Sun-Fri, 11am-11pm; Sat, 11am-midnight
F, V at Lower East Side-Second Ave.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Delancey St. to 14th St., Ave. D to Fifth Ave.
Vegetarians searching for an evening out, rather than just a place to eat, often end up in a regular restaurant with a plate of steamed vegetables—the price paid for ambience and a liquor license. Luckily, this lively East Village place has these latter key components, along with satisfying vegan-kosher food. The long, low room has brick walls, pressed-tin ceilings, and ancient wooden floors. Mismatched floor and table lamps cast a rosy, romantic glow over the red brocade-covered tables and banquettes. The menu, vegan interpretations of Italian, Asian, and Mexican dishes, also includes Spanish and Middle Eastern specialties. The kitchen has a knack for making simple flavors work in unexpected ways—so the burrito doesn’t taste like the stir-fry with a whole-wheat tortilla around it. Mexican dishes, like the tempeh burrito, marinated-tofu quesadilla, and the addictive nacho starter are made with vegan sour cream; the lack of dairy grease makes the sweetness and tang of homemade guacamole and salsa pop. Salads are huge, and range from standard greens to sea vegetables to tropical fruits and nuts. “Live,” or raw, dishes often have nut butters as binders. Some things taste better than they sound, like the raw flaxseed chips—they’re crispy and tangy, almost like their barbequed potato counterparts.Extra
The restaurant offers daily live music performances and frequently holds nutrition lectures and readings in its back room.
11 a.m.–5 p.m., $14 prix-fixe
Classic nachos, $14