Lately I have been on a mission to explore the hidden and not so hidden gems in my new neighborhood and show everyone ways one can honor a plant based diet while visiting traditional restaurants. Downtown Los Angeles is flooded with culinary wonders more so than most of the places I have lived at. What’s even more appealing is that most of the restaurants are within a breezy, five-minute walk from me.
Soy 7 -as the name suggests- is on 7th street, on the periphery of the Historic Core. If you are looking for a hole in the wall, tucked away, obscure Thai experience, this isn’t the place for you. The restaurant’s gilded high ceilings bring an air of elegance familiar to downtown dwellers. The décor is easy on the eyes giving diners a chance to truly appreciate each plate that comes out within a few minutes of ordering .
The menu has plenty to choose from for vegetarians as well as vegans. Their vegetable summer roll comes lightly wrapped in what’s possibly the best rice –paper I have encountered the past few years. Delicate, translucent and moist with the right amount of texture encasing glass noodles, thinly sliced tofu and basil. The peanut sauce has just the right amount of tanginess to complement the sweet undertones of rice.
My main course was the Vegan Pumpkin Cashew Curry with white rice. I normally opt for brown , but I have heard sagas of Soy 7’s white rice. Yes, all of it is true. You know a restaurant cares about quality when their rice is superb- which it is here. The curry itself has thinly sliced vegetables steamed to perfection, just soft enough to still leave some work for you to do. The pumpkin pieces melt like butter in your mouth. The juxtaposition of pumpkin and cashews makes the dish quite compelling and arousing at the same time. You might question the last statement, but I find eating the pumpkin curry quite a sexual experience with its texture and surprise elements. Savoring it felt like spending an all-encompassing night with a skilled lover. I still wonder how my day would have turned out if it wasn’t my gay friend who I was dining with.
If you haven’t yet tried this place I encourage you to stumble in, sit in a quiet corner or pick the window seating which makes for a fascinating people watching experience in the heart of the city with its business people and the trudging homeless.
Originally Posted on March 23, 2014