This week, Jessi Cape returned to reviewing at the Chronicle with a gushing profile of sister restaurants Yoshi Ramen and Veggie Heaven from owner Stacy Chen, The first is her newer restaurant in Hancock, focused on Asian bites from ramen to donburi, and the second is the vegan reincarnation of her mother’s beloved vegetarian campus restaurant found on West 5th.
Cape began her review at Yoshi Ramen, which she observed “balance[s] the sleek design with character and charm” (like Star Wars memorabilia and paper cranes). She also noted that the food is “priced to win fans,” like the $4 sake cocktails and “golden, crispy” pork gyoza, which are $3.50 for three.
Cape started with chicken-based shoyu ramen (“robust in flavor, yet light and delicate”) before moving to the dan dan noodle-style tantanmen ramen:
Spicy, with minced pork — a Sichuan twist away from the usual slice of fatty pork belly — its combo pork and chicken broth amped up with roasted jalapeños and a chili bomb is Chinese-inspired. It’s so intensely flavorful that it made me dizzy.
As for Veggie Heaven, which is now completely vegan, Cape proclaimed “the food is better than ever.” Her favorite dish was the Magic Tomato, which she paired with trio rice, “perfectly crispy” fried tofu, and “jumbo-sized” veggies.
Sarah Thurmond at Austin Monthly stopped in to Confituras, the bakery and jam shop from Stephanie McClenny, and seemed slightly less impressed. Though she appreciated the “charming, minimalist” decor, the same couldn’t be said of the menu.
Thurmond thought the biscuits were “decadent,” but “a little dry” (though she admitted this may have been due to her afternoon visit), and described the gluten-free version as having “a slightly denser texture.” Thurmond also wished for the option to add bacon or eggs to the biscuits. However, she did seem impressed with the jams:
While all the jams are delicious, my favorite is the cranberry jalapeño. The tanginess of the berry and the heat of the pepper perfectly complement each other, so much that I wonder why the odd coupling isn’t more common.
ON THE BLOGS: Dine with Shayda previewed new Italian spot Il Brutto, and said the lasagna is a must. Christina Lately raved over everything at Intero, but called the chocolate truffles “enchantingly good.”