Thursday, September 06, 2007

Noble Vegetarian

Last Friday SweetPea and had an adventure.

OK, so we had dinner out. But after that night we spent helping Neighbor clean The Nastiest Restaurant on the Planet, eating out – at a new restaurant – is considered an adventure.

During my morning drive, on the way to drop Monkey See off at school, I was sitting at a red light and noticed a sandwich board sign. It said “Noble Vegetarian” and had an arrow and some other stuff that I couldn't really read because it was on the other side of the road. I promptly sent a text message to SweetPea lest I forget about this little sandwich board because, hello, vegetarian? Yes, please!

I did some searching on the internet and found a couple of reviews proclaiming it good stuff and reasonably priced and, yes, vegetarian food.

Noble Vegetarian is a Vietnamese restaurant tucked away in a strip mall on College Oak. It's easy to miss if you don't know it's there. And we did. Twice.

Once we got parked and got inside, the restaurant was clean and bright. The tables were well laid out and the décor was nice.. simple, elegant, clean.

We ordered two “family style” dishes, an order of “Golden Rolls”, rice, and iced green tea (for me). Now, some of you may know that I have an issue with the green teas served most everywhere. I like plain green tea. It doesn't need to be flavored or sugared or whatevered. It's good just the way it is. Plain. Well, Noble Vegetarian serves plain green tea, loose leaf no less, hot or cold. Very nice!

Everything came to the table piping hot. The Golden Rolls were very good. Light, crispy and tasty, with a sauce that fit the rolls perfectly. There was a dish called “Ruby Pearls” that SweetPea and I both loved very much. They were described as “sweet and sour 'chicken'” but were so much better than that! Smallish balls of fake meat, with a dense, slightly crispy texture. The “sweet and sour” wasn't the same florescent orange sauce of some Chinese restaurants. The sauce was a dark reddish orange, and it didn't cover and suffocate the way the sauce ordinarily does. It seemed almost like the balls were marinated in it, and then cooked. It was very very good, and our favorite dish of the evening. Much better than anything we get at our usual Chinese restaurant. The other dish looked similar to beef with broccoli, and I'm sorry, I forget the name of it. The “beef” strips looked very realistic, and, had we been anywhere else, I'd have made SweetPea try them first just to be sure it wasn't actual beef. The strips were just a little softer than you'd expect for real beef, but very good, and very “realistic”. The broccoli, carrots and bok choy were all cooked to perfection, and the sauce was perfectly light, just the right compliment.

Service was very nice – friendly, attentive and prompt. Our meal, which included two family style dishes, one order of appetizers, rice for me and iced green tea for me, totalled just $20. Now, let me tell you, SweetPea have been known to spend that at Taco Bell. I was surprised to find the bill so low, actually, with everything we got.

I would highly recommend Noble Vegetarian. Even if you aren't vegetarian, the food will impress you, and so will the service.

Noble Vegetarian
5049 College Oak Dr (Suite A)
Sacramento, CA 95841

(916) 334-6060

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