Food Column: Thai vegan delight in the San Fernando Valley

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Food Column: Thai vegan delight in the San Fernando Valley

The quinoa sticks is popular appetizer at veSTATION. Photo credit: Roza Asgharzadeh

The quinoa sticks is popular appetizer at veSTATION. Photo credit: Roza Asgharzadeh

The quinoa sticks is popular appetizer at veSTATION. Photo credit: Roza Asgharzadeh

The quinoa sticks is popular appetizer at veSTATION. Photo credit: Roza Asgharzadeh

Roza Asgharzadeh

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A cozy hole in the wall, veSTATION is Sherman Oaks’ vegan gem.

It could be hard to find this restaurant in the midst of the huge plaza on Ventura Boulevard with El Torito, health shops and the big parking lot always packed with cars. However, the green neon sign marked “Vegan Cuisine” directs you to the right place.

A dish of massaman curry with brown rice. This is one of the popular curry dishes at veSTATION. Photo credit: Roza Asgharzadeh

veSTATION is a 4-year-old vegan restaurant owned by brothers Tum and Peter Chant. The main cuisine served is Thai, but some modified Chinese and Japanese dishes are available as well.

From the appetizer menu, the Buddha Wrap is one of the most popular choices according to the restaurant and Yelp reviewers. The quinoa sticks, basically egg rolls made with quinoa, is another popular dish.

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Quinoa Sticks, popular appetizer at Vestation Photo credit: Roza Asgharzadeh

The rolls are not too different from traditional egg rolls: crunchy, flavorful and a great snack if you aren’t too hungry. The fluffy quinoa filling keeps it light and satisfying without the heaviness that often comes with fried foods. The plum dipping sauce that comes with the sticks is light, fruity, and the perfect combination of sweet and sour.

The restaurant offers a variety of entrées such as Pad Thai, soups, salads and curry dishes. The Massaman Curry can be a soothing dish on a chilly fall night. It’s creamy, spicy and filled with vegetables such as snow peas, cauliflower, carrots and potatoes. It comes with a choice of tofu, soy chicken, soy steak or soy fish and a side of either brown rice or quinoa. What is particularly special in this dish is the tamarind reduction and the roasted peanuts which add great flavor.

Alan Hersch, a waiter and manager at veSTATION said many come to the restaurant and enjoy the food whether they are vegan or not. Perhaps part of what makes the food so good is its authenticity.

“The staff in the kitchen are all Thai,” Hersch said.

He went on to explain about the great work environment they have, the feeling of having a family at work, which is noticeable walking in. The staff is nice and kind not only towards the customers, but toward each other as well.

The lunch menu is served between 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., and the full menu is served all day until 10 p.m.