Mon-Fri, 11am-10:30pm; Sat-Sun, 10:30am-10:30pm
7 at Flushing-Main St.
Taking the union of Chinese food and Jewish culture a step forward, Buddha Bodai offers all-vegetarian, kosher-certified, Buddhist-inspired cuisine to a vast range of Brooklyn diners, from native Chinese to observant Jews. The spacious, square room, with celery-colored walls and the obligatory golden Buddha, is neutral to the point of bland, yielding center stage to the enormous, varied menu—which lists 70 main-course choices alone. Among the soy-based dishes are a well-spiced Kung Pao “chicken” with a smoky, sweet finish, fried milk “meat” chop with Peking sauce, and vegetarian shark fin soup. (Of the restaurant’s 15 soups, it’s unfortunate that only two are available for fewer than four diners.) Daily specials like tofu-skin-wrapped mushrooms, smoked and served with black bean sauce, and crispy pan-fried noodles topped with vegetarian chicken and shredded beef, showcase the kitchen’s strengths, while desserts like mango pudding, which arrives quivering on the plate, evoke memories of cling peaches swathed in school-cafeteria vanilla pudding. Intimate conversationalists, beware: The restaurant uses a crackling microphone to announce available tables on crowded weekend nights, and to alert double- and triple-parked drivers, rupturing the room’s quiet mood with a jarring auditory blast.Extra
The freezer near the entrance holds take-home frozen dim sum, with myriad fillings: turnip cake, vegetarian pork, mushrooms, mock duck, and for the truly intrepid, vegetarian jellyfish.Recommended Dishes
Steamed dumplings, $4.20; stir-fried broccoli with ginger sauce, $9.95; pan-fried noodles with peppers, mock chicken and beef, and black bean sauce, $9.95