I eat meat like a ravenous lion in the jungle, but one thing I can’t stand is restaurants that don’t have squat for my vegetarian and vegan friends. How many times can you accompany your meat-eating friends to a restaurant before you get sick to death of eggplant parmigiana, usually the only vegetarian thing on the menu? Or a caesar salad with . . . oh, wait, that has cheese and anchovy in it. And then the inevitable second-guessing comes: “You do eat fish, though, right? You mean you don’t eat fish?”
My friends who definitely don’t eat fish, thank you very much, have especially been drawn to Goji Kitchen. There, in a strip-mall location they’re sure to outgrow, the owners serve up Asian-fusion entrées with fresh and healthful ingredients. No MSG, no microwaves and, much to my friends’ delight, the only vegan pho in town. That’s right—all those other places use chicken stock, while Goji uses various herbs and spices, cloves among them, to flavor their pho. Me? I had the five-spice chicken, which is incredible, and anytime I get invited out to dinner here with the vegan crew, I’m more than happy to come along and revel in their giddy, relieved excitement. To hell with eggplant parmigiana. 1965 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. 707.523.3888.—G.M.