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

Soft Opening at Casa de Luz

Last night we attended the soft opening at Casa De Luz, a new vegan restaurant on University Avenue in North Park. I spoke to owner Wayo Longoria III and Executive Chef Denise Girard a few weeks ago - you can read my post about it here.

Since it was only their second dinner service, I won't evaluate the service or staff, everyone is just getting used to being open for business. I'll make a return trip in a few months to see how it's going. For now, I'll just tell you about the food.

Image

There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan restaurants in San Diego, but this non-profit is a bit different, from the plant based, 100% organic, vegan, alkalizing, nutrient-rich meals to the large community tables. It's a beautiful, calming place where you can enjoy the company of old friends or make new ones.

Image

Casa de Luz serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the menu changes daily. There's no ordering - the chefs cook a set meal, which includes (at dinner) soup, salad, and an entree plate of several different components. The daily menu is posted on their website.

Last night's menu had two soups, Rutabaga and Cauliflower Mushroom, and a mixed salad with walnut dressing. The entree plate was a Sweet Potato Gratin, black beans, brown rice risotto, braised fennel and sautéed bok choy.

Image

The rutabaga soup had baked rutabaga, carrots and onion pureed with herbs and almond milk. It was rich and filling, you would have sworn there was a bit of cream in it. The miso soup was chock full of cauliflower and cremini mushrooms, in a soothing miso broth. Very satisfying.

The salad had a mix of green and red cabbage and romaine, a healthy shot of cilantro leaves, tossed in a mild, creamy walnut dressing.

Image

The entree plate is very generous, with a big square of sweet potato gratin as the main event. This was nothing like the cloying side dishes of marshmallow topped horror that comes with Thanksgiving dinner, the potatoes did all the talking. It was reminiscent of good scalloped potatoes, but made with coconut milk instead of dairy. The beans were tender but not mushy, well seasoned with oregano. Brown rice risotto was also enriched with coconut milk, nutty and firm, just the right amount of "tooth". The two vegetables were delicious, crisp-tender and bright, cooked with a bit of mirin and sesame seed. The simple preparation really let the clean flavors shine.

Image

For dessert, we had the sampler plate ($5). It comes with four choices from the bakery case, we chose a kabocha squash muffin, sesame cookie, coconut date macaroon and cacao almond pecan truffle (our lovely server comped us a lemon chia muffin too). All were very good, with the truffle being a standout, deeply chocolatey, rich and smooth. The moist, chewy macaroon was a close second. But then, I liked the cookie a lot too. Sigh.

Image

It all of this sounds too crunchy granola for you, I urge you to put your reservations aside and give it a try. I'm a confirmed carnivore, but found the meal deeply satisfying and more than filling. I brought home enough leftovers for another meal, and didn't miss the meat at all.

A sample of the daily menu can be seen here. Be sure to check out the cooking school upstairs too.

Image

Casa de Luz is open for regular business as of today. Healthy eating!

Casa de Luz

2920 University Ave.

San Diego, CA 92104

Prices: (approximate)

Breakfast: $6.47

Lunch: $11.09

Dinner: $11.09

Beverages and desserts are extra.

Hours:

Daily from 7 am - 10 pm

Breakfast: 7:00 to 10:00 A.M.

Lunch Menu: 11:00 to 2:30 P.M.

Dinner Menu: 5:30 to 8:30 P.M.

Between these times items may vary.

Street parking.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Bought houses on Brookes, Upas, 8th Avenue, Georgia Street

San Diego early house flippers

Last night we attended the soft opening at Casa De Luz, a new vegan restaurant on University Avenue in North Park. I spoke to owner Wayo Longoria III and Executive Chef Denise Girard a few weeks ago - you can read my post about it here.

Since it was only their second dinner service, I won't evaluate the service or staff, everyone is just getting used to being open for business. I'll make a return trip in a few months to see how it's going. For now, I'll just tell you about the food.

Image

There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan restaurants in San Diego, but this non-profit is a bit different, from the plant based, 100% organic, vegan, alkalizing, nutrient-rich meals to the large community tables. It's a beautiful, calming place where you can enjoy the company of old friends or make new ones.

Image

Casa de Luz serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the menu changes daily. There's no ordering - the chefs cook a set meal, which includes (at dinner) soup, salad, and an entree plate of several different components. The daily menu is posted on their website.

Last night's menu had two soups, Rutabaga and Cauliflower Mushroom, and a mixed salad with walnut dressing. The entree plate was a Sweet Potato Gratin, black beans, brown rice risotto, braised fennel and sautéed bok choy.

Image

The rutabaga soup had baked rutabaga, carrots and onion pureed with herbs and almond milk. It was rich and filling, you would have sworn there was a bit of cream in it. The miso soup was chock full of cauliflower and cremini mushrooms, in a soothing miso broth. Very satisfying.

The salad had a mix of green and red cabbage and romaine, a healthy shot of cilantro leaves, tossed in a mild, creamy walnut dressing.

Image

The entree plate is very generous, with a big square of sweet potato gratin as the main event. This was nothing like the cloying side dishes of marshmallow topped horror that comes with Thanksgiving dinner, the potatoes did all the talking. It was reminiscent of good scalloped potatoes, but made with coconut milk instead of dairy. The beans were tender but not mushy, well seasoned with oregano. Brown rice risotto was also enriched with coconut milk, nutty and firm, just the right amount of "tooth". The two vegetables were delicious, crisp-tender and bright, cooked with a bit of mirin and sesame seed. The simple preparation really let the clean flavors shine.

Image

For dessert, we had the sampler plate ($5). It comes with four choices from the bakery case, we chose a kabocha squash muffin, sesame cookie, coconut date macaroon and cacao almond pecan truffle (our lovely server comped us a lemon chia muffin too). All were very good, with the truffle being a standout, deeply chocolatey, rich and smooth. The moist, chewy macaroon was a close second. But then, I liked the cookie a lot too. Sigh.

Image

It all of this sounds too crunchy granola for you, I urge you to put your reservations aside and give it a try. I'm a confirmed carnivore, but found the meal deeply satisfying and more than filling. I brought home enough leftovers for another meal, and didn't miss the meat at all.

A sample of the daily menu can be seen here. Be sure to check out the cooking school upstairs too.

Image

Casa de Luz is open for regular business as of today. Healthy eating!

Casa de Luz

2920 University Ave.

San Diego, CA 92104

Prices: (approximate)

Breakfast: $6.47

Lunch: $11.09

Dinner: $11.09

Beverages and desserts are extra.

Hours:

Daily from 7 am - 10 pm

Breakfast: 7:00 to 10:00 A.M.

Lunch Menu: 11:00 to 2:30 P.M.

Dinner Menu: 5:30 to 8:30 P.M.

Between these times items may vary.

Street parking.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Comments
2

I'm actually really excited about this place. It's not my thing either, but I do like to just get down with some vegan food every now and again. Whether or not it's actually good for me in some holistic way, I cannot say, but it feels good, and that's worth something.

Feb. 2, 2012

Not enough people bought into this food approach, so it's gone now. The building is up for sale or lease.

Dec. 20, 2013

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
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
Close