Summer Rolls are one of the great culinary inventions in the history of man. A perfect package of crunchy vegetables, fragrant herbs, and the soft but snappy bite of rice paper enriched with the sweetness of some sort of sauce. At Purple Mint Vegetarian Bistro I appreciate that they don’t dilute the rolls with extra noodles, offering rice paper stuffed with tofu, purple mint, lettuces, basil, jicama, and carrots. The sauce, although spiked with crushed peanuts and pickled carrots, runs bland and benefits greatly from a kick of hoisin ($5.95).
On the edge of residential Rolando, far from the sparkle of coastal locations, chef Coral Strong’s Garden Kitchen pulls from San Diego’s soil and presents the treasures in their naked glory and preserved peaks. No dish captures this as well as the Kitchen Sink ($16).
… Garden Kitchen (San Diego, CA)
Art filled walls surround diners in San Diego’s Fairouz Cafe & Gallery, by owner Ibrahim Al Nashashibi, and numerous vegan options fill the hot and cold trays of the all day Greek and Lebanese buffet (Lunch $12.99 / Dinner $15.99). All clearly marked and generous, the buffet makes for an easy-to-dine-together meal for difficult groups—but for those not partial to food sitting out all day, there is table service as well.
… Fairouz Cafe and Gallery (San Diego, CA)