Hot vegan couture

The Tasty Kung Pao Vegeken, a vegetarian version of Chinese restaurant staple Kung Pao Chicken, is served with mixed cubed vegetables, peanuts and wheat-based meat replacement in a spicy sauce.

Located a mere half mile from the center of the American River College campus, Noble Vegetarian is easy to miss at the intersection of Auburn Blvd. and College Oak Dr., nestled in the corner of a strip mall and banked up against a laundry and liquor store, but the food is not easy to dismiss.

Meat eaters might look at the menu with confusion and concern – vegans understand the lingo: tofu and vegemeats, soy and wheat based meat alternatives are probably diet staples – but the food, described as Vietnamese vegetarian cuisine, will be familiar and enjoyable, if only given a chance.

The Tasty Kung Pao Vegeken looks and tastes just like what a good quality Kung Pao Chicken should look and taste like. The only difference is that instead of chicken, it’s soy. Yes, diners can tell the difference. No, that difference is not bad. It’s more than tolerable.

The soy sausage in the Roses on the Grill Roll–delicious and fragrant spring rolls wrapped in rice paper and served with peanut dipping sauce–isn’t sausage-like in any sense of the word, however, and might leave meat eaters missing the taste and texture associated with real sausage. The rolls would be just as delicious without the “meat.”

Once diners get past the whole idea of eating meat alternatives, they can experience some really nice cuisine for around $8 an entree, and soda alternatives such as coconut juice and iced green tea for a couple of bucks more.

The service is friendly and attentive and the restaurant is a clean and cute mixture of modern lighting and decor and homey simplicity.

This family-run is the only completely vegan restaurant in unincorporated Sacramento County.

The serving staff is knowledgeable about the ingredients so diners with food allergies may ask about modifications.

Angel Thompson travels from El Dorado Hills to dine on the Islands of Paradise 3 noodle bowl at the Nobel Vegetarian in Sacramento.

Angel Thompson travels from El Dorado Hills to dine on the Islands of Paradise 3 noodle bowl at the Noble Vegetarian in Sacramento.

 

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Roses on the Grill Rolls, flavorful and fragrant spring rolls served with a peanut dipping sauce, are prepared with a grilled vegetarian “sausage” instead of the more traditional shrimp.

Roses on the Grill Rolls, flavorful and fragrant spring rolls served with a peanut dipping sauce, are prepared with a grilled vegetarian “sausage” instead of the more traditional shrimp.

Noble Vegetarian

5049 College Oak Dr. Suite A

Sacramento

Monday – Saturday 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

$$$

Four out of five stars

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