Best Vegan-Friendly Restaurant - 2007
There's nothing bland, unsatisfying, or overtly cosmic about the food at Cha-Ya, a Mission District purveyor of vegan-friendly cookery. In fact, Cha-Ya's sushi, noodles, soups, and dumplings are so rich, flavorful, and fulfilling, the place can stand as a splendid Japanese restaurant in its own right. Pot stickers hot from the fryer burst with fresh, crisp flavors. A fragrant miso soup is ribboned with three kinds of mushroom and served in an iron pot. There are skewers of broiled asparagus, eggplant, and portobello; a garden's worth of Technicolor tempura; sukiyaki abundant with spinach, snow peas, kabocha, and a dozen other delights; sushi rolls packed with shiitake, avocado, banana squash, sea vegetables, radish sprouts you name it. Even the vegan chocolate cake is moist, rich, and slathered with a dreamy bittersweet icing. Everything is served on beautiful, rustic dinnerware, and the setting is bright and friendly. It's a delectable option for anyone wanting to improve his karma, his health, or his chances with a comely vegan.