Sipz Fusion Cafe

Sipz Fusion Café is a family owned restaurant that began as a small boba drink joint, but has evolved to serve a large variety of vegetarian Asian-style dishes. Following a temporary snag several years ago when its Mira Mesa location closed, business seems to be booming once again for Sipz. A second location opened in North Park last December. I always visit their restaurant in Clairemont Mesa.

The ambiance in this café is quirky. Colorful, animated sea life decorates the back wall. Paper placemats with the Chinese Zodiac are a Sipz signature. The menu is almost entirely vegan.

The dishes run between $7-10 and the portions are generous. For $1 extra, you can health up your meal by replacing the steam rice with brown rice. Vegan Sushi is served after 5pm. Every omnivore I have bought to Sipz over the past three years has loved it. I have never heard a complaint about the fake meat tasting weird or the meals not being filling.

One of my favorite dishes is the Eggplant Delite. I specifically ask for my favorite “chicken” balls when I order it, because they generally use another form of fake chicken on this specific dish. The fake oyster sauce on this is to die for.

My all time favorite Sipz dish is Thai Curry Chicken with brown rice. I have eaten this dish regularly for the past three years and each time I taste it my eyes roll into the back of my head and an uncontrollable, and frankly embarrassing “Mmm” sound escapes my mouth.

Sipz also has an extensive selection of vegan desserts. I highly recommend the Vegan Raspberry Cheesecake and the Vegan Red Velvet Cake, if you have room for them. You probably won’t if you’re anything like me and cannot resist eating an entire bowl of Eggplant Delite or Thai Curry Chicken.

Sipz Fusion Café is my favorite restaurant and I highly recommend it to vegans, vegetarians and omnivores.

Other favorite Sipz dishes:
[I request the chicken balls in everything that doesn’t automatically come with them]

-Tom Kah Soup
-Wok Fried Drunken Noodles
-Pad Thai

 

 

Clairemont Mesa:
5501 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92117
(858) 279-3747

North Park:
3914 30th St
(between University Ave & Lincoln Ave)
San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 795-2889

New Book Encourages Children To Eat Vegan

The new children’s book “Vegan Is Love” by Ruby Roth encompasses an issue that crosses my mind regularly. I plan to have children in the future and while I want them to  make their own decision I would personally prefer to serve them primarily vegan food in their younger years. This stems partially from my disinclination to touch and cook meats, eggs and dairy products and mostly from my desire to keep my children healthy. (For detailed information regarding the health benefits of veganism, please read Mad Cowboy: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won’t Eat Meat by Howard F. Lyman and Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin).

The problem is that continuous vegan diets in children are uncommon and not widely researched. Most children in the United States grow up eating an omnivore diet. The NBC report shown above discusses whether a vegan diet could cause developmental problems in children. Though the intentions of parents who feed their children a strictly vegan diet may be good, the results may not produce the desired effects. Holly Paige fed her two daughters only raw, vegan food for the first three and four years of their lives. This caused them to have serious protein and vitamin D deficiencies. Their teeth turned brown and filled with cavities. Their bodies became two sizes too skinny for their age. As soon as their doctor re-introduced dairy into their diets, the young girl’s conditions drastically improved.

While multiple guides have been published that instruct parents how to safely feed their child a vegan diet, such a venture requires careful thought and control. Children who do not eat dairy, milk or eggs are at high risk for protein, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and other deficiencies. Though it is possible to raise a healthy child on a vegan diet, it is difficult to make sure they are receiving the appropriate nutrients. Though such deficiencies are topics of concern of vegan eating at any age, they are of particular importance in children, who require certain nutrients to undergo their appropriate growth and development.

Roth does not and cannot hope to effectively explain the importance of consuming these nutrients in a children’s book. Her idea of promoting healthy eating and world awareness through veganism is sound. Unfortunately, children who hear her message may make the decision to change their eating habits without understanding the health implications of their choice. Young kids are generally unable to comprehend the meaning of vitamins and nutrients, and may unknowingly subject themselves to health problems.

Overall, it may be a healthier choice in the long run to allow kids to eat an omnivore diet, because such a plan provides easier nutrient access for the picky eaters children tend to be. Although I strongly believe in the health and moral benefits of eating a vegan diet, my research has shown me that it is smarter to not exclude any food group from a child’s diet. I will serve my future children limited amounts of meat and low fat dairy that do not contain hormones, but I will mostly cook them vegan dishes and hope that later in life they will also choose to become strict vegans.

Bombay Coast

Although numerous vegan lunching and dining options exist around major cities like San Diego, I am sure that many of you experience manic hunger episodes in the middle of the day when you do not have the option of driving to your favorite vegan spot. For such cases, it is important to find the closest and tastiest restaurant.

The options in my UC San Diego campus are limited. I often feel fed up with the monotonous dining hall food served across our Housing & Dining units, and the only other option is Price Center. Unfortunately, the food court at this locale mostly holds restaurants with few vegan options. At Subway, I can only get bread and vegetables. At Rubios, I can only get plain beans and tortilla chips. At Tapioca Express I can get an assortment of boba drinks, but only fried tofu as far as savory food goes. I refuse to even poke Burger King with a long, steel rod.

By far the best option for vegans at Price Center is Bombay Coast, a restaurant that serves Indian cuisine. I’ve heard many students claim that this place does not serve “authentic” Indian food. I have tasted supposedly “authentic” Indian food around San Diego and I must admit, Bombay Coast cannot compete with gems such as Punjabi Tandoor.

To me, however, Bombay Coast is still a worthy choice for a quick lunch. It comes in large portions for a decent price, and I always find it filling and tasty. My go-to combo is “Channa Masala” and “Dal & Spinach”. “Mushroom and Corn Curry” is another vegan option that I opt for when I crave variety. The naan bread they regularly serve is made with butter, but the staff makes naan with no butter upon request. The vegetable samosas are also vegan and satisfying.

I believe there are more authentic Indian cuisine restaurants around the San Diego area that I would recommend over Bombay Coast. Nevertheless, I recommend Bombay Coast to anyone in need of food for whom it is conveniently located.

Z Pizza

Recently, I heard a friend describe pizza as “a food so great it deserves a cult.” Though I do not deem it reasonable to join a cult about food (mostly), I agree that I loved pizza before I became vegan. The joy of eating it has been generally lost to me since. I find the occasional enjoyable frozen option at the grocery story, but I haven’t feasted on fresh-made restaurant pizza for years.

Until I discovered Z Pizza.

Z Pizza advertises natural, healthy pizza and offers many vegan options. The most obvious choice is the “Berkeley Vegan Cheese Veggie Pizza”, topped with marinara, vegan cheese, veggie burger crumbles, zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms, red onions and bell peppers. I ordered this with a whole-wheat crust. The dish bought me back to the days of adolescent post-swim practice pizza dinners, the one difference being that this pizza tasted fresh and wholesome enough to eat guiltlessly.

Although the “Berkeley Vegan Cheese Veggie Pizza” is the only advertised vegan pizza, the restaurant’s website (http://www.zpizza.com) indicates that there are numerous options. The FAQ section explains which existing pizzas can be altered to be vegan and lists all the ingredients that can be used to build your own vegan pizza. Several of their salads can also be altered to be vegan.

Z Pizza restaurants are popping up all over the United States. There are 49 in California alone. If there is one in your area, do your taste buds a favor and pay it a visit.

Don Carlos

Vegans have a difficult time with Mexican food. Sure, we can opt for the standard combination of chips, guacamole, beans and salsa (“nachos”), if the restaurant doesn’t find a way to include dairy even in these basics, but these simple ingredients become boring. Is it possible to purchase a burrito without worrying if the tortilla contains dairy? Can we ever enjoy authentic tamales? Is there a place for us to sit down and munch on a chimichanga?

The answer is yes. On an unassuming corner of Pearl Street in Downtown La Jolla lies Don Carlos, a gem of local Mexican food. Its ambiance is that of a traditional taco shop, but something is distinct about this eatery.

Within its extensive menu lie countless opportunities for a vegan meal. Soyrizo can replace meat within burritos, chimichangas, tortas, carne asada fries and anything else they offer. I opted for a Soyrizo Burrito, which usually contains soyrizo, beans, rice, salsa, lettuce and cheese. As the sign suggests, I told the staff to hold the cheese, since I am vegan. Unfortunately, Don Carlos does not do substitutions or exchanges and I had to pay an extra .99 cents for guacamole, a personal essential. It was worthy every penny, since they are quite generous with their portions.

Don Carlos’ red and green salsas are the best salsas I have tasted at local Mexican restaurants. The Salsa Verde in particular provided the final kick to my taste buds. A word of warning; these portions are not for the weak of stomach. Though I wrapped up a fourth of my burrito for leftovers, a food coma knocked me into a stupor for twenty minutes after my meal. It is simply too easy to fall into eating overdrive at the prospect of a mouth-watering, multi-ingredient vegan burrito.

Other personal Don Carlos favorites:

- Potato and Bean Chimichanga, no cheese and guacamole on top (not specifically listed on the menu)

- Soyrizo Don Carlos Fries, no cheese and no sour cream, add guacamole.

For more information, visit Don Carlos’ website:

http://www.eataburrito.com/

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