A vegan place downtown, that makes asian-inspired dishes at reasonable prices? Count me in. I’d been wanting to make trip to Mi Lah since it opened a few months ago, and finally I made it in for lunch. And then I made it in again. One time with a good camera, one time without. I think that you’ll be able to tell the difference.
Mi Lah is a cute, modern -chic decorated restaurant with real baby tomatoes and orchids growing on the windowsills. Though it only seats about 30 downstairs, Mi Lah also has an upstairs floor, open during the evening. Their cuisine is based more on Buddhist vegetarianism than “health” food, so you can still get fried “meat” products on big crusty rolls, if that’s what you’re in the mood for.
One afternoon I had the mango and avocado salad – firm bites of mango and a generous helping of avocado on baby greens with a citrus dressing. The salad was fresh and delicious. At $9 (for the large size) it was a bit pricey, but the quality of the ingredients was excellent.
Alongside the salad I ordered the “soup of the day” – tiny cubes of raw firm tofu, mushroom, carrots and daikon in a simple broth. I have to say, it was pretty bland, and could have used some spice!
On another visit, I was able to convince someone else to dine with me, and therefor, could try twice as many things.
This cup of butternut squash soup was just perfect. Creamy and full of flavor, beautifully and simply garnished with black sesame seed.
I also love that green papaya salad. Fresh, crunchy, and just a tart, it was perfectly mixed with tamarind sauce, crispy fried and shredded tempeh.
Sadly, I don’t remember what kind of mushroom this was, but it was as big as my fist, breaded in coconut with a twist of lime, and fried. It was delicious, though perhaps not quite worth it’s $5 price tag.
This sandwich was a beast. As a lover of buffalo sauce, I continually snuck pieces off of my partners plate. Chunks of tofu marinated in hot buffalo sauce, deep fried into crispy little pieces, served in a big hoagie roll with lettuce, and with a chili ranch sauce on the side. A delicious idea.
Overall, I’ve been very pleased with my lunches at Mi Lah. A few of the dishes are hit and miss, but most of them really deliver. The restaurant and the staff are very pleasant and the prices are reasonable. Their dinner menu is a tad fancier, and from what I hear, delicious. I’m also excited to try their pre-fix brunch sometime, which comes with fresh breads, fruit, and a mixer. Did I mention that they were BYOB? Huzzah!