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“Awesome vegetarian menu” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Tao

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Tao
3332 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116-1820
619-281-6888
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Ranked #1,264 of 4,044 restaurants in San Diego
Cuisines: Vietnamese
Restaurant details
USA
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
“Awesome vegetarian menu”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

I used a restaurant.com certificate, and maybe because of the forced 18% gratuity, the service was just not great. Slow and we had to ask for everything. The vegetarian menu is awesome though! They also give you free salad and free ice cream dessert. The food is good, so I'd definitely would go back.

Visited November 2012
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10 reviews from our community

90% Recommend
    4
    5
    1
    0
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
San Diego, California
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Affordable Dinner Date”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2012

The ambience at Tao is lovely; dimly lit and intimate. Has potential to be TOO intimate as me and the Ol' Man were sat VERY close to another couple. We basically had dinner with another couple. Needless to say, it was a litle awkward and it inhibited dinner conversation. Tao takes reservations for parties of six plus. We arrived at 6:30 P.M. on a Thursday and were promptly seated. Over the course of our meal, the tiny restaurant was full so I can see how one could wait a little bit during the lunch and dinner rushes. Overall the ambience was a nice change of pace. It made for a romantic, special feeling that one just can't get at big chain restaurant.

The food is tasty and affordable. I had the Shrimp Lemongrass with half jasmine, half wild rice. The shrimp was tasty and the rice had flavors of thyme and nutmeg (my best guess). As the rice sopped up the sauce, it became a bit salty for my liking, but tasty overall. The Ol' Man had one of their stir-fried noodle dishes. The noodles were crispy and very tasty. Their spice meter is slightly higher than what one might think, but the servers will be able to help you out. The Ol' Man swore the spiciness was dead on, but his runny nose as he approached mid-meal told me otherwise. ;)

The restaurant honored a gift certificate/coupon had purchased online; no questions asked. The server recognized it instantly and asked to take it. I saw many others with the same coupon. Parking might be tricky, but nothing to cry about. The furthest I've ever had to park in this area is one block off Adams Ave.

If you're in my hood, come through to Tao!

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Montgomery, Alabama
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“I am a new vegetarian, and quite impressed!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2012

Deciding to become vegetarian a few months ago was kind of a scary and confusing thing, but I knew it was something I wanted to do. Tao was on my list of restaurants to try in the area that offer specifically prepared vegetarian dishes, and I am so glad I did. It is smaller than I expected but that was cool since the people sitting next to us in the middle of the place on either side were quite entertaining; there is a separate but long table in the middle and smaller tables around the wall areas. The salad was delicious with what I think was pomegranate or cranberry dressing, and perfectly cooked tofu. We ordered vegetarian spring rolls, eaten with lettuce leaves, mint, cilantro and dipped in a light sauce, which was a lovely idea. We were asked how spicy we liked our entree and I picked a 7 then ordered the mango "chicken" and my dinner companion ordered the pork chop. The brown rice, which had wild rice in it, was the best I have ever had. Plates were huge with eye-catching presentation and the flavors were outstanding (I wish I had taken a picture now). Dessert to go was green tea ice cream, which I always wanted to try, and it was smooth and tasty. Service was excellent, prices were reasonable, and the location had good parking. I am spreading the word but hope I can still get a seat!

  • Visited May 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Philadelphia
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Great vegetarian food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2012

That being said, the nonvegetarians in our group did quite nicely as well. The waitress (Cody) was as helpful as she was attractive, and explained the various dishes in detail. The prices were very reasonable, and portion sizes were good. The decor consists of patrons writing comments on the walls, so if ambiance is important this is probably not for you. Highly recommended...

  • Visited March 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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southern california
Top Contributor
134 reviews 134 reviews
91 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“Vietnamese gem”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2012

TAO is one of several small restaurants that have made the Normal Heights neighborhood of San Diego a foodie mecca. A tiny place tucked under the Normal Heights neighborhood sign on Adams Avenue, it is worth seeking out for excellent Vietnamese, Thai and Korean cuisine. Ingredients are locally sourced and flavorful, the menu diverse and the service friendly and efficient. Portions are generous, so you might consider sharing. Your wait person will ask how spicy you desire your dishes, on a scale of 1 to 10. Beware anything over 7, unless you are prepared for something extremely spicy. Everything that we sampled was beautifully prepared and delicious. Highly recommended.

  • Visited January 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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