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Shojin (organic and natural Japanese vegan cuisine)

westsidegal Jun 3, 2009 11:40 PM

We only had three dishes, but all three were excellent.
this is not 'authentic' japanese cuisine, but the ingredients are top flight and the preparation doesn't overwhelm the flavor of the ingredients.
therei is no oversalting, overcooking, over sugaring, nor over-greasing.
very friendly and helpful service.
very pretty restaurant (nice enough for a date if your date is open to vegetarian food)

wholeheartedly endorse this place


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  1. c
    Cinnamon RE: westsidegal Jun 3, 2009 11:59 PM

    What did you get that you like? The food photos look wonderful.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Cinnamon
      westsidegal RE: Cinnamon Jun 4, 2009 12:09 AM

      we had:
      a salad (i can't remember the name of it) that had a very light, flavorful orange dressing. the mixture of the greens included some that had a little "bite" so it was a lot more interesting than the norm.
      i had the orange tempeh & vegetables.
      my date had the grilled vegetables with tempeh.
      both were served with a side bowl of organic brown rice done perfectly.

      as much as i hate to drive, this place is worth it. free validated parking in their structure. park on the 4th floor.

      1. re: westsidegal
        Cinnamon RE: westsidegal Jun 4, 2009 12:13 AM

        Thanks. I was eyeing some of the soba, and curries. Looks like a great spot to go to with the vegetarians we know, as opposed to their always going to non-veg restaurants with us and improvising.

        1. re: Cinnamon
          westsidegal RE: Cinnamon Jun 4, 2009 12:26 AM

          everything i saw being served to the folks at the other tables also looked terrific.
          the basic theme that ran through the food is a basic respect for the ingredients
          as an example, each of the roast vegetables was roasted perfectly. they gave some thought to the thickness of the slice and the timing of the grilling so that none of the vegetables were overdone/soggy and none were underdone.

        2. re: westsidegal
          ipsedixit RE: westsidegal Jun 4, 2009 09:29 AM

          That sounds like the Orange Kale salad.

          I like their apps more than any of their entrees. The pumpkin croquettes are great, as are the sauteed mushrooms.

      2. J.L. RE: westsidegal Jun 4, 2009 02:07 AM

        As a diehard omnivore, I really gotta say I liked this place. It's been there for a while. The idea of "respecting the ingredients" is quite Japanese. From what I understand, Shojin food is specific subset of Japanese cuisine, focusing on "temple style" cuisine.

        1. c
          Clyde RE: westsidegal Jun 4, 2009 09:34 AM

          i want to try this place- do they serve alcohol? i didn't see it on the menu.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Clyde
            westsidegal RE: Clyde Jun 4, 2009 01:49 PM

            they do not have an an alcohol license yet, and do not allow byob.

            1. re: westsidegal
              Clyde RE: westsidegal Jun 4, 2009 03:52 PM

              that's a huge bummer.

          2. o
            Ogawak RE: westsidegal Jun 4, 2009 11:27 AM

            Thanks for the heads up. This looks really intriguing. As far as "authentic Japanese" goes, acc to the website this cuisine dates back to the 13th century. which makes it more authentically Japanese than sushi.

            Really interested in trying their seiten. Maybe comparable to tempeh?

            5 Replies
            1. re: Ogawak
              westsidegal RE: Ogawak Jun 4, 2009 01:51 PM

              different forms of protein-rich foods.
              one is made from wheat gluten.
              the other, i believe, is made from fermented soy beans.

              1. re: Ogawak
                noahbites RE: Ogawak Jun 4, 2009 02:06 PM

                I've actually found that I really enjoy good seitan.

                1. re: noahbites
                  ipsedixit RE: noahbites Jun 4, 2009 10:40 PM

                  I did not like any of their seitan dishes.

                  1. re: ipsedixit
                    luhkee RE: ipsedixit Jun 5, 2009 01:32 PM

                    Was going to take parents there tomorrow. Not so great? They have been vegetarian foodies for 30 years, live in NorCal, and just heard if this place. Went to Fattys & Co. last night-menu reads delicious, food was a C+ at best though-oily, sometimes overcooked, sometimes not warm enough, always too garlicky. Our fault though on one dish for even thinking about ordering vegetarian paella I suppose...Any other recs? We are in Venice, but probably going to Pasadena for the day. Cheers all.

                    1. re: luhkee
                      ipsedixit RE: luhkee Jun 5, 2009 01:53 PM

                      No, I think Shojin is fine. I'm just not a fan of their seitan dishes.

                      Several of their apps are quite good, as are some of the soba and curry dishes.

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