Monday, September 16, 2013

The Coconut Midtown

No sooner had Negril on J closed its doors for the last time than a new Thai restaurant, the Coconut Midtown, opened in its place, creating quite a buzz in the vegan community.

Thai restaurants can be very vegan-friendly, since tofu can be substituted for meat in many of the dishes. However, fish sauce is ubiquitous in Thai cuisine, so any visit to a Thai restaurant means that I have to start by asking whether the dish I want to order contains fish sauce and, if so, whether it can be omitted.

If you visit the Coconut Midtown, be sure to let your server know you're vegan. You'll probably be given a marked-up copy of the menu that indicates which of their dishes can be made vegan. As you can see in the picture below, they can make a vegan version of most of the items on their menu. The owner of the restaurant has a vegan friend who has helped to educate her about vegan concerns. Judging from comments I've seen on Facebook and other social media, local vegans are very happy with the food at the Coconut Midtown.

I ordered Pad Thai, something I rarely have since it generally contains egg. At the Coconut Midtown, I was able to order it without egg. I enjoyed the combination of the chewy rice noodles, crisp vegetables, and golden tofu cubes. The sauce was light, with a slightly citrus taste. I could have used a little more of the chopped peanut garnish, but that was my only quibble with this dish.

The Coconut Midtown is located at 2502 J Street, and their telephone number is 916-447-1855. Their website address is, and their Facebook page can be found at The restaurant is open Monday through Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and from 5:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., and Sunday from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

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