Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Feb 3, 2007 07:09 AM

Vegetarian Vietnamese Options in San Jose

[Note: This topic was split from this thread: - The Chowhound Team


Sorry about your experience. I agree w/ Cynsa's rec for White Lotus, a fully vegetarian Viet place; the pumpkin soup was very memorable. I also believe that Quang Da on Santa Clara St. just west of Vung Tau has a small vegetarian menu. I've also heard good things about a tiny hole-in-the-wall place on Santa Clara that excels at Viet veg. I'll post later if I remember the name...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Carb Lover-
    There are two vegetarian places on Santa Clara St.: (1) Tofoo Com Chay (Santa Clara and 9th St.) and (2) newly opened Kimba Vegetarian Bistro (Santa Clara and 7th St.). Kimba occupies the old location for Good Karma which has moved to S. 1st near San Clara.

    Both locations are very good. I prefer Kimba just a little more because I can dine in without being in anyones way. The most expensive dish at Kimba's is $5.50.

    3 Replies
      1. re: Melanie Wong


        At Kimba, I've tried the Spring Rolls, Beef Veggie Stew, Spicy Noodle Soup, and the Summer Rolls.

        The Spring and Summer Rolls were made to order (3 for $3). I loved the Summer Rolls which contained slivers of carrots, bean sprouts, tofu and mint. The rice wrapper was still warm from being dipped in water and the rolls were soft and not chewy to the bite. I would have liked the Spring Rolls more, but it had the dry shredded pork I detest that taste like sawdust and, to me, was very bland (my fault for not asking and not the restaurant's).

        The Spicy Noodle and Veggie Beef Stew ($5.50 each) were delicious and very filling, but I enjoyed the stew much more. The Spicy Noodle had thin rice noodles and an assortment of tofu/soy meats in it. The Spicy soup was not bad, but it lacked the flavor of the one I enjoyed from Good Karma. It needed a little more seasoning or more spiciness. The Veggie Beef Stew was a hearty soup with spaghetti noodles, nice cuts of carrots, potatoes, soy meats. The potatoes helped thicken the soup and overall, had nicer balance of flavor. Both soups came with a lime wedge, bean sprouts, basil and few slices of jalapeno.

        Another dish I tried was a chicken salad ($3 for a small). The salad was composed of shredded green and red cabbage, peanuts, sprouts, carrots and a fried chicken patty cut into five pieces. The dressing was nuc monh (sp?). My problem with the salad was the dry chicken patty which wasn't exciting to eat with the rest of the ingredients.

        I work near-by so I plan to come back and try their combo rice dishes. The prices and portions were very good.

      2. re: chefgrlardee

        Thanks, chefgrlardee! I believe I was thinking of Tofoo Com Chay. Nice to also know about Kimba. Since you answered Melanie's question about Kimba, let's even things out; what dishes do you like at Tofoo?

      3. My favorite by far is Di Lac in Evergreen. They have an extensive menu and they make their own tofu on site. It's the only place I know with the audacity to offer faux abalone. You can't go wrong with an order of Spring or Summer rolls and a bowl of their house special tofu soup. They also have great deal where you can pick any three items up front for $4. Also, you are required to pick up a couple of their chicken drumsticks (they only have them up front, not on the menu). They are served in a tangy sauce that is addictive.

        1 Reply
        1. re: anaxgorous

          Thanks for mentioning this place; I've never heard of it before but housemade tofu is certainly a draw!!

        2. White Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant
          80 N Market St
          San Jose, CA 95113
          (408) 977-0540

          1. Tofoo Com Chay all the way! The owner, Ben, is the sweetest person in the world. Try the drumstick sandwich (not sure if it's on the menu but they'll certainly make it for you), teriyaki tofu sandwich, pho, yellow noodle soup, and the skewers of fake meat balls sitting in an electric warmer on the counter.