Vegan Nirvana Serves 'World Peace Cuisine' In Huntington Beach
Stepping inside Huntington Beach's newest vegan restaurant Vegan Nirvana stimulates all of the senses. Walls coated in deep blue, a tall trickling water feature, loud music, flying saucers frozen in flight, and deep sea murals are just a few of the futuristic eatery's unique features. We were already intrigued by the menu, but as we climbed upon our chairs, our heads were spinning from our unexpected stroll through outer-space. Perhaps it's a statement that the future of food is just this: savory plant-based dishes made with love and kindness.
Vegan Nirvana roots itself in the vegan philosophy of treating animals and the environment with compassion. The owner and head chef, who has asked to remain anonymous, delivers on taste, texture, and variety, gifting Huntington Beach with "world peace cuisine" that locals won't find anywhere else in town.
Situated on Warner Avenue just west of Beach Boulevard, Vegan Nirvana quietly opened on February 2 and absolutely lives up to its name. The owner and General Manager Tom Alen spent months working the menu through roughly a dozen revisions.
"We are spiritual people and like to meditate just like many other vegans," says Alen. "In doing so, meditation can take you to another world (in the state of nirvana, if you will), and thus Vegan Nirvana was decided for the name of this restaurant."
Diners will find small bites, sandwiches, wraps, "fish" tacos, salads, savory plates, and desserts on the soy-heavy menu, which features spiritually inspired names. The BLT isn't just your average sandwich, it's a "BLT Awakening." The "Humble Warrior" crispy cajun fries appetizer borrows its name from a well-known yoga pose. And house favorite "Deep Sea Meditation" may have achieved a look and texture capable of fooling tongues into thinking the crispy shrimp-free crescents really are not. It's a proud housemade dish that nails the texture of shrimp using an inventive combination of tapioca and starch. All dressings, sauces, and limeaid juices are made with love in-house. The head duo even imports their jackfruits from Saigon, Vietnam.
The mission at hand is to not only serve tasty food, but to also help make the world a better place for humans and animals alike. Before joining the project initially as a contractor, Alen was not vegan and was unaware of the lifestyle's multi-levels, including its positive environmental impact. But the more immersed in veganism he became, the less animal products he ingested. He's now happily vegan.
"We never push or pressure anyone to eat vegan," adds Alen, who helped create the educational pro-vegan video that screens in the dining area. Reading materials are also readily available for anyone wishing to open up to veganism.
Come to be inspired or to simply enjoy delicious, peaceful food. We're still daydreaming about our "deep sea meditation" and frothy strawberry mint limeade.
Follow Vegan Nirvana on Twitter.
Vegan Nirvana // 7862 Warner Avenue, Suit 110, Huntington Beach, CA 92647 // 714-847-4080 // Hours: Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 5-8:30 p.m. Closed on Sunday.