San Diego: Moncai Vegan

Hello Friends,

Sorry for the lapse in new entries. I’m in always 70 and sunny San Diego for a long weekend! I thought I’d share a review of my favorite meal I’ve had since visiting.


On Saturday evening my partner and I went to Moncai Vegan. This restaurant has 4.5/5 stars on Yelp and there is a reason! I’ll admit when I first walked in I was skeptical. The inside of the restaurant only has 4-5 tables. There’s room for about the same outside. However, I quickly realized this place meant business when I saw there were at least three su chefs and a chef in the back and took a look at the dessert case – oh my! There were so many unique vegan desserts you don’t often see – cinnamon rolls, jelly filled doughnuts, Boston Cream doughnuts, crepes, whoopee pies, etc.


Overall, the menu is short but impressive. Cory and I had a hard time choosing what to order so we decided on two appetizers and two entrées, everything to share. We ordered the bourbon braised brussel sprouts and tempura crusted zucchini to start. The dishes were cooked perfectly. The tempura crust was perfectly crispy and not a bit greasy. We not only had the standard marinara but a vegan ranch for dipping! The brussel sprouts were cooked to perfection and the glaze was the perfect mix of savory and sweet. A+


After scarfing down our appetizers, we moved on to the main course. We opted to share Chk’n and Dumplings and Yucca Black Bean cakes over rice. The Chk’n and Dumplings are slow cooked all day, and the dumplings were delicious. They were almost gnocchi-like. Instead of chicken this soup used a soy protein. It also included peas and carrots in the roux. Traditional and so tasty!


The Yucca Black Bean cakes were great. A little crispy, but not overpowering. The habanero mustard glaze was just enough heat for the yucca and rice. This is probably the one dish I couldn’t figure out if I wanted to make it myself. It was great, but I think the Chk’n and Dumplings was the star.


Cory and I got three desserts to go (to eat over the next two days of course!) The Boston Cream doughnut was my favorite. I’m in awe of how close it tastes to the real thing! Vegan doughnuts are always a treat. You can often find the dense cake doughnuts, but the fluffy decadent doughnuts are like unicorns. And I am so glad I found one! That said, the cinnamon roll and the cookie batter whoopee pie weren’t half bad either! 😉

Next time you’re in San Diego run, don’t walk, to Moncai Vegan! Your palette will thank you!


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