The Naam

[01/04/15] Flashback to last Sunday, a rainy Sunday.. the Sunday that marked the end of our freedom before school started again.. (Spring break, where art thou?) Instead of organizing and getting ready like the good students we’re obviously not, Naomi & I decided to head out for a lunch adventure. I love discussing about food with Naomi, because she literally knows so much. After many hours of contemplating and urbanspooning the restaurants she suggested, I finally settled on The Naam. 

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The Restaurant

 

The Naam has been around for over 30 years, and it’s one of Vancouver’s most prized vegetarian stop. Their menu offers such a huge variety of food, many with fusion concepts. Vegan options are available as well. What’s cool is that they open 24/7 (364 days a year- closing only on Christmas) and if you drop by for dinner in the evening from 7-10pm, they even have live music.


 

The restaurant is located in the Kitsilano district, which was about an hour commute for Naomi & I. They don’t take reservations and line-ups should be no surprise during peak hours. Arriving at 12:20pm, we stood outside for about 20 minutes just to get into the store. It was cold and rainy that day, and I have no tolerance for this kinda Raincouver weather.. but I say it was totally worth it. I remember uttering “ugh this place better be good”, and the lady in front of me overheard and said “yes it’s the best!” haha.. 
 

In between the outside door and the entrance door, there’s a little crammed area that had to wait in before the line moved forward, letting us in the actual restaurant. It’s basically their wall of fame.


 This particular award actually explains a lot. 



After finally being seated, we were surprised to have been given a breakfast/ brunch menu.We were unaware that lunch on the weekend don’t start until 1pm, and well, since we didn’t come here to get omelettes, we asked for the lunch menu. They informed us that if we were to order once lunch hours begin, the food would probably take another half hour to be ready. Having come this far though, we wanted to make the best out of our trip, so we didn’t mind waiting a bit longer.




And can I say we got the best seat ever? It was in a corner by the garden patio (which was closed due to the weather), with a comfy couch and lots of cushions. (: 


Why hello there, Naomi.


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The Food

 

I’ve taken a look at their menu prior to coming, but I still struggled figuring out what I wanted. There’s a lot to choose from and everything sounds delicious! In the end, I went for the Thai Gado ($10.95), which came beautifully presented. It was a mountain of grated carrots, beets, bean spouts, with a sliced hard-boiled egg, and lots and lots of tofu and roasted potatoes, served in a spicy peanut sauce and topped with sesame seeds. It was very visually appealing, but not so practical. I wish it came in a bowl or at least a larger plate because mixing in the dressing at the bottom with the heaps of veggies on top was a seriously difficult task. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed this salad. I love the mix of of vegetables, especially with the fresh crunch of bean sprouts! The sauce wasn’t actually that spicy (whereas I can tolerate lots of heat, Naomi can’t, and she didn’t think it was spicy either), but the slight hint of spice lightened up the creaminess of the peanut butter, and paired well with everything. I found the tofu and potatoes pretty bland on their own, but dipping it with the sauce gave it way more flavour. Not to mention, they were very generous with the portion. The potatoes remained mostly untouched, as I tried my best to finish at least the tofu.. that didn’t happen either. 😛 (4.5/5)



By the way, the food did come precisely at 1:30pm, LOL.




Dragon Plate ($8.95): Naomi’s dish was admittedly a little less exciting. It consisted of a bed of organic brown rice with their signature miso gravy (more came on the side), along with steamed broccoli, carrots and cauliflower. Although this wasn’t anything super impressive, Naomi appreciated the comfort of a simple meal like this. Naomi’s rating: (3.5/5)





At this point, we were both full and had to pack up some leftovers. However, we decided to go all out and get desserts too! Sorry, stomach, more work for you. Vegan desserts are too cool to miss out on! I insisted on getting the Noh Pie ($6.75), because it’s apparently made with no added sugars, and is dairy-free, wheat-free, as well as egg free.I was curious to see how this banana-date-nut cream pie, as described on the menu, tastes. When it came, I was shocked to see the size of our slice- it was hugeee.



The crust was a mix of nuts and seeds, and atop were layers of bananas, cream, and sprinkles of sliced almonds. I loved this dessert so much- it had the right amount of sweetness from the dates that wasn’t overpowering. The filling was so velvety and decadent, melting in with the interesting textures of the crust. (5/5)


(“Naomi, can you hold this fork here, I need a close up.”)


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Final Thoughts



If you think vegetarian meals aren’t filling, think again. And if you think healthy, vegan desserts don’t taste good, think again. The Naam proves you wrong. c: I would totally come back just to have another bite of the Noh Pie, but first, I have to try all their other desserts. A ten-buck salad here won’t make you hate yourself, and I promise you won’t miss the meat either.



The staff were running all over the place and it was hard to get their attention, it was rush hour though so that’s understandable. Also, they were pretty chill people with cool outfits ahah.


Overall:

Food: 8.5/10
Service: 8.5/10
Value: 9/10
Ambiance: 9/10 
Total: 8.75/10

 

Naam on Urbanspoon
 




Restaurant site: http://www.thenaam.com/home.htm

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<3, 
Rae
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