Owner/chef Kenny Chye is on a mission with his Veggie House Chinese restaurant: "I want to encourage people of all ages to eat vegetables and learn that veggies have flavor and variety. They're good."
Before moving to Las Vegas and opening Veggie House April 15 at 5115 Spring Mountain Road, Chye was chef and owner of three Chinese restaurants in San Diego.
After finding out his cholesterol was too high, he switched to a vegetarian diet and his health improved. He decided to open a restaurant serving vegan and vegetarian food so others could share the benefits.
Open seven days a week from 11:28 a.m. to 9:33 p.m. - "Eight and three are lucky numbers in Chinese culture," Chye explains - the restaurant is on the second level with elevator access; parking is available behind the building. Veggie House seats 65 people.
It offers patrons a selection of 100 dishes, most of which are made with seaweed, soy (tofu, bean curd) or gluten with the flavors of meat, fish and poultry.
For instance, there are 24 bean curd and vegetable offerings. Spicy dishes are clearly marked on the menu, and there is a reminder to inform the server about food allergies. Some dishes have meat, poultry or fish in the name, but are made from soy or starch.
Lunch is served until 3 p.m. daily and offers 20 choices, such as braised tofu with vegetables, crispy spicy eggplant and curry chicken with potato. Each lunch dish comes with steamed white or brown rice, sweet potato rice congee (a risottolike side dish) and a roll. All lunch dishes are $6.50. Dinner dishes are served with brown or white rice.
Appetizers: spring rolls (two for $3.95), barbecue veggie meat ($5.50), roti (an Indian pancakelike bread) with curry sauce ($3.95), bitter melon quesadilla ($4.50)
Soups: veggie soup ($1.50 for a small cup), hot and sour soup ($5.50), crabmeat shark fin soup ($6.50)
Cold dish combo: barbecue meat, bitter melon salad, cucumber salad, seaweed salad, tofu skin salad, stewed bean curd ($6.95 for two items, $8.95 for three items, $10.95 for four items or $12.95 for five items)
Bean curd and vegetables: eggplant and tofu ($8.95); Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce ($8.50); five delight - lotus root, sugar peas, fungus, Hawaii nut, mushrooms ($9.50); stir-fried potato strip ($8.50)
Veggie fish and seafood: fish with black bean sauce ($11.50), fish with fried tofu and veggies ($11.50), sweet and sour fish ($11.50), walnut shrimp ($10.95); Szechuan shrimp ($10.95); seafood tamarind curry ($11.95); kung pao squid ($10.95); seafood, mixed vegetables in a clay pot ($11.95)
Veggie meats: chicken with mushroom ($8.95); General Tzo's chicken ($8.95); pineapple veggie duck ($10.95); spicy veggie gluten kidney ($9.95); sizzling veggie beef, or chicken or tofu with vegetables ($10.95 each); sizzling veggie seafood ($11.95)
Noodles: stir-fried rice sticks with veggies, house lo mein (made with ramen noodles), house chow fun ($8.95 each); Hunan scallop pan-fried noodles ($10.95)
Dessert: self-served shaved ice in the style of Malaysia and Singapore that can be flavored with a variety of jellies ($5)