Last time I had an all-vegan meal (NO products derived from animals whatsoever, not even dairy, not even honey) I was living in Santa Cruz, in college. I hated it. Everything tasted flat and boring. I’ve never been into self-discipline where food is concerned. I don’t overeat, but I like to eat delicious food. Meals are meant to be enjoyed. So when rinchen suggested we go to Cha-Ya for dinner tonight, I balked; not so much because I need the meat as because I thought it would be a disappointment. And now I eat my words, so to speak. One of the best meals I’ve ever had, totally changed my opinion of the possibilities in vegan cooking. Not only not lacking in flavor, but fresh and delicious and creative and totally satisfying. Great idea to combine a Japanese restaurant with a vegan restaurant; the two styles complement one another perfectly. If you live in the Bay Area, don’t miss Cha-Ya on Shattuck — this has to be one of the more unique and delightful eating experiences you’ll find anywhere.

Music: Abbey Lincoln :: Long As You’re Living

One Reply to “Cha-Ya”

  1. The Millennium Cafe, which I believe is in San Francisco, is strictly vegan and from what I’ve heard their meals are to die for. Never been, but I have their cookbook and, although most of the recipes are long-winded (and often involve American/Mexican ingredients that are hard to get here) they are incredible. I’ve cooked a few for dinner parties and they always impress.

    I was vegan for about four years, but only ate tasteless food during that time. I got the cookbook much later, after reading a newspaper piece by my vegan ex-girlfriend here:,3605,481973,00.html

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