Who Needs Meat?

Where to get the best vegetarian dishes in the Bay Area 

Margo True cooks in one of the more famed kitchens in Silicon Valley. Nope, not Google, but at Sunset’s Menlo Park test kitchen. As the food editor of the 116-year-old magazine, she develops recipes that reach approximately five million readers. The former Saveur editor and the author of the James Bears award-winning blog, One Block Feast, is smitten with California’s creative vegetarian dishes and fresh produce. Here, she names her favorites in the Bay Area.

Palo Alto

The caramelized cauliflower at Tamarine

“The modern Vietnamese restaurant roasts cauliflower with pistachio, mint, garlic, and kefir cheese.” tamarine-dish
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Oakland

The market vegetable bomba at Shakewell, Jen Biesty’s new restaurant

“It’s a paella cooked in the restaurant’s tiled wood-fired oven. The ingredients change all the time. Right now, the paella is made with baby artichokes, kale, charred leeks, and saffron. It’s called a bomba because that’s the name of the medium-grained Spanish rice used to make the dish.”

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San Francisco

The white sweet potato, avocado, and green walnut salad with feta at Bar Tartine

“It’s incredibly refreshing and surprising, and packed with flavor. The chefs pickle the green walnuts and make the feta themselves.”

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In your house

For those looking for meatless deliciousness at home, True chooses a gently spicy dish using a North Indian technique called tadka or chaunk. Find the recipe here.

“Seasonings are sizzled in hot oil or clarified butter, then swirled into the lentils right before serving for a massive flavor boost.” And, she notes, this one is vegan.

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