One of my first visits to Kalachandji’s was as a college student, and it was Thanksgiving. The meal included a visit to the Krishna temple escorted by one of the many devotees who live in the neighboring homes. With the meal we enjoyed a tofu turkey, which was actually much more delicious than it sounds. Although the spice level is very minimal, the repast was elegant and flavorful. We dined in the open air patio which is centered inside the restaurant.
During subsequent visits I was shown more of the cuisine, and always have a great sampling at the luncheon buffet which is excellently curated by the cooks, setting out just enough for the guests as necessary as not to compromise the quality of the food.
Kalachandji’s is not all vegan, there are vegetarian dishes served as well and even the most staunch omnivore will enjoy a meal at the temple. The actual cookery is Indian, but specifically Vedic. This style is extremely clean and does not use onions, garlic or even mushrooms. Mushrooms are left out of the meal because they are thought to be unclean, and the onions and garlic are considered offensive to Krishna. Jalapenos are curiously acceptable, however. Religion aside, and you will never hear about any of their practices unless you inquire, the food is simply amazing. However, you will want to take a stroll through the serene temple.
A meal at Kalachandji’s should include a lush bowl of dal soup, a crisp vegetable salad, and one of the many daily specials such as a vegetarian lasagna or eggplant Parmesan. Recently we enjoyed a delicious pumpkin curry served with basmati and a selection of breads such as their housemade wheat or cinnamon raisin. The meal is served with papadum, a crispy chip-like wafer made from lentils. Pappadum are extremely flavorful and I keep these at home for every day dining. They are fantastic to dip into a chutney for an Indian version of the Tex Mex chip and salsa routine. Addictive and delicious.
Also particularly delicious are the spinach phyllo, all crisp and savory which warms on the cold, wintery evening. Stir fried vegetables and tofu will make a meat eater happy. The menu is extremely helpful for those practicing veganism, as each dish on the menu is labeled either vegan or vegetarian.
You will walk away from this meal happily satisfied with a nifty experience that will surely make its way to the water cooler conversation the next day. Be sure to check out what the name Kalachandji means, and why it is important to the restaurant. Makes for a fun read. Enjoy.