Monday, October 24, 2011

Organic Vegetarian Japanese: Shojin

Nestled in the Little Tokyo Shopping Center is an organic natural oasis of vegetarian Japanese cuisine.
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It's called Shojin, and, if you or your friends are vegetarians, you should really visit.

Cranberry and apple detox ($3.95).
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I'm not really sure how this drink "detoxes," but I found it just sweet enough and rather refreshing. The menu told me it was "pure, raw, natural, unrefined, and chemical-free." Sounds good to me!

Yuzu ponzu seitan -- pan-fried seitan with grated seitan and yuzu citrus soy sauce ($6.95).
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Delightfully chewy.

Pumpkin croquette -- crunchy pumpkin and tofu croquette with Shojin homemade tomato sauce ($6.95).
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It's fried! How can you go wrong? Yummeh!

Okara cake -- deep-fried vegan cake made with soybeans, cashews, shiitake mushrooms, and garlic ($6.95).
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Another fried treat! The texture might not appeal to everyone, but I liked these cakes.

Avocado and tomato soba -- buckwheat noodles in cold soup topped with mixed greens, avocados, tomatoes, kaiware and wasabi mayonnaise ($10.50).
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I'm generally not a fan of cold noodles, but we did have this on a warm day, so it made sense. My friend H.C., who frequents Shojin, liked this a lot.

Spicy roll -- cucumber, avocado, and shiso roll with wasabi mayo and spicy sauce ($5.75).
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Not particularly interesting but fine.

Cheesecake with triple berries ($6.95).
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This looks so cute, right? Sadly, it turns out the vegan desserts suck. Blech.

Shojin Tropico -- yellow sponge cake with a hint of key lime, layered with coconut cream, mango confit, topped with toasted coconut, and served with vanilla ice cream ($7.75).
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Better. But still not worth your time. Go elsewhere for sweets!

Shojin is special. I'm not aware of any other restaurant like it. It's not something I would eat every day because -- let's be real here -- the food is not as flavor-packed as meat-laden meals are.

And you know I like flavor.

It is, however, a great place for a nice light break from eating animals and animal products. Bring your vegetarian and vegan friends here. They'll like it, and you will, too.


  1. Vegetarian AND vegan? A double whammy ... although, I do find that a lot of vegetarian/vegan places aren't THAT healthy because if you don't choose wisely, a lot of items are deep fried!

    Too bas the desserts sucked. They look so cute and with so much potential.

  2. ::runs through::


    blech! (but might spice up vegetarian/vegan japanese food...japanese flavors are already so subtle-bordering-on-bland!)

    ::runs out::

  3. the desserts have kinda gone downhill since the last pastry chef left. :-\ but glad to hear that you enjoyed it!

  4. Meat! Meat! Meat!

    Actually, I took my (vegetarian) parents here once and I thought it was decent :)


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