Shojin – Quite Possibly The Best Restaurant On The EarthMay 31 2012 by
It’s one thing to eat a plant based diet but it’s another to eat an organic plant based diet. While there are plenty of restaurants in the San Diego and LA areas that are plant based, there are only 2 (that my extensive google search has turned up) that are plant based AND organic. Two weeks ago my husband and I drove up to LA to try out the second restaurant on our list – Shojin. After checking out their menu online I was already in love with them. The first thing you see when you open up their menu is a cute little intro about their views and food style.
Our first trip to Shojin was for my birthday. My husband and I left the kids at home and enjoyed a much needed date ‘day’ with each other. We were starving by the time we arrived and ordered as many things as we could off the menu. My husband tried the Stuffed Shiitake Mushrooms (which he proclaimed as the best appetizer he’s ever had), Gyoza (which we split and was fabulous) and Orange “Chicken” Seitan (apparently I need to make this at home). I ordered the Yuzu Ponzu Seitan, Pirates of the Crunchy (best tasting thing I have ever put in my mouth!) and the Yellow Magic Orchestra (unbelievable!). Our food arrived VERY quickly and in between bites you could hear us murmuring “OMG”, “So yummy”, “Best food ever”, “Can’t stop eating”. It’s been years since we’ve been able to order ANYTHING we want off a restaurant menu and know that it’s healthy and good for us. We were so impressed by our meal that we ordered a bunch of items for take away so we could enjoy them again later that night.
We were so blown away by our experience at Shojin that the very next week we headed back up to LA – this time with the kids. While at first glance their menu doesn’t scream “kid friendly” they are actually really accommodating and there are plenty of things to choose from that are great for kids – also, chopsticks and kids = fun times.
Both Keegan and Caleb tried the Gyoza and loved it. For lunch they had the brown rice noodle bowl with a sweet soy sauce dressing.
My husband had the Gyoza again – they really are so delicious. The flavors are amazing.
For his main course he tried the Grilled Portobello Steak. I’m not a fan of mushrooms but I had the asparagus that came with it and the seasoning from the portobello was fantastic. If we weren’t in public I’m pretty sure he would have licked the plate!
All week I had been looking forward to one thing – Pirates of the Crunchy. Weird name but the most delicious thing I have ever eaten in my life. I could happily eat it everyday for every meal.
It’s hard to even look at the picture and not get in my car for a late night drive to LA. I wish I knew how to cook with tempura cause I would be making this dish everyday at home!
I decided to try a new ‘sushi’ this time and had the Caterpillar Rolls. I loved how they made the avocado on top look like fish. It was so cute I almost couldn’t eat it – I did say almost!
Shojin does have an amazing dessert menu and if you can manage to save room I highly recommend you give it a try. I haven’t actually managed to do that myself but my husband and kids tell me the desserts are out of this world delicious.
If the amazing food, gorgeous ambiance and fun selection of organic wine, beer and sake isn’t enough to tempt you then the friendly and helpful staff will be. They are great at answering any questions you have about the menu and will work with any food allergy or restriction you have.
Needless to say this is my favorite restaurant and I can’t wait to go back as much as possible. Road trip to LA anyone???