Review: Golden Era Vegetarian Restaurant  »

Golden Era is the original Supreme Master Ching Hai enterprise restaurant in San Francisco. Nearly every item on the menu is vegan; the mock meats are the delicious, mysterious kinds made of fungus and gluten and some such; and the menu is longer than a tabloid. That said, I will try to be brief.

Lettuce wraps = ¡muy delicioso!
House rice clay pot = ¡muy delicioso!
Wonton soup = ¡muy delicioso!
Red bean vegan milkshake = ¡muy, muy delicioso!
Flan = eh.
Mocha cake = ¡muy delicioso!

If eating here required membership in the cult of Supreme Master, I would not have much trouble renouncing whatever vestiges of Christianity* I yet vaguely retain.

I love this place. I love the waitstaff, how they leave you alone for a very long time and never insist you have rice when you don’t want it. I love the patrons for eating here instead of a terrible meaty restaurant of death. I love Supreme Master’s plan to save the world from global warming through veganism. If only they delivered.

Tip: If you have leftovers from different dishes, cook them up together in a pan the next day and make your own Golden Era at home!

*except for Christmas. Who doesn’t love a virgin birth? Also presents, and drinking whisky all day.


Review: Central Vegetarian!  »

Central Vegetarian is a new vegetarian/vegan restaurant on Park Street, the main drag in Alameda, a tropical isle of dreams located on the idyllic SF Bay, a.k.a. The Biggest Little City on Earth. I grew up on The Island, and finding ONE restaurant with even ONE vegan item on its menu is like trying to figure out how Star Jones gets out of bed in the morning instead of just killing herself. It’s like Labyrinth, bitches. Next to impossible. However, with the opening of Central Vegetarian, we have a player in the game, folks! With a menu that is nearly identical to Golden Era in San Francisco and Golden Lotus in Oakland, you can’t help but believe this is a Supreme Master Ching Hai Enterprise.* And it is: the chef/owner used to work in the kitchen at Golden Lotus but then realized she was hell of in a cult and jumped ship, taking the recipes with her! You go, girl!

The menu is mainly Vietnamese but there are some Chinese and Thai dishes. If you’re not a moron, you will order any of the clay pots, CARAMELIZED CHICKEN (!!!), spicy gourmet chicken (!!!) and the veggie chow fun. It’s cheap, filling and delicious. A VERY VERY VERY welcome addition to the prestigious Alameda eating scene. It takes its place alongside Subway and Applebee’s to complete the trifecta of Alameda Power Eating (APE). Watch your back, Gary Danko; APE is coming to get you and what we lack in deliciousness, we make up for in knife fights.

*God, I love that crazy bitch. She doesn’t believe in alcohol, drugs, sex, meat or happiness. Obviously, I’m down. With most of it. I mean one thing of it.

[photo via yelp]

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