by Michael Oshman
ou can not walk out of this restaurant without feeling peace. I've been to Jyoti Bihanga many times over the past 6 years, and every time I have left the restaurant my food gently digests in the calm wake of my dining experience. White, two-story vaulted ceilings overhead, with a tranquil fountain to the left, I enjoy the best vegetarian chili in San Diego. For only $3.95, Jyoti Bihanga serves vegetarian chili with homemade corn bread, a good healthy, delicious, inexpensive meal.
Jyoti's is also known for its Neatloaf, a substantial, tasty version of America's meatloaf. If you like soup, try one of the many varieties. I like the carrot soup. With a new curry every day, there are various vegan items from which to choose. Their barbecue tofu sandwiches make you forget you're in a vegetarian restaurant. Fresh smoothies and shakes are a nice refreshing way to gain nourishment during the hot, desiccating months of San Diego's coming Summer.
Jyoti Bihanga is one of the first establishments in San Diego to become a Green Restaurant, back in 1993. Jyoti's uses no Styrofoam, recycles, and uses 100 percent post-consumer waste, non-bleached recycled napkins. A completely vegetarian restaurant, with many vegan items, and a few organic options, Jyoti's commitment to a healthier planet runs deep. In the future, Jyoti's will be one of many restaurants using plastics made from corn, encouraging customers to bring their own Tupperware for takeout and leftovers, and using completely safe cleaners.
With many options under $5, daily entrees with soup and salad go for $5.95 $8.95. Jyoti Bihanga is open Monday through Friday from 7:30am to 9pm, except on Wednesdays when they close at 3pm. On Saturday, Jyoti's serves a breakfast buffet from 7:30am to noon, and the regular menu from noon to 8pm. Three Sundays per month, Jyoti's has a buffet from 9am to 1pm. Jyoti Bihanga is located at 3351 Adams Ave in Normal Heights, phone (619) 282-4116.
Michael Oshman is president of the Green Restaurant Association, 287-4261. To find the Green Restaurants near you, call the Green Restaurant Referral Service at 490-9695 ext 2.