Kaimuki’s new vegan hotspot: Vegan Hills

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I always say, “I could never become vegan.” But after dining at Vegan Hills, I might have to change my omnivore tune … at least once a week.

Vegan Hills is located along the Waialae strip near Happy Days, Top of the Hill, and Kona Kai Sushi. Parking is available in meters or in the paid lot.

Everyone I know, including yours truly, seems like they’re on a quest to be healthy, eat cleaner and lose weight. So lunching at the new Vegan Hills restaurant felt nice and guilt-free.

The owners of Peace Café opened this Kaimuki lunch spot in early March and it’s already bustling with customers.

The service was friendly and helpful, and atmosphere minimalist chic.

The goal of Vegan Hills, according to their website, is to offer “delicious, healthy, fresh, natural and non-GMO vegan meals.” I was surprised to see a large menu, with options of soups, salads, hot bowls, and sandwiches.

Each dish was large in size, full of flavor, and did not taste like a “substitute.” The mix green salad was light and fresh, standing out with just a light drizzle of olive oil and salt.

Tomato Bisque ($6). A rich and creamy French-style soup.

Why Not Chos ($14). A hearty helping of organic corn chips, chili beans, tomato, and avocado with creamy cashew sauce, jalapeno, hot sauce and sour cream.

Honestly, Vegan Hills isn’t for everyone. Aside from being, obviously – vegan – the prices are higher than your average takeout joint. My first lunch cost $26 (with tax and tip) for an entree and shared dessert and a second lunch trip set me back $35 for an appetizer, entree, shared dessert, and coffee. Since I don’t eat out every day, I don’t mind the occasional splurge.

Avocado Tempeh Melt ($15). Grilled country bread, organic kale, avocado, original tempeh bacon, cheese. You can choose from mix green salad or grilled potatoes as a side.

Half of the restaurant may have ordered this giant dish. The Satori Bowl ($19) is a macrobiotic-style baked organic oyster mushroom, ume flavored beet salad, Hijiki seaweed, sauteed turnip leaf, organic mixed greens with Yuzu miso dressing, and brown rice, accompanied by Waikame soup.

Chocolate cream pie ($8). The gluten-free desserts are made fresh each morning.

The body is a temple: it’s worth it to eat well and be well. My lunch experiences at Vegan Hills have all been with girlfriends (all non-vegans) and we’re eager to return. Reservations are accepted, so it might be a good idea to call ahead for peak lunchtime spots.

Vegan Hills
3585 Waialae Ave.
Honolulu, HI 96816
735-3585
www.veganhills-hi.com
Hours: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.