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 Post subject: If you had to choose 1 fancy NYC vegan restaurant...
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:49 am 
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Writes Vegan Haiku

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:27 pm
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Location: London
which would you choose?
I'm making a shortish trip and can afford to try out 1 nice place. I had been thinking Pure Food & Wine since their recipe books blew me away when I discovered them & Sarma Melngailis seems like a cool lady, but then I just read about Kajitsu. And there's probably other great ones too...


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 Post subject: Re: If you had to choose 1 fancy NYC vegan restaurant...
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:04 am 
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Candle 79 is awesome. Blossom is good, but there have been issues on this forum with people who presumably work for the company bashing other vegan establishments. never been to Pure Food & Wine or heard of Kajitsu.

there are tons of other worthwhile vegetarian places, but i'm not sure what you consider "fancy". what price range are you looking at?

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 Post subject: Re: If you had to choose 1 fancy NYC vegan restaurant...
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:03 pm 
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Writes Vegan Haiku

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Too much choice! London has some great ones too, but nothing like as many. I guess I'm thinking around the price range of Candle 79 - an entree for $25 ish. I've heard great things about there too, maybe I can compromise and try one thing from the candle cafe & the lucky duck takeaway instead of a whole blowout.
Thanks for the suggestion!


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 Post subject: Re: If you had to choose 1 fancy NYC vegan restaurant...
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:33 pm 
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Kajitsu is amazing. I love Candle 79 and actually I just had a good meal at Blossom even though I wasnt expecting to like it, but Kajitsu is really special and unlike any other meal. I also really like Hangawi. HOwever, Kajitsu is way more expensive than Candle or Blossom or Hangawi, however it's totally worth it to try out. But I think if you want more in the Candle 79 price range then you should go to Candle. I've never been to pure food and wine, but I've heard it's really awesome too.

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 Post subject: Re: If you had to choose 1 fancy NYC vegan restaurant...
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:48 pm 
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I love love love Candle 79. I've never been to Kajitsu or Pure Food and Wine though, so I can't compare. Blossom I don't like so much. I mean it is ok, but I could make anything I've had there at home, so at those prices it just isn't worth it to me.

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 Post subject: Re: If you had to choose 1 fancy NYC vegan restaurant...
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:16 pm 
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Loris wrote:
the lucky duck takeaway

I went to the lucky duck in chelsea market and i was Not Impressed. I was so excited to try it because I had been doing raw for a long time but everything was either preposterously pricey or really junk food raw (everything cacau or agave-heavy). The people were douchey and in what is basically a kiosk two adults somehow were able to find space to hide from customers. They also seemed to be out of everything (at lunchtime on a weekday? really now.) and to top it all off, it was right next to a barbecue place that was stinky. I ended up getting a soda somewhere else and going back to a veggie bowl up near my hotel.

Yelp confirms my idea that the other (gramercy?) location seems to have better staff and fresher food, so maybe take that into account.

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 Post subject: Re: If you had to choose 1 fancy NYC vegan restaurant...
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:50 pm 
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Kajitsu would get my vote. It's a fun experience, on top of eating delicious food. It is expensive though, and you need to reserve far in advance (you can do that on opentable.com).

I like candle 79 and blossom about equally with the caveat that you should avoid any foods that aren't eurpoean or american at blossom. Candle Cafe is also good, but it's mostly food you can make at home for less money.

Pure is ok, not my favorite, but there are definitely good things to eat there (particularly if you're really into raw food and want to try some new stuff). I'm also not a big fan of one lucky duck - it strikes me that it's all salad and cookies.

Just to make it harder, I'd throw dirt candy into the running. It's not exclusively vegan, but the food there is both interesting and good, and they've always been very vegan friendly (in my experience).


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 Post subject: Re: If you had to choose 1 fancy NYC vegan restaurant...
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:43 am 
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aiee wrote:
and you need to reserve far in advance

You weren't kidding - at first glance it seems to be totally booked up for at least a month! Maybe I'll leave Pure Food & Wine as the nice idea I have of it in my head and try out Candle 79 which sounds amazing. Thanks for all the suggestions!


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 Post subject: Re: If you had to choose 1 fancy NYC vegan restaurant...
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:21 am 
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I've tried PF&W, Candle 79, Hangawi, and Kajitsu. I'm vote is far and above Kajitsu. It is AMAZING! And don't get the lesser version of the menu. Get the full version.

I have yet to go to Dirt Candy yet. Maybe next time I'm in the city!


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 Post subject: Re: If you had to choose 1 fancy NYC vegan restaurant...
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:34 am 
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My vote goes to Candle 79, but I have never been to Kajitsu.

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 Post subject: Re: If you had to choose 1 fancy NYC vegan restaurant...
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:21 pm 
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I would also add my vote for Pure Food and Wine, considering that it is majorly difficult to get a reservation at Kajitsu. Ask to sit in the back room, it is quieter and usually has the better music. Entree tip: tamales. Avoid: beet ravioli, but only because the portion size is just too small IMHO.

Hangawi is another option (Korean Vegan), the food may be "just good" (not outstanding as Pure Food), but the ambiance is phenomenal.

2 cents added :)


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 Post subject: Re: If you had to choose 1 fancy NYC vegan restaurant...
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:15 pm 
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Candle 79 was nice. Great service. I would go back if someone else is paying. =P


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 Post subject: Re: If you had to choose 1 fancy NYC vegan restaurant...
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:23 pm 
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Have you considered Franchia? It's Hangawi, but tastier. Cool ambience, too, and great if you're a tea lover.


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 Post subject: Re: If you had to choose 1 fancy NYC vegan restaurant...
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:36 am 
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Geez, I've never heard of Kajitsu and now I feel I MUST go!

My two cents:
1) If you love raw, and you really want to go to fancy, go to Pure and do the chef tasting menu
2) I love Candle 79 and Blossom (the original, on 9th) equally. Candle 79 has a hipper, louder vibe with a fun bar and creative drinks (ginger + sake = yum) and Blossom is smaller, quiet, nice wine list and more romantic.
3) I prefer Hangawi over Francia (same owners) because it's darker, more "zen", and I like the menu better (the porridge bowls are divine).

Have fun!

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 Post subject: Re: If you had to choose 1 fancy NYC vegan restaurant...
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:07 pm 
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I love Pure Food and Wine so much. If you go, stay away from the more standard and boring items - I feel like they aren't what the restaurant does best, which is pretty innovative specials etc. And definitely save tons of room for dessert.

I haven't been to Kajitsu, but sent an omni friend and her client there, and she raved about the food and the experience. She thought it was incredible. I am just waiting for the right company and financial flushness to go. It sounds so good.

Candle and Blossom are nice upscale restaurants, but don't have the wow factor for me. I like both, though. And the seitan piccata at Candle is amazeballz.

I love Hangawi for the atmosphere, but I've felt like the food is pretty pricey for what you get. I've been underwhelmed.

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