La Bodega Tapas or Other Recommended Vegetarian in Uptown / Lyn-Lake
We're going out with our vegetarian friends this weekend & they want to go to La Bodega. We haven't dined there in almost 2 years, and I consistently hear horror stories about the food & service. I actually enjoyed much of what they served, and none of us is particularly fussy (other than the veggie angle). Is it a safe pick?
La Bodega does have plenty of Vegetarian options (as I am a vegetarian myself and live around the corner). However, they pretty much all taste like garlic... lots and lots of garlic. But La Bodega is a fun place to go with a group, drink lots of sangria and eat the tapas. As long as your foodie expectations aren't too high, it is a fun place for a group.
Liola is what they have renamed the bar area and it is all swanked out in Ikea-type furnishings and serving Italian from a laminated plastic menu. I haven't tried the new Italian menu as I am slightly skeptical however it is a nice place to sit on couches with a date or a group of friends.
For other good vegetarian in the area, I would go to Tum Rup Thai for lots of yummy thai options, JP's for a couple of really good high quality options, or Galactic Pizza for lots of Vegan/Veggie pizzas. If you are willing to venture over to Hennepin, I have been enjoying Namaste Cafe a lot recently although their downfall is their lack of a liquor license.
Although La Bodega is vegetarian-friendly, their food is hands-down the worst I've had at any Minneapolis restaurant in the last year. They renamed the half of the restaurant that is directly on the Lyn/Lake corner, but I don't know if there's a new menu or chef there.
I went to It's Greek to Me for the first time in years last summer and was very disappointed, as were my friends (at least two vegetarians, me included).
I've heard good things about Emma's on Lyndale and around 28th; Fujiya is also veg-friendly and pretty good. Bryant Lake Bowl's more ambitious (less bar-ish) food is really overpriced and not particularly high quality. You might also consider French Meadow. If you're willing to go a bit further, there are numerous options on Nicollet as well as East Lake St.
I like La Bodega for what it is: a place near home to get some decent food and to drink a lot.
It is not great. I don't think it has more than a couple vegetarian options. It is spendy.
My favorite place is the area is Macchu Picchu. Very tasty, lots of seafood, but again, not veg friendly.
For veg friendly I'd go with Bryant Lake Bowl, though it is just bar food, it probably is best for a veg selection (aside from Milo's and Falafal King, but I doubt you want fast food.)
Why is Lyn-Lake so devoid of good veg selections?
Whoa, I really wouldn't call BLB "just bar food." They have a nice, varied menu, great beers and wines, and they work hard to support local and organic as much as they can. If you'd like to look at their menus online, they have them on their website: http://bryantlakebowl.com/
ETA: There's also Ecopolitan, French Meadow, Crema, Pizza Luce, Punch Pizza, Pizza Nea, Prima, Tum Rup Thai, all in Lyn-Lake or Uptown...there used to be a decent Indian place too, but I can't remember the name or if it's still there.
re: Mill City Modern
Oh, I agree, BLB is some of the best food around. I just think that if La Bodega is your first pick you might not be in the mood for bar food, which it is. There are lots of sandwhiches and burgers and such. It is really good bar food.
I forget that all those other places are in Lyn-Lake. I just consider them to be, well, somewhere else. Marla's is a pretty good Indian/Carribean place near there also. Good for veg food.
I was extremely disappointed in their tapas the 2 times I've been - but now it's been over 2 years since then. The first time I went I had just moved to Minnesota a couple of months before and got extremely depressed about living here after thinking that La Bodega was considered good tapas.
As far as vegetarian, most restaurants would do I would think. Fuji Ya is getting thumbs up over in the sushi thread if you're up for that. Not sure about all the veggie options there but I've hit El Meson 3 times this month by coincidence and have been really happy.