Saturday, January 23, 2010

Gourmet Vegetarian- San Gabriel

Exterior of Gourmet Vegetarian

After a brisk walk around at the Arboretum with the Nikon, which was on its first adventure outside of home, we decided to eat lunch at Gourmet Vegetarian due to Weezermonkey's review as well as prior knowledge that there was a new restaurant. Finding a parking spot was not easy as usual in this large shopping plaza, but we were lucky as a car right ahead was just leaving as we arrived the carpark.

Interior

Inside, we were greeted and were ushered to a small alcove which had two tables. The other table was filled quickly, but then, without ordering anything, they left after about five minutes. I guess it may have been the camera (putting it on the table only attracts attention, as I just found out at an expensive dim sum lunch at Sea Harbour), or it could have been that the servers never took care of them.

Free Hot Tea

Right when we sat down to browse the menu, a hot glass pot of tea arrived. It was light on the palate with a pleasant fragrance. Gulp. Unfortunately, the glass reflected like at Pelican Hill and I got into the picture frame.

Cold Plate

Our dishes arrived very quickly in succession after we ordered, but to start off the lunch, we had a cold marinated plate of bean curd, hard boiled eggs, peanuts, and seaweed strips topped with cilantro. Everything was marinated in a sweetened soy sauce mixture which was not too strong; the tofu had some additional chili oil added. Other than that, everything tasted like how it would be originally plus the marinade flavors. The eggs were accented but not heavily. The tofu tasted much like itself and the marinade with a hint of heat. Peanuts easily went into our mouths. And the seaweed crunched and had a slight hint of the marinade flavor. Simple but pleasing dish.


Vegetarian Lions Head

Another dish we ordered was the Bean Curd with Spinach, which in Chinese translates to Vegetarian Lions Head (the meat version is a Shanghai dish consisting of large softball sized meatballs and brown sauce). This actually was more like three orders of a dim sum order of vegetarian braised bean curd rolls with the addition of a bed of spinach, in reality. Inside each of the "lion's head" was a filling of wood ear, carrots, and bamboo which were all tender with a nice bite. The outside bean curd sheet skin was still lightly crispy from its frying. Spinach was spinach, seasoned with the savory brown sauce.

Napa Cabbage and Bean Curd Sheets

The last dish we ordered was a plate of Napa Cabbage with Bean Curd Skin. It was pretty much that, just seasoned with salt. Nothing much to it! Nice light dish to go counter the fried veggie lion heads.

Free Hot and Sour Soup

Along with each dish ordered for lunch, we also got a choice of rice and hot and sour soup or pumpkin porridge with mantou. The hot and sour soup was hot, but not very sour to me. I did wish there was more filling, which included ingredients like wood ear, bamboo, and tofu, than soup though.

Fried Mantou

We enjoyed the fried mantou which came with a bowl of porridge. Unlike regular steamed mantou, the fried mantou had a fragrant outer crust while the inside was just like a regular steamed mantou- this one had pieces of dough made into thin slices inside which you could remove to enjoy.

Rice-and-Porridge

Both the rice and porridge were served in larger bowls and were cooked nicely. The porridge didn't have that much of a pumpkin flavor but nevertheless was okay.

Overall, Gourmet Vegetarian is a nice place to go for lunch. Nice interior and reasonably priced meals. For me, I'd stay with Bean Sprouts since it is just closer, but for larger portions or if I lived in San Gabriel, I would come here.


Gourmet Vegetarian
140 W Valley Blvd #222
San Gabriel, CA 91776
Tel: (626) 280-5998

Fourmet Vegetarian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Gourmet Vegetarian in Los Angeles

9 comments:

Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) said...

Looks like it was good! Wish we had places like that around here.

Dave -nibbleanibble said...

I wrote about food from this place a few days back. But then, it was in a somewhat unrecognizable form. And I didn't mention the name of the restaurant.

EatTravelEat said...

Amanda,
It was! These restaurants are not very close to me either. But is a 20 minute drive far? I guess to me, yes.

Dave,
AHA! So that was where your vegetarian post was about. Why is it that coincidences are happening with people writing about the same place in a matter of weeks? It happened to my Bean Sprouts review, and now this. Hmm...what shall be next?

KirkK said...

Hey ETE - Are you turning Vegetarian on us? ;o)

EatTravelEat said...

Kirk,
Of course I am! ;) You'll see meat in the next post I write.

tigerfish said...

I thought they serve whisked raw eggs to you (my mistake when I saw the pumpkin porridge) :O

EatTravelEat said...

tigerfish,
Now THAT would be interesting! I did get that one for sukiyaki at a expensive Japanese restaurant six years ago though.

Alice said...

I'd like to try the Vegetarian Lions Head! The cold plate sounds & look delicious too. : )

EatTravelEat said...

Alice,
A vegetarian form of meat is always quite interesting :). At another vegetarian restaurant, their vegetarian fish was layers of fried and steamed bean curd sheets. So good!