Best Vegetarian Restaurant (2003)
This new Spring Valley strip mall spot offers a surprising multiculti take on vegetarian food -- from its steamed veggie dumplings to soy sausage hot dogs to roasted eggplant Parmesan. Although Soya Cafe exudes the antiseptic aesthetic typical of vegetarian restaurants, the food here is much tastier than what you get at the old standbys. The stir-fried rice, loaded with big pieces of fresh vegetables, is refreshingly light on the oil. And the tofu, mushrooms, onions and other treats in the Soya kabobs are lightly dressed in a tangy red barbecue sauce. Plus, the portions are as satisfying as the ingredients. One off-the-menu burger consists of three patties -- two crispy, oregano-dusted "codfish" squares and a meaty breaded soy circle -- in addition to all the usual fixins.