NORTH PARK, DOWNTOWN/LITTLE ITALY, and MISSION BEACH. Every table occupied? On a Wednesday afternoon? After my visit to the Mission, I understand why.
We started with the Vegetarian Roll-Up – pan friend noodles, sprouts, julienne vegetables, and cilantro are wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla and served with Thai peanut sauce. The pan fried noodles are the standout ingredient – crunchy, light, and an excellent contrast to the softer veggies in the wrap. And the creamy peanut sauce, with just the right amount of salt, was artistically drizzled on the rim of the plate, complete with a light dusting of sesame and poppy seeds. Throw in the side salad and you have a well-rounded meal!
Next, the Ginger Sesame Tofu with Brown Rice. This dish includes brown rice with zucchini, gold bar squash, bean sprouts, broccoli, and braised ginger sesame tofu with peanut sauce.
I know some people have lukewarm feelings about tofu. The most common complaints I hear are: (1) the texture is too soft and (2) it is tasteless. These complaints are often justified, but you need not worry at the Mission. Each piece of tofu is firm and infused with a penetrating ginger, sesame sauce. In fact, in my humble opinion, it even edges out the hand crafted treasure of Dao Fu. Regardless, the competition for the best tofu in San Diego is strong.
If you want some more information about the different types of tofu, how it is made, and how to cook it, check out:
The vegetables and rice in this dish are also prepared with care. They are soft, but not soggy. When mixed with the peanut sauce (also artistically displayed on the rim of the plate!) and the tofu, magic happens. Bottom line, the Ginger Sesame Tofu entrée is a new favorite.
The interior of the Mission has inviting dark wooden tables and warm reddish, earth toned walls. The servers were extremely attentive – my water glass was never empty – and my waitress patiently answered my inquiries regarding vegan food.
Also, the Mission is committed to supporting the community. Local artwork adorns the wall of the Mission, with 100% (!) of the proceeds going directly to the artist. Further, the restaurant donates to a variety of charities and participates in a number of annual fundraising events.
I am going to do my best to return to the Mission soon!
2801 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104
1250 J St
San Diego, CA 92101
3795 Mission Blvd
San Diego, CA 92109