Little Bites: Veg Out: Do You Kanpai? | Chow | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Coverage for Central Oregon, by Central Oregonians.
100% Local. No Paywalls.

Every day, the Source publishes a mix of locally reported stories on our website, keeping you up to date on developments in news, food, music and the arts. We’re committed to covering this city where we live, this city that we love, and we hear regularly from readers who appreciate our ability to put breaking news in context.

The Source has been a free publication for its 22 years. It has been free as a print version and continued that way when we began to publish online, on social media and through our newsletters.

But, as most of our readers know, times are different for local journalism. Tech giants are hoovering up small businesses and small-business advertising—which has been the staple for locally owned media. Without these resources, journalism struggles to bring coverage of community news, arts and entertainment that social media cannot deliver.

Please consider becoming a supporter of locally owned journalism through our Source Insider program. Learn more about our program’s benefits by clicking through today.

Support Us Here

Food & Drink » Chow

Little Bites: Veg Out: Do You Kanpai?

Editor's note: This is the first in a regular series about vegetarian dining options in Central Oregon from new Source correspondent Nikki Jefford. Look for



Editor's note: This is the first in a regular series about vegetarian dining options in Central Oregon from new Source correspondent Nikki Jefford. Look for more features in upcoming issues, including a look at Typhoon's veggie menu.

I suppose vegan sushi is an oxymoron, kinda like when I spread humus and salsa between two tortillas, toast it on the skillet, and call it a quesadilla. "It's called queso," my husband informs me. "Meaning CHEESE!" Fine, but beanodilla just doesn't have the same ring.

Personally, I prefer the term "vegan sushi" to "rolls" because the latter always conjures up images of doughy balls of dinner bread, not raw slices of cucumber and avocado rolled up in seaweed and rice with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and nearly translucent slivers of ginger.

Sébastien and I went in search of aforementioned rolls at Kanpai where we were presented with a front and back veggie menu and a waiter named William who kept the food coming all evening. We started with Fresh Spring Rolls and peanut dipping sauce ($6) then moved onto William's recommendation of crispy-fried Tofu Agedashi ($6). Although I'm a vegan, I rarely order anything with the word "tofu" in the title. I'm as hesitant as the next person when it comes to that white block of tasteless bean curb. However, when expertly prepared and properly seasoned: it is, in fact, sublime. These triangles of tofu were perfectly pan-seared, crispy on the outside, moist within where each piece had been slit down the center and stuffed with sautéed mushrooms.

Given that veggie rolls were our original intent, we looked over the 10 choices on the back of the menu. I was stumped. Usually there is one classic veggie roll, not 10 unique creations and an invitation, like a pizza joint, for diners to build their own. Once again William came to the rescue and presented us with a chef's selection featuring four samplings (eight a piece), including an asparagus tempera topper - the first time I'd seen tempera end up in the middle of a roll. (A winning combination, if you ask me.)

Feeling that we could eat all night long, we ordered our next dish: the Szechuan Style Green Beans ($4) in a peppercorn sauce we were warned might make our mouths go numb. I thought wasabi was strong, but peppercorn... woo-eee!

About The Author

Speaking of Quick Bites, Little Bites

Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

Add a comment

More by Source Weekly