Seattle Restaurant Week is for vegans, too! Kind of.
More than 160 Restaurants are are offering three courses for $28.00 this week, and sadly, of those 160 restaurants, a measly six have vegan options for all three courses. SIX! I’m so gonna tell Bill Clinton on you guys. But I can’t complain too much because as we all know, the human brain can only logically process seven variables at any given time, so really, this sad show of vegan food is actually protecting me from the hour of indecisiveness that normally precedes my dinner each night.
Bar Dojo – Maybe it’s the calming music, or the lovely zen-inducing Japanese design, but everyone at this restaurant is at an 11 on the happy scale. And that scale only goes up to three. Hosts, servers, chefs, eaters, everyone! The whole place was filled with friendly, accommodating, happy people. But I didn’t pay $28 to sit around and watch people be happy, though I would have. I paid $28 for a 100% vegan tasting menu. No modifications, no unconvincing, “oh, I’m sure that’s vegan” responses from the server. Just good ol’ fashioned, fancy Asian vegan food.
Appetizer: Avocado Tempura
Deep-fried, tempura-battered avocado slices, ponzu sauce
Avocado is one of my favorite foods. And deep-fried is also one of my favorite foods, so naturally I wasted no time placing my first order. The batter was light, but deliciously greasy and full of flavor. It made for an interesting texture combination with the soft avocado – one that I liked, but would have loved had the dipping sauce been a tad less intense. The ponzu sauce tasted a little more like straight soy sauce with a splash of lime – too salty for me. I suggest ordering a side of one of their many other intriguing sauces if you go for this dish.
Entree: Vermicelli Salad
Organic tofu, Thai basil, cucumber, carrot, Vermicelli noodles, crispy onions, lime dressing
This fresh, fragrant salad was the perfect dish to follow the wonderfully indulgent Avocado Tempura. The dressing is light, tangy and sweet, but not too sweet. It’s what Little Red Riding Hood would have been looking for if her porridge were lime salad dressing. It really is just perfect. The tofu is crispy and drizzled with a tangy sauce adding little punches of flavor every now and then, and before you go rolling your eyes at yet another delicious salad review, guess what? This one has crispy onion strings on it. Oh yeah, naughty salad.
Dessert: Strawberry Sorbeto and Honey Tuile
Of all the desserts, I find sorbet the most adorable. And though adorableness is completely unrelated to taste (see: gummy hot dogs) it never hurts to be adorable. And that, this sorbet was. Adorable. And delicious. And now you are seeing what cute tangents will do to the language part of my brain. Back to reviewing the taste of this dessert. Taste: great. Adorableness: great. Double win! Great job, sorbet.
Bar Dojo is a wonderful excuse to get out of the city and enjoy some fresh, Edmonds air. You could even stop by a pumpkin patch and make a day of it if driving 20 minutes just to get dinner is a little too outside of your comfort zone.
And don’t forget to try one of the other five restaurants happily offering vegan options: Rikki Rikki, Cafe Flora, Luc (call ahead and the chef will prepare a vegan tasting menu for your visit), Restaurant Zoe (call ahead), and Portage (the regular tasting menu doesn’t offer a full vegan meal, but they are happy to make accommodations).
Bar Dojo|8404 Bowdoin Way, Edmonds| 425.967.7267
Photography by: Torin Daniels