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May 31, 2008 07:23 AM

Ahimsa, Vegan Restaurant in New Haven: what's it like?

I think this vegetarian restaurant has been in business less than a year. It's at the corner of Chapel and Howe streets. Looks very interesting, from what I've read, and also looks nice inside.
Has anyone been and what do you recommend? I/we are not Vegans but we are interested in trying it.
Do they have vegan ribs? Just kidding. I think I've made it through an all veggie meal before...

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  1. I was not at all impressed by the one meal I've had there. While I'm not a vegetarian, most of my meals are meatless and probably a quarter to a third are vegan. So, my disappointment with Ahisma wasn't due to a lack of appreciation for vegan cuisine.
    I ate there long enough ago that I can't recall exactly what I had (I think it's been open well over a year but could be wrong), but here are my impressions. The cooked appetizers were good, with some creative touches on some classics from various ethnicities. Some of the raw appetizers were good, however, too many seemed to be reaching to be a raw approximation of a cooked dish. Similarly, most of the entrees and some of the appetizers were reaching to be a vegan approximation of a cheese or meat dish.
    Given that the world has such an enormous wealth of wonderful vegan dishes, and Ahisma has a relatively short menu, it was disappointing that it did not focus more exclusively on how delicious vegetables can be without trying to fool the mouth into thinking they are meat or dairy.
    Also, this is definite nitpicking, but it bothers me when culinary terminology is misused. I recall a number of menu items being named things they most certainly were not. More significantly, Ahisma calls itself a tapas bar, but I don't recall a single menu item which could properly fit the category of tapas (even though there are dozens of classic tapas that fit vegan dietary restrictions).

    1. We have been once and liked it very much. The owner and chef were extremely nice. I loved a raw beet dish. It was delicious and beautiful. We were there at lunch. Many tables were full, some groups, some alone. There is a lunch buffet. It was a nice atmosphere and people really seemed to enjoy the food.

      1. Don't do it! Absolutely terrible.

        If you are feeling and urge to get some veggies Thali Too is quite good.

        1. I've been to Ahimsa a few times and I've always enjoyed myself, as have those with me. The portions are a bit small, but other than that I have no objections.

          6 Replies
          1. re: redfox697

            I like it too and there are things on the menu that are really unique and creative. Worth a try.

            1. re: newhavener07

              newhavener is usually pretty trustworthy, maybe I just was there on an off day. If you do go, please report. Oh and it might be interesting if posters on this topic let us know if they themselves are vegetarian.

              1. re: EastRocker

                Thanks East Rocker, I appreciate the shout-out. That said, I have heard mixed reviews of Ahimsa, just enjoyed my meals there and my sig oth is mostly vegan, so we gravitate toward such places. Didn't enjoy the prices, but then I usually spend as much in total at other places with the help of fancy drinks.

                1. re: EastRocker

                  Fair enough. Full disclosure: I am not a vegetarian. I would be were not my two favorite food groups cheese and bacon. That said, I enjoy adventurous cooking more than anything else, no matter what it's made of.

                  Seriously- their raw ice cream is killer. Try it.

                  1. re: redfox697

                    redfox697 - Any connection to Red Fox Ale?

                    1. re: danieljdwyer

                      No, just a very old and well-used internet handle. If I were going to have a beer-related one it would be about something obscure, brewed in a shed by farmers in Belgium or somesuch.