Cheap Eats 2007: Sunflower Vegitarian Restaurant

Sunflower looks like something out of Haight-Ashbury in the 1960s, an earthy-crunchy vegetarian-only restaurant. You expect it to be run by hippies, but it’s staffed almost entirely by Asian-Americans.

The menu features unfamiliar-sounding items such as Kale & Burdock Deluxe, Wheat Gluten, and Macrobiotic Tofu. Not only are they all good for you, they’re also surprisingly tasty. Golden Nuggets are dead ringers for chicken but are chunks of marinated yuba wrapped in shredded shiitake mushrooms. For a clever tofu-based riff on General Tso’s Chicken, try General Tso’s Surprise, served in a mildly hot kung-pao sauce with organic broccoli and carrots. Some of the dishes on Sunflower’s large menu are so meaty-tasting that even carnivores owe it to themselves to go and have their eyes—and palates—opened. Just avoid the tasteless vegan desserts.

Carryout note: All the food keeps and reheats very well.

Open daily except Sunday for lunch and dinner.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.