Cook’s Cuisine (Needles, CA)

“Before we sit down, I’ll be sure to clarify if they can prepare vegan food,” I reassured myself and Co as we entered. A spunky woman eyed us from the register. With my (always) friendly smile I asked “Can you make vegan Thai food? You know, like no fish sauce…”

She stared at me blankly.

“Ummm… no meat…” I continued.

She stared for another few seconds, then her eyes lit up, “Oh yes yes, I cook from many difference kind of people!” She then went on to explain that she was vegetarian for 4 years and that she didn’t use fish sauce in any of her food because it’s difficult to get in Needles and none of the locals care anyways. She handed us menus every though every single dish was meat based.

“You tell me what you like and I make it.”

“Well, I like summer rolls, anything in peanut sauce…”

“You like curry?” she interrupts.


“You like yellow curry?”


So we ended up with Yellow Curry and Vegetable Pad Thai. The curry is sweet, with a touch of spice. She kindly offered me a side of hot sauce since she made it on the milder side, worried that my non-Asian companion may not be spice friendly. The curry bowl was filled this cubes of soft tofu, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, red pepper and cashews and served with individual bowls of rice. The fresh veggies were also featured in the not oily, but also not that flavorful, Pad Thai. This belly filling vegan meal came to a very fair $14.

For a vegan or vegetarians traveling on the I40, Cook’s Cuisine is a find. Surely the best Thai food for 100 miles… and it’s 100x times better grabbing dinner at Subway.

Cook’s Cuisine
1400 Needles Hwy
Needles, CA 92363
(760) 326-5081

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