Friday, February 15, 2019

T H A I at Sacramento: The House of Authentic Ingredients

A new restaurant opened in East Sacramento recently. The House of Authentic Ingredients has the convenient acronym of  T H A I, which is the type of cuisine served there.

My friend Deborah and I had lunch at T H A I earlier this week. I was happy to see several vegan or veganizable items on the menu. Since I have a weakness for fried food, I started with an appetizer of paupia, crispy spring rolls served with sweet and sour sauce. Those tasty little rolls were a great start to my meal. 

I wanted a noodle dish for my entrée, so I ordered the pad kee mao, wide rice noodles stir-fried with bell pepper, green beans, onions, kaffir leaf, basil, Thai chili, and my choice of protein -- tofu, of course. It was delicious.

The menu has a (V) next to many items, but I think that basically means the item can be made vegan, not that it's necessarily vegan already. To be on the safe side, you should let your server know that you are vegan and don't want any non-vegan ingredients in your food.

T H A I is located at 4701 H Street, and their phone number is 916-942-9008. Their website address is, and their Facebook page can be found at The restaurant is open Sunday through Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Monday, February 11, 2019


I don't know how I missed hearing about the opening of Westside, the new café by Identity Coffees, a couple of months ago. But as soon as I saw a picture of their vegan waffle on an Instagram post by Conscious Creamery, I was there.

Westside is a bright and spacious coffee house in West Sacramento. They serve breakfast items, sandwiches, salads, and bagels, in addition to coffee, tea, beer, wine, and other assorted drinks. And did I mention they have vegan waffles? I'm sure you can guess what I ordered when I stopped by today. Their waffle batter is vegan, but you'll need to ask for vegan butter. Other vegan toppings include maple syrup or strawberry preserves. I don't remember the last time I'd had a waffle, and this one was every bit as good as I had hoped it would be.

The menu at Westside clearly marks the items that are vegan or can be made vegan, including avocado toast, bagel and spread, hummus bagel, and mixed green salad. They have a sandwich on the menu called "The Herbivore," that looks like it should be vegan, but isn't marked as such. I asked the woman at the counter, however, and she confirmed that it is vegan.

Westside is located at 289 Third Street in West Sacramento, and their phone number is 916-465-0272. They don't appear to have their own webpage yet, but their Facebook page can be found at Westside is open daily from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Tea Bar & Fusion Cafe

When the B Street Theatre opened at its new location, the Sofia, a new café was included in the complex. Tea Bar & Fusion Café has quickly become a midtown favorite, offering bowls, wraps, toasts, and lots of different tea-based beverages.
I stopped in for lunch today to see what they had in the way of vegan options. I was happy to see both grilled ginger tofu and fireroast veggies on the list of choices for their bowls and wraps. I decided to try a bowl, which included my choice of topping (grilled ginger tofu), grain, salad, or combo (I chose the quinoa rice blend), and dressing. The menu doesn't say which dressings are vegan, but the man at the counter checked his binder and told me my dressing options were wasabi ginger or oil and vinegar. I opted for the wasabi ginger. The bowls also include avocado, cucumber, carrots, and sesame seeds. This was a very satisfying meal, with the wasabi ginger dressing giving it just the extra little kick it needed.

Be cautious when you order at Tea Bar, however, and if you're not sure whether something is vegan or not, ask. Some items that seem like they should be vegan, such as the avocado or hummus toast, are not.

There were so many drinks I wanted to try, but I finally chose the pomegranate lemonade. It was excellent.

Tea Bar & Fusion Café is located at 2700 Capitol Avenue, and the phone number is 916-444-8227. Their website address is, and their Facebook page can be found at The café is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.