Karma Asian is small, tucked into the middle of a block on a busy stretch of Broadway, but the menu encompasses a pan-Asian theme with options from Vietnam, China, Japan and Thailand. And almost everything on Karma's menu is already vegetarian/vegan or can be made with tofu and veggies, so do yourself a favor and take a look at the menu online before you go, because that kind of choice can be overwhelming for those of us who usually only have one or two options at any given restaurant.
When we stopped in for a late lunch on Saturday, it was nearly empty, with just two other tables lingering over a long meal. (If you're going to visit this place -- especially in between peak dining hours -- make sure you have plenty of time to spare; the service isn't exactly speedy.)
The Karma wok lunch is a Chinese-style stir-fry with your choice of sauce on the tofu and veggies, plus jasmine rice, white miso soup, a salad with peanut dressing and a vegetarian eggroll. For just $7, it's a great deal; we tried the kung pao version with peanuts and an assortment of veggies -- and are already planning to take some picky eaters back with us soon. The cubes of tofu in particular are delightful, fried crisp on the outside and silky and creamy on the inside.
Last year, Lori Midson named Karma's spicy edamame one of her hundred favorite dishes, so we had to try it -- and it definitely deserves the accolades. Pepper flakes add the heat to the soybeans, which are also grilled to offer a truly unique taste.
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And because we love seaweed salad -- a lot -- we also had to try Karma's version, which uses a fruity dressing (plum, perhaps?) to give this traditional salad a little extra something.
Karma's low prices and wide variety, combined with the sedate interior and atmosphere, will definitely bring us back again in 2012. Visit http://karmaasian.com.