of yellow- almost like the color of Banana Laffy Taffy (VEGAN). I’ve got two vices in life: Degrassi (shuddup) and white sugar. I like my sugar unhealthy. This dessert was of the healthy variety. It’s naturally sweet, and nothing has added sugar. My boyfriend, who’s not a sugar freak (who ARE you?), was obsessed with this dessert. He even asked for extra ice cream scoops, which were happily delivered.

Criticisms? The starters were way too small. Mama hungray! I could have had three of those soups and my boyfriend’s Socca dish was visibly larger than mine. A little frustrating when the food is so goddamn good and you don’t want it to end. Know that when you come here you WILL have to sit through a performance if you want to eat your dessert. Make sure you enjoy the style of music before booking your dinner. I was really happy with the quality of music at my particular dinner party.

You’re missing out if you don’t come to a Philip Gelb dinner party. The more people you can bring, the more you can make this dinner party your own. Vegans NEED culture! Menus and musicians are always announced in advance and space is quite limited. BYOB bitches. Make sure to book your seat far in advance.

This guest post is from Tessa. She is the awesome shiz and is in grad school right now to save the planet from people like you. And me. We’re all in this together!

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