A Search for Great Vegan Food in San Diego

Jyoti-Bihanga: Vegan Friendly

IMG_0324

 

NORMAL HEIGHTS.  Jyoti-Bihanga is a vegetarian restaurant, tucked into a quiet section of Normal Heights, and offers an array of vegan options:

 

  • Hummos Dip Appetizer
  • Dinner Salad (there are 2 home made vegan salad dressing options:  sesame herb and lemon tahini)
  • Vegan Neatloaf
  • Neatloaf Sandwich,
  • Peace, Light, and Bliss Burger
  • BBQ Mock Duck Sandwich
  • Thai Stir Fry
  • Blue Plate Special
  • Grilled Portobello Wrap
  • Hummos Wrap
  • Apple Pie
  • Vegan Chocolate Mousse Cake

 

Jyoti-Bihanga is best known for its Neatloaf, which has consistently outsold all other menu items since the restaurant’s opening in 1986.  The Neatloaf is a mixture of brown rice, grains, tofu, and spices that are blended together, baked, and topped with a tomato based sauce.  Mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, and toast cover the remainder of the plate.  I have ordered the vegan Neatloaf many times, and it never disappoints.  It is true vegan comfort food.

 

IMG_0316

 

The Portobello Mushroom Wrap is another flavorful entrée.  This vegan wrap consists of marinated slices of mushroom, grilled red peppers, fresh spinach, and a tofu-tamari sauce wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla.  Jyoti-Bihanga excels with marinades and sauces that spike flavor, and this wrap is no exception.  I also love the complementary side salad.  Instead of wilted iceberg lettuce and a few sad cherry tomatoes, Jyoti-Bihanga presents crisp romaine lettuce, sprouts, beets, and carrots with vibrant, almost distracting, colors.

 

IMG_0317

 

I have to admit that when I first became interested in vegan food, I only had eyes for the desserts.  I love desserts.  Especially those crafted without sticks of butter, shortening, or mystery goop that send my blood sugar on a roller coaster ride.  So thank you, Jyoti-Bihanga, for your vegan Apple Pie. Granny Smith apples lightly sweetened with brown sugar and baked in a whole wheat crust.  Simple.  And perfect.  The result is a tantalizing twist on the quintessential American dessert.

 

IMG_0322

 

Excellent food aside, I love Jyoti-Bihanga for its peaceful atmosphere.  The walls are a soft blue, and the servers always exude calm and kindness.  Perhaps this peace is a function of Sri Chinmoy, a spiritual master, whose students own and operate the restaurant.  A large picture of Sri Chinmoy looks down on the patrons, and there is an alcove with some of his books.  Although Jyoti-Bihanga is dedicated to a certain ideology, there is no pressure put on customers to do anything besides enjoy their meal.

 

IMG_0309IMG_0313

 

Jyoti-Bihanga also serves a breakfast buffet on selected Sundays from 9am to 1pm.  The schedule is not posted online, but the restaurant can be reached at (619) 282-4116.

 

3351 Adams Ave

San Diego, CA 92116

619.282.4116

2 Comments