VegDining Restaurant Profile:
Blossoming Lotus Restaurant
by Heidi P. Cruz, VegDining.com
The Blossoming Lotus Restaurant takes its intriguing name from
the journey to enlightenment. A lotus flower in bloom,
according to co-founder and executive chef Mark Reinfeld,
represents the journey towards spiritual perfection: the
flower grows out of the mud, which symbolizes the darkness
of violence and ignorance, into the light of knowledge and
peace. "I like the idea of applying this awareness to the
restaurant's food choices. A vegan diet is the most gentle
way we can interact with our planet and other beings," he
Blossoming Lotus opened on September 9, 2002 with the
mission of providing its customers a place of healing and
fun while they are experiencing a delicious vegan meal.
The concept behind the restaurant also includes preparing
and serving the food with love and positive intentions.
Located at 4504 Kukui St., in the heart of the Kapaa town
on the garden island of Kauai, Hawaii, Blossoming Lotus
has won several local and international awards,
the latest of which is "Best Restaurant in Kauai", the
Honolulu Advertisers' Ilima Award. Gabe Zingaro, the
restaurant's co-founder, says that it was a great
distinction to receive the award because it went to a vegan
restaurant, of the dozens of restaurants in Kauai serving
all varieties of cuisines. To the Blossoming Lotus
co-founders, this signifies that delicious food and healthy
dining don't have to be mutually exclusive.
Blossoming Lotus specializes in World Fusion Cuisine,
celebrating the cuisine, wisdom, and beauty
of cultures from around the world. One only has to look at
the entrée names in their menu to see how the restaurant
lives and breathes this philosophy.
Mark would recommend to a new visitor one of his favorite
items on their menu: Senorita Bombia's enchilada
casserole, which is made with Spanish onion marinated
tempeh, black beans, rice and corn tortillas, and four
kinds of sauces: homemade chili sauce, vegan sour kreme, a
carob mole sauce, and salsa fresca. The enchilada
casserole is their most popular entrée. For dessert, he
recommends the live chocolate fudge, made with raw cacao
from Ecuador, coconut oil, and agave nectar. "It blows
people away," he enthuses.
Mark comes from a family background which introduced him to
the joys of cooking at an early age, being the grandson of
a renowned New York chef and ice carver. After gaining
experience at a health food store, Mark moved on to become
a professional chef, starting the Blossoming Lotus Personal
Chef Service and providing consultancy services to the
Peninsula Spa and Credit Suisse/First Boston. His
background and experience helped in steering Blossoming
Lotus into the successful restaurant that it is now, though
Mark says that this is "a collective effort - there have
been many gifted chefs contributing recipes and
inspiration" to the restaurant's menu, popular among both
vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.
Blossoming Lotus has a bakery and a juice bar beside the
restaurant, and another branch in mainland United States,
located at 925 NW Davis St., Portland, Oregon. They also have a cookbook,
"Vegan World Fusion Cuisine",
which has won numerous awards
including a Gourmand Award for 'Best Veg Cookbook in the USA'.
VegDining features a recipe that is increasingly becoming
popular in the restaurant, for you to try at home: "Vegan Cheezcake with Pineapple Topping".
We are proud to say that
Blossoming Lotus is a VegDining Restaurant Partner,
offering a 10% discount to VegDining Card holders. To
learn more about Blossoming Lotus, you can visit their
on our site.
Photos courtesy of Blossoming Lotus Restaurant.
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