No Worries: Vegan Filipino Restaurant in Oakland Still Evolving

It was already past the lunch rush when we arrived at No Worries, the new Filipino restaurant in Oakland's Uptown District. There was a group of six ahead of us waiting for a table and a few others waiting for take-out rice plates. The space was bustling with both Filipino and non-Filipino diners, a sign of the good ― if not great ― meal to come.

No Worries is Jay-Ar Pugao's month-old Filipino vegan restaurant (described as “vegetarian” on the sign out front, though in fact vegan), the first of its kind in the Bay Area. We first met Pugao back in spring at a Filipino food symposium hosted by the Asian Culinary Forum, where he introduced his plans to open a Filipino vegetarian restaurant. He said he hoped to take Filipino food into the mainstream by offering vegan and vegetarian versions of traditionally meat-laden dishes. Imagine adobo without the chicken and kare-kare without the oxtail!

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