On the recommendation of a local, we sought out this delightful little spot located in the Riviera Village area of Redondo Beach. Parking can be a challenge during peak hours, but it's worth circling a couple of times. We walked in and were greeted by a friendly, soft-spoken Aussie who was both gracious and attentive, despite being busy during the Friday dinner hour. There is a small indoor seating area, which we chose, and a larger outdoor patio area as well, the latter being outfitted with propane heaters during what passes for winter in SoCal.
The Green Temple has vegetarian and vegan fare, marked appropriately on the menu. Unlike some restaurants, where you can read the name of the dish and know all you need to, this place has such interesting and unique offerings that you find yourself reading every word of every item.
As an omnivore, it's not my habit to frequent such places, but my wife eats mostly vegan, and so I keep my mind open. I had a dish called White Lasagna, which was vegetarian but not vegan because it featured both egg and cheese. It was, in a word, delightful. It was a hearty dish that left me very satisfied and too full for dessert (which sounded amazing as we listened to an adjacent table discussing the options). My wife had a potato and vegetable dish with a tofu-based sauce that was also excellent.
The one improvement we'd like to see would be more allergen-free offerings, with vegen dishes that don't have gluten or corn, and preferably even soy. We know that's challenging, but having even a couple of items like that on the menu allows folks like us, with a son with food sensitivities, to dine out more comfortably as a family.
This restaurant is not licensed, so there is no beer or wine, although you can enjoy a dragon shot, which is a hot sake-like herbal preparation that we found very pleasant.
In short, this is a very cozy, friendly place with excellent food, and we'll be recommending it as well.
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