Yak and Yeti's veggie fare takes us higher than Everest

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The upstairs dining room of the Arvada Yak and Yeti is like an eccentric grandmother's attic, with its slanting ceilings and a shelf of books with such archaic titles as Communications in the Future (written in 1982). There are also enough cultural artifacts adorning the walls and shelves to stock a museum. But when the food comes to the table, you forget all these distractions. Because thanks to a diet-specific menu, vegans and vegetarians will find a lot on their plate.

This is the first place in town we've found where you can get vegan chana saag, chickpeas with spinach and cream (the cream in this case derived from soy milk). Served with perfectly cooked, impossibly long grains of basmati rice, it was a jumble of creamy and tangy and spicy deliciousness, mellowed a bit by the aromatic rice. The medium-level spice was enough to leave some heat on the lips and tongue after the meal.

The pakora is also available off the vegan menu, so you can be sure no butter touches it; the pieces of onion, potato, zucchini and cauliflower were all generously coated and fried to a crisp, making for a satisfying appetizer. Another starter option on the vegan menu is the potato-and-onion-stuffed tandoori bread, alu partha, served piping hot from the oven. The bhindi masala (spiced okra dish) can also be ordered both vegan and vegetarian. All in all, Yak and Yeti has a dozen vegetarian and vegan entrees, as well as a wide assortment of appetizers -- and the in-house brewery means you can pair your dishes with fresh beer.

Yak and Yeti also has a location in Westminster; for more information, visit www.theyakandyeti.com.

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