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I eat better than you, so I am better than you

Raw plus vegan equals Sonima

This nutty noodley salad actually made for a great lunch.
This nutty noodley salad actually made for a great lunch.
Place

Sonima Wellness Center

575 S. Coast Highway 101, Encinitas

Since I haven’t taken a yoga class in a while, I’ve needed something to fill me with that sense of self-righteousness that comes from doing something more healthy than those around me. Being in Encinitas the other day, the answer struck me in the form of a storefront I’d never noticed before: Sonima Wellness Center, promising an entirely raw vegan menu.

To some extent cooking depletes foods of nutrients, or so some experts contend. Eating uncooked meals may add an extra notch to the healthful benefits column, even if it makes it somewhere between tough and impossible to get every dish your heart craves.

Inside Sonima

I don’t think many of those who adhere to such a diet advocate steak tartare, or even sashimi. My guess is they’re most often vegan, so the fact Sonima skews that way didn’t disappoint this omnivore. My real question walking into the shop, which resembles a stylish third-wave coffee bar, was whether raw vegan includes anything other than salads.

For the most part, no. But there were a few interesting ready-made options. A raw vegan lasagna turned out to be slices of vegetables stacked into a layered brick — technically a vertical salad. The coconut wrap resembled a Thai spring roll, which of course is also known as a salad roll. Some sesame-seed encrusted balls of raw falafel did deviate from the salad model, but I was being snarky enough as it was and comparing them to the fried originals just didn’t seem fair.

So I settled on the Thai kelp noodles, a $13 salad but with the added allure of noodles. And yes, I asked: kelp noodles are indeed made from seaweed, and the process requires no cooking.

But before I get to the food, here’s my point of contention. All of these dishes are served ready-made, stacked on shelves in plastic to-go containers. That seems a little incongruous. How can I do my healthy eater strut the rest of the day if I’m eating from plastic?

But, okay, they’re recyclable. The crazy thing is that when I paid for the kelp noodles, I was asked if I was dining in and wanted them plated. Well I was, and did, and so a few minutes later the meal was brought to me, divested of its plastic container, with a little seed and ground-nut garnish. So the plastic wasn’t necessary.

But the meal looked good on a plate, the noodles complemented by nuts, cabbage, carrots, and other chopped vegetables. It had a little bit of spice to it and plenty of bright acidity that legitimately kept it from feeling like a salad and more like a tasty cold noodle dish packed with vegetables.

Good eating, plus I felt superior to everyone at Angelo’s Burgers across the street. Next time, maybe I’ll double down on that feeling by taking one of Sonima’s yoga offerings. Or cold-pressed juice. There are all kinds of ways to feel good about yourself.

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This nutty noodley salad actually made for a great lunch.
This nutty noodley salad actually made for a great lunch.
Place

Sonima Wellness Center

575 S. Coast Highway 101, Encinitas

Since I haven’t taken a yoga class in a while, I’ve needed something to fill me with that sense of self-righteousness that comes from doing something more healthy than those around me. Being in Encinitas the other day, the answer struck me in the form of a storefront I’d never noticed before: Sonima Wellness Center, promising an entirely raw vegan menu.

To some extent cooking depletes foods of nutrients, or so some experts contend. Eating uncooked meals may add an extra notch to the healthful benefits column, even if it makes it somewhere between tough and impossible to get every dish your heart craves.

Inside Sonima

I don’t think many of those who adhere to such a diet advocate steak tartare, or even sashimi. My guess is they’re most often vegan, so the fact Sonima skews that way didn’t disappoint this omnivore. My real question walking into the shop, which resembles a stylish third-wave coffee bar, was whether raw vegan includes anything other than salads.

For the most part, no. But there were a few interesting ready-made options. A raw vegan lasagna turned out to be slices of vegetables stacked into a layered brick — technically a vertical salad. The coconut wrap resembled a Thai spring roll, which of course is also known as a salad roll. Some sesame-seed encrusted balls of raw falafel did deviate from the salad model, but I was being snarky enough as it was and comparing them to the fried originals just didn’t seem fair.

So I settled on the Thai kelp noodles, a $13 salad but with the added allure of noodles. And yes, I asked: kelp noodles are indeed made from seaweed, and the process requires no cooking.

But before I get to the food, here’s my point of contention. All of these dishes are served ready-made, stacked on shelves in plastic to-go containers. That seems a little incongruous. How can I do my healthy eater strut the rest of the day if I’m eating from plastic?

But, okay, they’re recyclable. The crazy thing is that when I paid for the kelp noodles, I was asked if I was dining in and wanted them plated. Well I was, and did, and so a few minutes later the meal was brought to me, divested of its plastic container, with a little seed and ground-nut garnish. So the plastic wasn’t necessary.

But the meal looked good on a plate, the noodles complemented by nuts, cabbage, carrots, and other chopped vegetables. It had a little bit of spice to it and plenty of bright acidity that legitimately kept it from feeling like a salad and more like a tasty cold noodle dish packed with vegetables.

Good eating, plus I felt superior to everyone at Angelo’s Burgers across the street. Next time, maybe I’ll double down on that feeling by taking one of Sonima’s yoga offerings. Or cold-pressed juice. There are all kinds of ways to feel good about yourself.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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