Yummy Plants: a vegan lifestyle website and community. We can help you start a vegan diet!
Vegan friendly restaurant
Blue Mango - San Jose, California
- Web: http://www.bluemangocuisine.com/
- Location: 635 Coleman Avenue, San Jose, California
We started off with a "peanut rounds" appetizer ($6). This dish is unusual (I've never seen anything similar at any of the hundreds of Thai restaurants I've been to) and was also pretty tasty: basically it's a fried rice ball coated in peanuts and spiced with turmeric and basil. It's a great dish to share.
For our main courses we had a panang curry ($10) and a dried chili and cashew with tofu ($9). The curry was really thick and substantial---you don't see curries made this way very often. They must be using some high quality coconut milk, which resulted in a thick and creamy delight. The dish was skimpy on vegetables and tofu, though, which gives me some pause.
The dried chili and cashew dish was excellent. It was a robust, spicy stir-fry with baby corn, water chestnuts, tofu and some other vegetables. I really loved the savory flavor of this dish and the fact that it wasn't just a watery soy sauce stir-fry with a twig of basil (which is what you usually see at Thai restaurants). They roasted the red chili perfectly, giving the dish a smoky flavor, which only added another dimension to the spice and overall heft of the dish.
Brown rice is available for an extra charge ($2 per person), and while it's a shame they charge for rice, at least they use a really ritzy variety of Thai rice.
I had only a couple of gripes: 1) the restaurant closed at 9:30 p.m. and they attempted to (politely) rush us out the door shortly after that. Seeing as how we'd only arrived at 9:10, it seemed ridiculous to push us out so quickly. If you run a service business, you should never kick a guest out, even if you're technically already closed. There were two other parties in the place, too, so it strikes me as an issue better solved with a "last orders" policy.
2) While the quality of the food was excellent here, they don't offer any vegan mock meat products. Where's the seitan? Or fake chicken? Tofu alone is not enough in this day and age.
In conclusion, Blue Mango is a really good Thai restaurant. The flavors are bold and spicy and not adulterated like at most other strip mall Thai joints. Their vegetarian (mostly vegan) menu is also a nice feature.