As much as I enjoy eating meat, there are those days when I just want veggies. Luckily, a friend suggested that we check out what she considered to be one of the best vegetarian restaurants in town. Considering that she's Vegetarian, I figured she would know her stuff so I had no qualms about making the trek with her to West Covina to dine at One World Vegetarian Cuisine.
Before I start talking about the specific items we ordered, there's just a couple of things I want to mention about this restaurant. First, unless otherwise specified, everything on their menu is vegan. All their dishes are prepared without meat, poultry, seafood, eggs or MSG and they cook all their food with filtered water. Second, the menu is globally influenced featuring everything from American to Hispanic to Asian to European cuisine.
Our meal that afternoon revolved around their Asian-style offerings, starting with the Summer Rolls, which had veggie ham, tofu, jicama and carrots rolled in thin rice paper and served with peanut sauce. One thing to note is that the veggie ham didn't pass for real ham as far as I was concerned; however, it had just the right amount of salty-smokiness that played well with the tofu and the jicama, which don't have strong flavor profiles on their own anyway. The juicy crunch of the jicama and the sweet crunch of the carrots also added nice textures and flavor to this spring roll.
Next to arrive was the Golden Crescent, which were crispy veggie shrimp served with sweet chili sauce. Although they were a tad over fried and the batter was a little heavy, the veggie shrimp itself actually did a good job mimicking the sweetness of real shrimp.
Time for noodles and we shared the Everlasting Unity Chow Mein, which were deep-fried chow mein topped with veggie ham, tofu, mixed vegetables in house sauce. I enjoyed the crispy chew of the noodles and compared to the Summer Rolls, I actually thought the veggie ham in this dish tasted more like the real thing. I think the difference lies in the fact that the ham in this chow mein was sauteed and perhaps, picked up a bit of carmelization from the sauce it was cooked in.
Green beans is one of my favorite vegetables so it's not surprising that we also ordered the Emerald Threaded Pearls which are green beans wok-fried with carrots and button mushrooms. By the way, aren't you loving the names of some of these dishes? Just based on the names alone, I almost felt like I was eating at a Hara Krishna temple at times. This green bean dish was straightforward in that it wasn't cooked in any fancy sauces, but I enjoyed the crispness and the freshness of everything on that plate.
The last dish, before we ordered dessert, was the Spicy Lemongrass Tofu and it was also my favorite of the entire meal. I liked that the tofu was deep-fried and the sauce was amazing. It definitely had a kick to it and so flavorful. Even after the tofu was gone, I was spooning it over rice and enjoying it that way.
Even after 5 shared dishes, there was still room for dessert and we ordered two of them. The cheesecake was wonderful. I just loved how creamy it was.
I also enjoyed trying what was referred to on the menu as the Divine Chocolate Cake. Divine is a pretty strong adjective and while I wouldn't classify this cake as divine, it was still pretty good and something I wouldn't mind ordering again.
Overall, I really enjoyed my meal from start to finish and considering that One World Vegetarian Cuisine is fairly close to my part of town, I would definitely return to try other dishes from their extensive menu.
To see pics, go to:
One World Vegetarian Cuisine
178 S Glendora Ave
West Covina, CA 91790