We were invited to check out Veggie Grill up at the UTC mall the other week. Tee was back with me on this rotation and she had a lot of fantastic input that I’ll share with you on this post.
VG is located just across from Macy’s and a huge construction area where they are expanding the mall by 90+ stores!
It’s awesome to see the UTC mall continuing to get its much-needed upgrade.
Veggie Grill is a quick service type setup with the kitchen facing directly out towards the dining room.
The space is very clean and the use of bright colors works to accent their focus on fresh ingredients.
The actual dining room itself was a strange shape.
Tee, who is not a soda drinker, was excited to see so many fresh lemonade-type of drinks ($2.35). She loved the watermelon rosemary agua fresca, “I think it’s the best drink I have tried since moving to the west coast.” Wow!
The strawberry lemonade was fantastic, also. You could taste the fresh strawberries in it and it was not too sweet the way that commercial lemonades can be. The pomegranate green tea was also nice.
Usually, bottled green teas are too sweet or have too much honey flavor trying to counteract the bitterness of the green tea. This tea was a little sweet and with subtle hints of pomegranate – it was still very good.
I personally had the strawberry lemonade and the cucumber mint limeade which were both super refreshing and satisfying.
Being a completely vegan restaurant, I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, their menu had some nice looking pictures and I started getting excited.
Starter – crispy cauliflower – delicious. Tee will be trying this new dish everywhere she finds it.
The batter was not too light, not too thick. The cauliflower was still a little crunchy inside which was akin to al dente pasta – just perfect.
We did not care for the spicy orange dipping sauce. Tee would have preferred something spicier and thicker.
So, we were glad when the chipotle ranch arrived with the sweetheart fries and that was even better with the fried cauliflower.
The sweet potato fries were delicious – hard to get those wrong. Tee is a crispy fry fan so she would have left them in the fryer a touch longer but they were still good and yummy with the chipotle ranch (which she would dip almost anything into).
This Summer Celebration Salad ($10.50) is straight off of their seasonal Summer menu.
The BBQ tofu was decent, but I really loved the avocado-kale hummus! The combination of corn and tomatoes really added a nice couple of layers with flavor and texture.
The citrus vinaigrette was light and tangy… perfect for a hot Summer day!
Tee ordered up the Korean Tacos ($10.50) and thought they were really good.
The avocado and sauce were fresh. Just the right balance of protein and cabbage to dressing and avo. The black beans on the side were very nice – sitting in a light broth with a bit of a tang they were not the usual black bean side dish you would expect just sitting in their own dark juices and not soggy at all.
Since she was getting full from her fries, drinks, and the cauliflower, she wasn’t able to finish the dish, so I got to sample the extra one. 🙂
We also tried their homemade pesto which was super fresh and tasty.
Onto dessert! The carrot cake – “oh my goodness” in the words of Tee.
Moist, delicious and you would never have thought it was vegan. The “cream cheese” like frosting on top was not too sugary or sweet so it was very nice.
Who would have thought I’d enjoy a vegan restaurant so much! Although I’m not planning on going vegan anytime soon, I have a new found respect for restaurants that can create delectable dishes that are truly satisfying.
I hope they eventually bring a location further South into San Diego County, but for now, it’s within reach and a great excuse to go shopping at UTC!
Check them out and let us know what you think.
** Please note that we were invited to dine here and our meals were complimentary. No further compensation was received and our opinions remain our own.
4353 La Jolla Village Dr #H28
San Diego, CA 92112