May the ‘odds’ be ever in your flavor

Columns Veg'n Out

December 15, 2014

Story By: Andy Beth Miller | Photos by: Nathalie Walker

Veganism. When you say that word to many, it’s as if you’re speaking another language. Although, I assure you, it is English! I think back to many a conversation, especially in those early days of the vegan revolution, when I would mention my chosen way of eating, and I would be met with wide-eyed whispers of, “What’s a (insert hushed tone here) “veeeee-gun?'”

The hilarity continued as, with some, the pie-sized pupils would only grow as I explained my choice for animal-product-free fare. My favorite reaction was when I tried explaining to my bacon-lovin’, brisket servin’ Nana my penchant for produce — you’d think I’d gone and left religion! She stopped for a good five minutes, wordless, and then simply sputtered, “Well, isn’t that odd?”

And if by “odd” she meant uh-mazing, then I’d have to wholeheartedly agree. Yes, vegans and vegetarians may seem nuts to some, but that’s probably because it’s true. A bunch of nuts, fruits and vegetables, too — as we are what we eat, they say.

Perhaps no one understands this concept more than Sylvia Thompson, the chef and owner of Greens & Vines, Honolulu’s newest raw vegan dining revolution.

“I started Greens & Vines to turn people on to the vibrant flavors of raw food versus the ‘healthy’ bland food of yester-year,” explains Thompson. “It’s a platform to share the raw vegan gourmet lifestyle. A place where people come together to dine, share a glass of wine and enjoy life.”

Here, nothing is cooked over 118 degrees, and dehydrators are used to “cook” dishes. “Being raw, we make everything from scratch from vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds — no processed foods at all (except for coffee and tea),” reiterates Thompson. Sound too good to be true? Well, it’s not. And this trio of raw wonders is “living” proof:

Thompson’s favorite, Caesar Salad ($12.50) features baby Romaine with zucchini garlic dressing, black pepper, sunflower seed croutons, balsamic reduction and nori. Olive Tapenade ($10.50) presents itself on a bed of avocado and diced Waialua tomatoes with flax seed crackers. Wicked Chocolate Tart with Vanilla Bean Sauce and Raspberries ($8.50) is best described by Thompson herself. “It’s like eating a rich ganache, but it’s 100 percent raw cacao powder, extra-virgin coconut oil, raw agave nectar in the tart, and raw cacao, extra-virgin coconut oil, maple syrup powder and almonds in the crust.”

Greens & Vines Raw Vegan Gourmet

11 a.m.-2 p.m. (lunch)
and 5-9 p.m. (dinner)
Closed Sundays

Honolulu, HI 96814

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best