[Mountain View] Garden Fresh (Vegetarian Chinese)

Hi! First time posting a new topic. Apologies if I’ve messed something up! I seem to recall there’s a regional chinese topic map somewhere but I don’t know how to get this place on there.

I have been to the Palo Alto location once and the Mountain View location once. The food seems essentially the same between the two but I would need to visit more to confirm. The PA location seems to be run by a pair of brothers while the MV location seems to be run by an older lady.

Mock Roasted Duck (MV/PA): On point. Served on a blah pile of broccoli and crinkle cut carrots with a red-flecked clear sauce. But the “duck” itself! It has a beautiful layer of mock crispy orange skin above a layer of mock fat (some kind of starch involved? The PA version was a bit sweet, but the MV one was quite balanced). The “meat” itself tasted nice and had a good texture. The menu says it’s seitan and shiitake mushrooms. Each slice also has a section of “bone” made from a mushroom stem. The entire effect is unreasonably close to actual duck in taste and texture. The MV lady suggests it’s made from scratch, not from a can in a food service order catalog.

Salt and Pepper Chicken (MV/PA): Completely different texture from the duck. The “chicken” here came in deep fried small “meatballs”. When bitten, they revealed longer shreds.

Some kind of tofu hotpot (MV): Generic brown gloopy american chinese takeout sauce. Firm tofu triangles. Small pieces of mock ham throughout. A bit more variety in vegetables; came with bok choy and some other things as well as the same broccoli and crinkle cut carrots. It was ok, but a far cry from the ones in Real Chinatowns (or Real Sprawling Cantonese-Heavy Suburbs).

Beef broccoli (PA): Not trying as hard to “be meat” as the “poultry”. Looks and tastes like soy curd sheets. Comes in generic brown gloopy american chinese takeout sauce. I think it captured the spirit of a beef broccoli takeout order but would not satisfy a specific craving for it. Still good on its own merit, though.

A lot of the stir fries use the same broccoli and carrots. They were fine but I’m not a fan of the repetition. The proteins on the other hand are remarkable and unique in the chinese vegetarian scene. I’d go back to try a few more.


Great to hear about their imitation protein! I must driven by that mall a thousand times and still didn’t know there is a restaurant inside until you mentioned it.

Its interesting they would spent all that time making the mock meat while repeating the veggie side ingredients.

I am curious, have you tried Veggie Garden in Mountain view? They are on El Camino near Whole Foods. I have been thinking about going there but haven’t had a chance.

Separately, Chuc Giac Minh in East Palo Alto on sundays serve good vegetarian dishes made by volunteers and monks at the Buddhist temple.

I’m a long time lurker! Chua Giac Minh has been on my list for a while because of HO but I haven’t made the time for an expedition yet.

I have been to Veggie Garden once or twice a long time ago but don’t have strong memories about it. I think we mostly got inherently meatless things like the basil eggplant.

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Looks like Garden Fresh now has a sister restaurant in Palo Alto.

But…what’s with the leaf? CBD-infused vegetarian?

Photo from Yelp.