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Published on January 2nd, 2013 | by Daniella Renee


Vegetarian Grilled Portobello Wraps @ Jyoti Bihanga

Grilled Portobello Wraps & Salad @ Jyoti Bihanga

For quite some time, I’ve heard rumors about Jyoti Bihanga having a handle on delicious vegetarian and vegan cuisine.   However, my penchant for maintaining a “must try” list that’s 100+ businesses deep often meets resistance from my belly and my bank account.  A try-it-all devotee, I scamper from vegetarianism and veganism to meat eating and seafood snacking in the pursuit of a dietary lifestyle which emphasizes deliciousness and optimizes my health.

Vegetarian and vegan cuisine often fall prey to the it’s-good-for-being-vegan/vegetarian standard rather than meeting the it’s-good-period criteria.  Jyoti Bihanga is a welcome exception to this rule.  Owned and operated by students of the spiritual teacher Sir Chinmoy, the atmosphere is serene and calm, a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of Adams Avenue.  The dishes are comprised of healthy, fresh ingredients and service is prompt and polite.

The Breakdown

  • Grilled Portobello Wrap:  At the suggestion of my boyfriend, the initiator behind our visit to Jyoti’s  and a former frequent patron, I selected my entrée from the wrap options.   Mushrooms and marinated items are two of my favorite things and there was one wrap which brought my loves together:   a whole wheat tortilla cradling marinated Portobello slices, red bell peppers, spinach, tofu-tamari sauce and jack cheese (additional).  When the wrap first arrived, I was genuinely concerned by the sheer volume of spinach.  It appeared I would be channeling my inner rabbit until I took my first bite.  Somehow, despite the substantial spinach serving, the wrap was perfectly balanced, the meaty mushrooms pairing harmoniously with the bell peppers, sauce and cheese.  The flavors were rich without being too heavy and the tortilla held up until the very last bite, never succumbing to the tear and spill phenomenon so prevalent among tortillas these days.
  • Salad with lemon tahini dressing:  Patrons have the option of substituting mashed potatoes and gravy for the salad.  However, being that it was a scorcher when we were seeking out sustenance, a salad seemed to be the more refreshing option.  The salad’s presentation was unusual but appealed to my younger self, a child who loved going to salad bars at restaurants and creating miniature towers of individual foods on my approved list.  I was transported back in time when my plate at Jyoti’s arrived with similar piles of shredded beets, sprouts, romaine and shredded carrots.  The lemon tahini dressing was a perfect accompaniment to the salad.  The creamy tahini was spiked with the perfect kiss of tartness from the lemon.  I also found myself periodically dousing the wrap as well, just for sheer experimental joy.  The dressing was a flavorful accent to everything it touched, complementing but not overwhelming its pairings.

The Ruling

A winner on all counts, Jyoti Bihanga delivers delicious food that’s good, period, regardless of your chosen eating allegiances.  Quality and excellent portion size meet in a wallet-friendly opportunity to take a few restorative breaths.

Jyoti Bihanga
3351 Adams Avenue
San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 282-4116

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 11:00 am to 9:00 pm
Wednesday 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Saturday 12:00 noon to 9:00 pm
*In the middle of April and the end of August, Jyoti Bihanga closes for two weeks.

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About the Author

Daniella Renee

is a San Diego native, she fell in love with food and the wilderness during a season spent working in Ketchikan, Alaska. She amazes friends, family and complete strangers with an appetite which rivals that of a baby hippo. When she’s not eating, daydreaming about her next meal or researching recipes, she’s hiking, backpacking, salsa dancing, line dancing, popping bubble wrap, reading, running or opening three hundred tabs on her browser and looking for the next adventure to wreak her enthusiasm on. Email

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