Sunday, October 11, 2009

Naan

Let’s face it—Plano doesn’t have much choice when it comes to upscale vegan restaurants. You can try your luck at Jasper’s, but you may just be eating a plate of sautéed veggies du jour. Sushi bars, on the other hand, seem to be cropping up on every street corner. Naan strikes a perfect balance for us vegans with its blend of upscale Japanese and Korean food located in the Shops at Legacy.

Naan has been awarded many accolades including Best New Restaurant 2003, Best of Big D from D Magazine and Texas Monthly in 2004, and four stars from Zagat in 2006-2009. Most recently, Naan was selected to receive a readers’ choice award for Best Sushi by a local publication.

We dined with the restaurant’s proprietor, Peter “MK” Kim, who recommends starting your meal with some vegan sushi. Naan has great standard maki or rolled sushi, including mixed vegetable, cucumber, and avocado rolls. But, Naan goes the extra mile for us vegans with their latest creation: the “Dallas Vegan Roll.”







Rich, creamy, sweet, spicy, and crunchy, the signature “Dallas Vegan Roll” really satisfies. The signature roll is made with cucumber, avocado, yamagobo, daikon, tempura asparagus, onion, and sweet potato, wrapped with soy paper, avocado outside, drizzled with sweet teriyaki sauce and siracha.

Other vegan offerings include the incomparable “Drew’s Veggie Roll.” Named after yours truly, this one has lettuce, seaweed salad, avocado, and daikon inside, with a cucumber wrapper, topped with spicy sauce, mango sauce, and drizzled with ponzu sauce. Doesn’t the cucumber man resemble Eddie just a little bit?



You could totally gorge out on the sushi here, as did Eddie and myself, but if you are so inclined, give the Korean dishes a try, as well. Typical plot spoilers at Korean restaurants include include pork, seafood, fish sauce and egg. Naan is very sensitive to its vegan constituents and there are many items available without these ingredients on the menu, and substitutions can be made on other dishes if you ask your server.

Start off with a seared tofu appetizer. Not traditional Korean fare, but it’s awesome, so you should try it anyway. It’s topped with a spicy soy sauce and what was described as a fresh pico de gallo salsa:





As for the more traditional Korean fare, try the vegetarian Bi Bim Bap, which translates as “mixed.” This dish is actually vegan, ordered right off the menu. It’s a cold dish with mixed Korean veggies and served with the traditional chili paste. You can mix everything together, or just pick it out individually to taste each component on its own:



As for the hot entrees, try the Dol Sot Bi Bim Bap, without steak, which is a similar dish to the vegetarian Bi Bim Bap, but served in a hot stone bowl. We splashed some of the Korean chili paste on top, mixed this all up, and gently incorporated everything together to expose the crispy rice goodness underneath:



Another hot vegan entrée is the Tofu & Mushroom Bi Bim Bap, without oyster sauce. Stir-fried tofu and shitake mushrooms with mixed veggies are served on top of Korean rice, and served in a hot stone pot with all that crispy rice goodness on the bottom:




With winter on the horizon, you’ll certainly want to order up a big fiery cauldron of Kimchi Stew (kimchi chigae) or Spicy Tofu Stew (soon dubu chigae). Make sure that your server knows you want it to be made without meat and with tofu instead. Ours came with both tofu and kimchi, topped with green onions:




Finally, don’t skip the Korean-style pancake (pajun). Menu options only include a seafood version, but it can be ordered special with either green onion or kimchi. We really enjoyed both, but our favorite was the green onion version served up on a cast-iron skillet:





And, how could I fail to mention--Naan also serves happy hour daily from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. with a plethora of drink specials, including $1 sake, and select half-priced sushi.



Legacy Naan

7161 Bishop Road

In the Shops at Legacy

Plano, Texas

972-943-9288

4 comments:

Vegan said...

Excellent find! Thanks for the doing all the investigative work! I've known about this place for years, but now I think I'll actually try eating there.

Jen said...

holy sushi batman. now i want a 'dallas roll'. nom.

Jamey said...

This looks great! Looking forward to trying it for lunch sometime...

Eddie G said...

I <3 Dallas Vegan Roll!