Friday, May 8, 2015

80 North: Albany, Potala Vegan Restaurant


Potala Vegan Restaurant  1045 San Pablo Ave./Marin Ave., in Albany, (510) 528-2375.  L-D daily; $$.  No reservations.  Named for the striking hilltop palace in Lhasa, Tibet, this all-vegan, all-organic restaurant has only one set menu available each day.  A server with take your order after you select your choices from a white board in the entry, after which you can help yourself to a glass of water or complimentary hot tea—on the day I visited it was Organic Kukicha Twig Tea—from the bar and then seat yourself.  Your choices involve how much food you would like—a simple, medium, or full plate.  I ordered the medium portion and finished it all.  All but the soup is served on a single dinner plate.  An a la carte menu is available; children are welcome and can order from that.  No fake meats are used.  The menu for my visit was kidney bean veggie soup (my favorite item); wild brown rice and green split pea with onion (I also really liked this); sauteed red and green cabbages, carrots, and potato; steamed collard greens with beets burdock onion sauce; mixed green salad with brown rice vinegar-tahini dressing.  Flavors and textures vary, and I felt healthier when I left.  I would have liked some bread, but none is served here.  Cookies and other desserts cost additional, and vegan wines and beers are available.  Decor is secondary but pleasant--some lovely Thai carvings left from a previous restaurant here, flute music, a tiny orchid on my table that I had to pinch to be sure it was plastic--and comfy booths are a big plus, as is the free parking lot.
Potala Organic Cafe on Urbanspoon

dining room at Potala Vegan Restaurant in Albany, California

kidney bean veggie soup at Potala Vegan Restaurant in Albany, California

medium plate at Potala Vegan Restaurant in Albany, California

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images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


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