All vegan/vegetarian Vietnamese in Reseda.
It’s a rich atmosphere, all things considered. Vinh Loi Tofu has colorful and punchy pictures on the wall, showing off all their wares…and not a one with any meat in them.
Oh well, I knew what I was getting into. I’ll live.
There also a display of money. Yeah, real money form allover the world, taped over the window where the Kitchen is.
…and a Money Tree with all manner of U.S. Bills attached to it. It’s the kind of thing I’ve always associated with grand openings, and I know this place has been around for a while, so…anniversary maybe? Possibly?
Oh, and there’s a picture of the proprietor doing Iron Man competitions. That’s not intimidating at all.
The meatless thing I’ll do. The Iron Man thing…ehhh…not so much.
Vinh Loi Tofu is a discovery I made on the way to a Doctor’s appointment. I spun the magic Urbanspoon wheel and it came right up. It’s a Vegan Restaurant, the type of Vegan place that’s doing it’s level best to simulate the texture, taste and feel of the meat you’re not supposed to be eating anyway.
And I’ve got to say, to my surprise, they do a pretty damn fine job of it.
Vinh Loi Tofu is kind of a hybrid of a counter and sit-down place. You walk in, breeze past the Refrigerator and head up to the counter to make your order. Then, you don’t pay. You either pick up your food to go (a popular option) or sit down and wait for the magic to arrive. Either way, you pay later, when you’re about to head out the door in either option.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Biting into meat that you know isn’t meat is still a trippy experience. In this case, I had the Vegan BBQ Duck with Sesame. My plate of “Duck” felt and tasted just like actual duck. It had a nice, rich, spicy coating of sauce all over it. The kick built and built as you had it. It was really, really tasty. Really flavorful. I’d definitively have this again. But all the while, I had to lift my chopsticks close to my face to get a better look at the Duck I wasn’t apparently having. It even looked like strands of fat up in there. That’s how good the dish looked.
Alongside that , I had their appetizer portion of Fried Tofu. Now, the menu say it’ll come in a four piece size, but don’t be surprised if more than that winds up on your plate. I’m assuming they took the four pieces and cut them down still further into eight. They’re not the most attractive looking bits of Tofu you’ll ever see, as they’ve been fried up with a combination of Lemongrass and chilis. Their taste is…eh, okay. They won’t make you a convert to the Vegan way of life, not the way that duck might.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: This may be the fault of going into too many places in San Gabriel, but I was totally expecting this place to be cash only. It’s not. Just a ten dollar minimum for charges, which is fair.
PARKING: Interesting. Vinh Loi Tofu is situated in a two level Strip Mall just off Sherman Way. The Strip Mall has a parking area in front of the Restaurant, but odds are…that will be filled. You may see a space open up every now and again, that’s not already reserved for one of the other businesses.
Failing to get a space up front, the Strip Mall has a second lot in back that may be for employees. That’s where I wound up. There’s a passage way from that back lot to the stores/shops/businesses.
Failing that, you can try to park along Capps Ave., a side street off Sherman Way.
Vinh Loi Tofu
18625 Sherman Way #101
Reseda, CA 91335
Tel: (818) 996-9779
Monday-Saturday: 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
Sunday: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm