Monday, May 30, 2011

Meatless Mondays At Whole Foods

Whole Foods has always been my favorite grocery store for Vegan goods but I hate how overpriced they can be. Of course, their products are so high quality and delicious, so in a way, I guess their prices are justified. Nevertheless, they still have good deals and infrequent sales, though these price cuts are not advertised very well. It takes a keen eye to spot their discounts or just a bargain hunter who is constantly seeking deals. My new favorite deal is their take on the growing phenomenon, Meatless Mondays. In their prepared food section, there are three ever-changing Vegetarian/Vegan options that are $1-2 off a pound. While this might not seem like much of a discount, it does in fact make the meal significantly cheaper. And, for people like me who cringe at the thought of cooking, it makes for an easy, convenient meal.

A couple Mondays ago, I ordered both Vegan options to see how they fared. The dishes were Asian BBQ Tofu ($1 off a pound) and Lemon Herb Tofu ($2 off a pound). I opted for each to be filled in small containers. The total came out to about $5 and was very filling.

First, I tried the Asian BBQ tofu.

This was delicious and my favorite of the two. It had a slightly sweet glaze and was lightly spiced. The tofu was very soft, but slightly chewy. There was a subtle saltiness to it and the sauce was so scrumptious. In addition, there was a slightly charcoal taste from being cooked on a grill.

Next, I had the Lemon Herb Tofu.

I enjoyed this, but it seemed to be lacking something. It was very flavorful and the sauce was very creamy and well-spiced. It was a bit too garlicky and the taste of lemon was very dominant. I would have liked there to have been a sweetness to balance out the taste of herbs. The tofu in this dish was also very well cooked and was soft and luscious.

I was very pleased with my Whole Foods Meatless Monday experience, and I cannot wait to try more of their offerings. I hope they will have more variety in the future, as I was a bit overwhelmed by all the tofu. I am still glad there was a contrast in the sauces of the dishes and I was able to experience different flavors. I am so glad Whole Foods has the deal and is encouraging their customers to Go Veg, even if only for one day of the week.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

More Amazingness At Amwaj

On a frigid late afternoon, my friend and I returned to Amwaj, where we had enjoyed a delicious meal two months earlier. I was delighted to see the restaurant revamped their vegan menu and had even more enticing options. I debated what to order, while my non-vegan friend did the same with the equally large regular menu. We were the only ones seated in the eloquent dining room, as it was an awkward in between time where it could have been either a late lunch or early dinner. Nevertheless, we enjoyed ourselves and didn't have to worry about anyone ease dropping on our conversation, save for the bored waitstaff. We used our $25 dollar gift certificate and this time made a better attempt to spend the minimum of $35.

While we browsed the extensive menu, we placed an order for hummus ($6). Sadly, they removed the hummus sampler from the menu and there was only a plain hummus offering.

My disappointment faded fast when the appetizer came out. It did not look anything like the typical hummus I have become so accustomed to. It was very creamy and decadent and had a rich, garlicky taste with notes of tahini. There were also so many spices interspersed that added a nice kick and made it very flavorful. The olive oil in the center was a great touch, adding a light contrast and sopping up the warm, soft pita bread very well.

Next, my entree came out, the Vegan Chicken Lasagna ($12).

This was so delicious. The lasagna was filled with well-seasoned vegetables and coated in a light marinara sauce and melted daiya cheese. The gardein chicken was also quite tasty and had a slightly chewy texture. This was a great take on a traditional Italian dish, as there were many Mediterranean spices mixed in, giving it such an intense flavor. The accompanying sauteed vegetables had a light spice and were delicately covered in oil.

Lastly, my dessert came out, the Pecan-Walnut Pudding ($8). I ate the majority of this, as my friend was stuffed from her meal.

This was pretty much a vegan version of a caramelized flan dish and was so amazing. Even my non-vegan friend was blown away by the flavor and consistency. It was very sweet and the nut topping worked perfectly on the soft custard. Even better, there was a light mixture of a bittersweet powder on the bottom that had a hint of cocoa. I love a great surprise!

Overall, I loved this meal. I am so happy that Amwaj expanded their Vegan Menu and my hopes are that they will continue to add even more delicious options. The food tastes very authentic and I love that they incorporate Italian dishes into their Mediterranean repertoire. I was disappointed we were not served the amazing complimentary focaccia bread on this visit, as that was one of the highlights from my previous dining experience. While the menu is a bit pricy, the gift certificate made it significantly cheaper at just $14 with tax and tip. I will definitely be back and can't wait to try more of their vegan offerings.

Friday, May 27, 2011

I Spot A Very Veggie Burger Deal

In celebration of Memorial Day Weekend, Groupon has decided to have deals surrounding burgers. The idea that summer holidays are meant for burning animal flesh disgusts me and I hate that Groupon is encouraging its customers to do so. On the upside, they are offering a vegan-friendly deal, which I hope outshines its meaty competition. For only $5, you can get a delicious burger at The Spot (worth up to $11). 

                            $5 Burger Deal At The Spot

I visited and reviewed this restaurant just a couple weeks ago and loved it.

                            My Review of The Spot

While I've never had their veggie burgers, everything I ordered at The Spot was delicious and I'm sure the veggie burgers are just as good. I cannot wait to try it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Best Raw Meal At Better Life Cuisine

Lately, I've been trying to eat raw food more often. The food gives me this amazing energy and consequently, I am able to be way more productive. One of my favorite raw places that I discovered fairly recently is Better Life Cuisine in Santa Monica. While I'm sure I must have passed it a million times on my way to the beach, it wasn't until I examined the list of participating restaurants on, that I thought to dine there. In fact, when I first came across it, I questioned whether it was actually vegan, since there were various types of fish and dairy products listed on the menu. It took a closer look for me to realize that the fish and dairy mentioned were in fact nut-based to resemble the real thing. Last week, my dining partner and I ventured to Better Life Cuisine to use our $25 gift certificate.

We ordered two entrees to share, each with a choice of a side. We opted for the Manicotti Rolls with a side of Seaweed Soup ($10.75) and Lasagna with a side of couscous salad ($11.50).

First, we dug into the couscous salad.

The couscous salad was very refreshing and had a soft texture. The assorted vegetables were lightly seasoned, with a slight crispness.

Next, we shared the seaweed soup.

Honestly, the thought of seaweed soup disgusted me, but this was the only option Better Life had on this day. Nevertheless, I found the soup to be oddly enjoyable with a slight tartness and bitterness to contrast the very creamy consistency of the broth. The pieces of seaweed floating in the soup were very soft and well-seasoned. The crackers accompanying the soup were very crispy and had a light, seedy taste.

We then tried the two entrees. First up, was the Lasagna.

The lasagna was very enjoyable. In place of noodles were cooling slices of zucchini along with fresh tomatoes, pureed to form a sauce. The sweetness of the tomatoes perfectly balanced the slight saltiness of the nut cheeses. The ricotta cheese was so creamy and decadent, while the mozzerella cheese was soft and heavenly. There was also a parmesan topping to add even more cheesiness and the basil garnish added an extra spice and crispness to the dish.

My favorite entree that I've had at Better Life is the Manicotti Rolls.

These are very similar to the Lasagna, only they are better portioned and are even creamier, since they are solely composed of ricotta cheese. Each roll is so well seasoned with the luscious ricotta cheese oozing out of the crisp zucchini wrapper, coated in a thick layer of soft tomato chunks, topped with a generous sprinkling of parmesan cheese. This dish is so close to the real thing in taste, it's a bit of a surprise that it is completely raw.

Lastly, we finished our meal off with a bunch of desserts. First, we shared Chocolate Lover smoothie that another customer had been raving about ($8.75).

While this drink looked amazing, I did not enjoy it all that much. It was not very chocolatey and tasted too bitter. The smoothie also could have been frothier, although it was fairly creamy. The raw smoothies I'm used to have a sweeter taste and are more dessert-like.

We also had the pumpkin cheesecake ($7).

This was pretty good and the pumpkin taste was pretty strong. There were also notes of spirulina that gave it a hint of tartness. The consistency was very smooth and the chocolate sauce topping was sweet and creamy. The cheesecake itself could have been way sweeter and more decadent.

Lastly, we had a Cinnamon Bun ($4) to top off the meal.

The cinnamon bun was very sweet and sugary and had a soft, gooey consistency. The vanilla topping made it even creamier and was so rich and decadent. The splashes of cinnamon on top added even more flavor and provided a great balance to the vanilla sauce. This was so amazing and I cannot wait to order it again.

Overall, I really enjoyed my meal. I love that Better Life provides such a great value and is fairly inexpensive in comparison to other raw restaurants. They are the only raw restaurant I've been to that not only has decent prices for the entrees, but includes a side dish at no extra charge. The food is also very high quality and the dishes are quite innovative. My only complaint is some of the dishes taste very similar, so maybe they could vary it up. I also would love to see more decadent smoothies and desserts. Nevertheless, everything was so delicious and we spent less than $14 a person with the discount (plus tax and tip). I will definitely be back soon!

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Very Sweet Experience At Sweet E's Bakeshop

My obsession for cupcakes is fairly recent and seems to be intensifying with the many cupcake shops popping up and carrying vegan options. I have found the vegan offerings taste even better than their non-vegan counterparts, which I find to be a bit surprising. It seems the lack of egg and dairy actually significantly improves the flavor. I also feel so much better putting less crap into my body and never feel as disgusting eating a vegan cupcake as I did a non-vegan one. I was excited when Sweet E's Bakeshop opened and even more excited when a couple months ago, they decided to have a Groupon deal. I loved that they carry a wide array of dessert options and have innovative flavor options. They even have a mobile truck that is perfect for days that I'm too lazy to drive very far.

A couple weeks ago, I redeemed my Groupon for $11 for a dozen mini-cupcakes at their Beverlywood storefront. Unfortunately, it was late on a Sunday afternoon and they did not have many vegan options. Since the Groupon was close to expiring and I did not have much time during the week to return, I ordered what they had: ten Chocolate Lover's and two Vanilla Vanilla.

I opened the box to eat a Chocolate Lover's first, since there were so many of them.

The Chocolate Lover was so delicious and decadent. I do not normally like chocolate cake, so I dreaded having so many of this type.

Nevertheless, Sweet E's somehow made the chocolate cake in the cupcake not only bearable but so rich and decadent. It was very moist and only slightly cakey. The frosting on top was even better and was so chocolatey and not overly sweet. It was also not as creamy as frostings typically can be and had a denser consistency. I really enjoyed this cupcake, although I would loved for there to have been more flavors to balance the chocolate out.

My favorite cupcake was the Vanilla Vanilla and I was sad there were only two of these.

The cake was very soft and moist and had a rich, buttery taste. The frosting on top was slightly creamy and very sweet. It really balanced the cupcake out, especially with the addition of crunchy, sugary sprinkles. I found this cupcake to be even more flavorful than the chocolate cupcake, although both were very delicious.

Overall, I loved these cupcakes. I only wish I was able to try more flavors, although the cupcakes I had were quite satisfying. I really like that the cupcakes were smaller than a typical cupcake, as they were more portion controlled. I also found this to be a great deal with each cupcake costing less than $1. I will definitely be back, if only to try more amazing varieties.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Voracious Meal At Veg-It-Up

A few months ago, I discovered a Vegetarian fast food joint through a Groupon deal. They have an exciting concept of serving comfort food that closely mimics dishes offered at traditional American restaurants. At first glance, their menu seemed all too familiar and representative of Vegan cafes, such as Native Foods and Veggie Grill. Nevertheless, I bought the Groupon for $10 for $20 worth of food and drink and headed down to Inglewood to give them a chance. Unfortunately, their hours were slim and they seemed to mostly be a lunch destination. The trek to Inglewood was not an enjoyable one, but was definitely worth it, as the food was fantastic.

The restaurant was nestled in a mostly industrial area and tucked into a tiny strip mall. There was not much seating in the restaurant, but this did not matter much, as they were not very busy. The few patrons that came, browsed the small grocery store and ordered a few items to go. I browsed the menu, which was mostly Vegan, with the exception of a few items containing cheese. These dishes, however, could easily be made Vegan with a substitution of Vegan cheese.

I started my meal with the Mango Strawberry Peachy Blend Smoothie ($4).

This smoothie was way bigger than I expected. It was so creamy and slightly frothy. There was a great combination of fruity flavors, with the peach being the most overpowering. It was very sweet, but also made a refreshing complement to the meal.

Next, I dug into my appetizer, Breaded Chik'n Tenders ($6).

These were so similar to the chicken nuggets I used to eat at McDonald's as a kid, only way less greasier. The breading was very well-seasoned, with a slight spice to it. The interior was so remniscent of a Chicken tendon, it was a little frightening. It was very soft and slightly chewy. There were some carrots and celery accompanying the Chik'n that were very crunchy to contrast the delectable softness of the Chik'n tenders.

Next, I had the Multi Bean Beef Chili ($4.50).

This is quite possibly the best Chili I have ever had. It was so hearty and dense with ingredients. The beans were very well-cooked and softened and mixed well with the savory chunks of soy beef. The tomatoes added a subtle sweetness to contrast the rich bean and beef flavorings. The Chili was also served with some buttery crackers, which added an extra crunch.

Lastly, I had the Tacos Al Carbon ($6).

The soft taco shell was lightly seasoned and filled with juicy soy steak pieces. There was a mildly spicy sauce coating the slightly chewy steak, along with slices of onion and basil to add to an extra kick. The dish was so delicious and very flavorful. Normally, I prefer a hard taco shell, but the soft tortillas really complemented the thick pieces of steak. The chips accompanying the tacos were a little stale, but the tomato salsa softened them up a bit.

Overall, I really enjoyed the meal and am so happy I found this place. The dishes are so reasonably priced and affordable and quite tasty. Veg-It-Up could easily compete with its fellow Chain counterparts, Veggie Grill and Native Foods, as their food is just as delicious, yet not as greasy. I surprisingly did not feel disgusting after eating all this food, but instead found myself dreaming about my next visit. I only spent $12 with the deal, which included a massive amount of food and drink. I cannot wait to go back and will probably take advantage of their combination meal deal, which includes an entree, fries and drink for just $9.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I Spot A Delicious Dinner At The Spot

On a beautiful evening, my dining partner and I headed to the beachy Vegetarian cafe, The Spot, in Hermosa Beach. I was excited to try the food at this quaint cafe that I had only heard positive things about. I purchased their Groupon deal for $20 worth of food and drinks for $10. We sat down outside and admired the eclectic decor, reminiscent of a cozy, traditional Mexican restaurant. I felt very relaxed and could almost feel the light breeze from the beach, just steps away. We looked over the menu, which mostly consisted of Mexican dishes but also included Italian and healthy stir-fries. I desired Mexican food, while my dining partner was craving mashed potatoes. Luckily, most of the menu could be made vegan with an easy substitution of soy cheese.

I ordered the Tamale Combo Plate ($13), which included a tamale, taco and enchilada, served with rice and beans. My dining partner chose the Blue Plate Special, a Veggie burger topped with sauteed onions and mushrooms and gravy, served with mashed potatoes and veggies ($12).

First, the waitress brought out a complementary appetizer of carrots with tahini sauce.

This was a great way to start the meal and very refreshing. The carrots were very crisp and crunchy and went very well with the lightly spiced, creamy tahini sauce.

Next, my Tamale Combo Plate came out.

I really enjoyed this dish. It is not often that I get to enjoy Vegan Mexican food and I was so excited to dig in.

I first tried the enchiladas, as this has always been my favorite Mexican dish.

The enchilada was very soft and easy to eat. There was a light filling of well-seasoned broccoli that was further enhanced by the savory red sauce coating the enchilada. The Follow Your Heart cheese had its usual funky flavor and seemed out of place, not having melted into the tortilla. This enchilada would have been so amazing had the cheese been daiya.

Next, I ate the taco.

This was also very delicious. The outer shell was very crunchy, with a light spice and the interior was filled with sweet tomatoes contrasting savory soy meat crumbles. There was a light coating of taco seasoning which gave the juicy crumbles a little more intense flavor. The Follow Your Heart cheese also seemed odd in this dish and created an imbalance to the various textures. It also maintained its displeasing aftertaste.

The rice and beans accompanying the taco and enchilada were very delicious, although the rice could have used a little more seasoning and the consistency of the beans seemed off with the generous coating of Follow Your Heart cheese. Nevertheless, they complemented the main dishes well.

I saved the tamale for last, since it came on its own separate plate.

The tamale was very good. It was very soft and had a savory coating, which was very fitting with the well-spiced interior of various vegetables. The accompanying mild salsa added a little extra spice, although the tamale was still delicious on its own. I would not change a thing about this dish.

My dining partner really enjoyed his Blue Plate Special.

He described the sauce as very savory, and the vegetables were soft and well-seasoned. He most enjoyed the mashed potatoes, which had a very creamy consistency.

Lastly, we ordered a peanut butter chocolate chip tofu pie, which the waitress highly recommended.

The peanut butter was very overwhelming, with the taste of chocolate being very subtle. The silken tofu provided a great consistency, and the pie shell was fairly crunchy. I would have liked this dessert to have more of a chocolatey flavor to balance out the peanut butter, as it was overly creamy.

Overall, I really enjoyed the meal. It was great to be able to have a sampling of various Mexican dishes, and they all tasted very authentic. The Spot has a great atmosphere and is very good for a relaxing meal. The menu is a bit overpriced, but the Groupon made it about $13 per person. I really hope The Spot will consider using daiya cheese, as it would really enhance their dishes and take them to a whole other level. I would go back again, but probably only with another deal.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Very Sweet Deal

Today, Popsugar, a Group buying site, is offering a great deal on cake pops at Sweet E's Bakery. A cake pop is essentially a decorated mini cupcake on a stick. This can be used at their store or on their mobile truck and luckily they have many vegan options. They have a variety of flavors from white chocolate to cookie dough. For $9, you can get half a dozen cake pops, which normally cost $3 each.

50% off Vegan Cake Pops

While I've never had Sweet E's cake pops, I've heard amazing things about them. I have tried their 
cupcakes, which were some of the best I've ever had. I cannot wait to try these.

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Very Vegan Frappy Hour Experience

Last week, I attended the Frappuccino Happy Hour at Starbucks almost every day and it provided a great afternoon refreshment. The beverages were just as creamy as I remember and tasted just like the non-vegan version I used to drink religiously. I was excited to order my beloved favorites and also try some new offerings. I was definitely not disappointed and only wish Frappy Hour could have been extended a few extra days so I could enjoy more.

On day one, I opted for the tall soy mocha coconut frappuccino, which is a new addition to the frappuccino menu.

This was so delicious and quickly has become my new favorite frappuccino. It was very rich and decadent and had a strong chocolate flavor. The taste of coconut was also dominant and went really well with the mocha flavoring. There was a touch of chocolate syrup on top with a sprinkling of toasted coconut pieces that took the drink over the top.

On day two, I ordered the tall soy mocha frappuccino.

The mocha frappuccino was very creamy and decadent and had a strong chocolately flavor and was even sweeter than the mocha coconut frapp. There was also a hint of coffee, which added a slightly bitter taste. I wish the barista had topped the drink with chocolate syrup, but it still tasted great regardless.

On day three, I ordered one of my prior favorites, the tall soy caramel frappuccino.

This was very creamy and had a rich caramel flavoring. There was a hint of coffee and notes of chocolate. The beverage was very decadent and tasted very heavenly.

On day four, I decided to order the tall mocha coconut frappuccino again.

This was just as good as it was on the first day. It tasted a little more chocolately, however, and the coconuts were not as crispy.

On day five, I opted for the tall soy strawberries and cream frappuccino.

I was very conflicted about this drink. It seemed to be a cross between a smoothie and a milkshake but could not make up its mind. It was very creamy but had an artificial flavor. The drink was refreshing yet was too rich and felt bubbly inside my stomach.

I really enjoyed Frappy Hour and cannot wait for it again next year (although I hope they do another one sooner). I used a registered Starbucks gift card, which made the cost of soy milk free. Each drink ended up costing less than $2, which was a really great deal. I am so happy Starbucks is offering these vegan alternatives that are just as creamy and decadent as their nonvegan counterparts.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Savory Meal At Samosa House

I discovered the Samosa House in Culver City a few years ago by some Vegan classmates. I was a Vegetarian at the time and immediately fell in love with their concept of delicious food at a very low price. They have a constant special for $8, which includes a combination of three dishes, raita or soup, rice and a choice of bread. The employees at Samosa House are very generous in the amount of portions they give and I often find my plate overflowing with delectable food. This Indian cafeteria is Vegetarian but the Vegan dishes are clearly labelled and the servers are more than happy to point them out, even though it is quite obvious. They are also more than willing to make substitutions and will explain what is in each dish when prompted. 

On my most recent trip to the Samosa House I ordered the combo plate with soy fish, jackfruit and chana masala. I opted for the sambar soup with papad in place of bread. 

I began with the sambar soup as my appetizer. It was fairly chunky and loaded with vegetables and lentils. It was quite spicy but not excessively so. The jackfruit was probably my favorite and was very soft and well-seasoned. It had a meaty flavor and was lightly spiced. The basil added a slight coolness to the dish and provided a great contrasting texture. The chana masala was also very soft and had a very spice. It was very well-seasoned and savory to match the jackfruit. The soy fish was also very enjoyable. It was slightly chewy and soaked in a very spicy sauce. The soy fish was fairly salty and had a slight bitterness. The sauce coating it had a slight tanginess and mixed very well with the soy fish and accompanying rice.

The papad was a great complement to the meal and really mellowed out all the varying degrees of spices from the dishes. 

The papad was very crisp and slightly cooling. It had a light spice and I could really taste the lentils that were cooked in.

Overall, I really enjoyed my meal. I was completely full from my $8 meal and had so many tastes in my mouth. I love that the Samosa House varies the dishes they offer and every time I go, there's always something new. I cannot wait to go back and see what they will have next time. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

A Creative Dinner At Kreation Kafe

On a balmy Friday night, my friend and I met to dine at Kreation Kafe in Santa Monica. I was excited to see the menu had a fair amount of vegan options and even a couple dessert selections. I decided to order a few Tapas, as they sounded enticing and I desired a sampling of various dishes. I had a $10 gift certificate which required me to spend a minimum of $20. The restaurant was pretty expensive, since they use high quality, organic ingredients, thus it was quite easy for me to spend a lot.

I began the meal with a Persian Garden Cucumber Salad ($6).

The salad was very light and refreshing. The vegetables were very crisp and well-seasoned. There was a very slight spice and the oily vinaigrette added a creamy texture and slight tanginess. There was also a garnish of walnuts, which added an extra crunch.

Next, I had a quinoa salad ($8).

This was also very light but quite flavorful. There was a very subtle sweetness to the quinoa and the vegetables were well-cooked and lightly seasoned. The cilantro garnish added a slight spice and was very cooling.

Lastly, I had bruschetta ($7), which was probably my favorite.

The tomatoes were coated in a layer of oil and were very well-seasoned and spiced. The basil garnish was very light and a great contrast to the sweet tomatoes. There was also a hint of garlic, which greatly enhanced the flavor. The accompanying celery was very crisp and went well with the soft tomato mixture.

The bread accompanying the bruschetta was well toasted and very crunchy. It sopped up the tomato mixture very well and was also a great contrast to the soft, oily tomatoes.

The waiter also brought out some pita bread, which worked really well when the bread was gone. I enjoyed rolling the tomato mixture in, although the pita was quite chewy.

Overall, I really enjoyed my meal. Each dish was so flavorful, yet remained very healthy. Afterwards, I felt very satisfied and energized. With the discount, I only paid about $16, which was definitely worth it considering the amount of delicious, organic food I ate. I will definitely be back and next time hope to try their chocolatey desserts.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Fresh East: Not So Fresh

When I first heard about Fresh East in West Hollywood, I was excited. I loved the concept of healthy food that integrated various traditional Asian dishes. I often get sick from greasy Asian food, so I looked forward to enjoying a meal without getting stomach pains. I headed over to Fresh East with my groupon that I paid $10 for $20 worth of food. I looked over the menu which had many vegan options, in addition to items which could easily be made vegan upon request.

Everything sounded so interesting and I debated between Indian and Chinese food. I decided to try their Indian food. First, I ordered the red lentil soup ($4) and green salad ($3) to start. I opted for the Palak Paneer ($9) made vegan by substituting the cheese with tofu and omitting the yogurt. To accompany the meal, I ordered a melonade ($2). There was also complimentary mint lemon water. 

First, my red lentil soup came out.

This was pretty good. It had a slight spice to it and the lentils were fairly well-seasoned. The mint on top added a slight bitterness and was very cooling. I would have loved to see this soup be spicier as it was quite bland for an Indian dish.

Next, the salad came out.

This salad was delicious. The vegetables were very crisp and there was a nice variety. The dressing was very tasty and was sweet with a slight tanginess. It had notes of mango and a hint of spice. It worked perfectly on the salad and was fairly thick.

The melonade accompanying the meal was the best part.

This was so sweet and very refreshing. The taste of melon was very strong and there was a hint of lemon to balance it out. There was also a slight minty flavor which was very cooling.

Lastly, my main dish came out.

This was quite disgusting and inedible. There was absolutely no flavor. The red lentil dal was decent but was even blander than the soup. There was too much dal with not enough seasoning. The tofu and spinach was almost impossible to eat. The tofu was very undercooked and crumbly and the spinach was overly chewy. There was no seasoning on either one and they were completely tasteless. The rice was even worse and was very sticky. Even mixed with the dal, the consistency seemed way off. 

While the food was far from oily, I somehow ended up nauseous almost immediately after my meal. I wish this place understood that it is possible to have healthy food that tastes good. If they had just added more seasoning to each dish, it would have been way better. It's hard to see how there is such a huge difference between the delectably sweet lemonade and extremely bland Indian food. There needs to be more of a balance with the food and I hope Fresh East will work out these kinks as they have so much potential.