I had dinner last night with my husband and son at Aioli Bodega Espanola, the fifth Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge restaurant I've visited this month. This was a vegan-friendly restaurant even before the challenge, and I was eager to see what additional vegan dishes they were offering this month.
The first thing I discovered was that, at least for this month, their menu has a (V) next to each of the dishes that are vegan, and they had several vegan items listed. I decided to start with the Sopa de Tomate y Trigo, a very flavorful pureed tomato soup with cracked wheat added. Other vegan starters I've enjoyed in the past include Setas Con Comino, which are mushrooms marinated with cumin, garlic, sherry vinegar, and olive oil, and Aceitunas Variadas, a tasty selection of mixed olives.
For my main course, I ordered the Paella Vegetariana, a sizzling pan of saffron rice cooked with julienned fresh seasonal vegetables, including zucchini, onions, carrots, and eggplant. This is a staple on the Aioli Bodega Espanola menu, but it's usually available only for two people, not as a single serving. For October only, they are offering it as a single serving, so if you haven't had it before, this is a great opportunity to try it.
I was looking forward to a pear poached in red wine with cinnamon, the only vegan dessert on the menu. Unfortunately, they didn't have it, and the server didn't seem to think they would be serving it any time soon. So the remainder of my second glass of their excellent Sangria was my dessert.
Aioli Bodega Espanola is located at 1800 L Street. Their phone number is 916-447-9440, and their website address is http://aiolibodega.com/. They're open Monday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., and Sunday from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.