Restaurant Review: Plant Power in Ocean Beach

by on October 20, 2016 · 2 comments

in Culture, Health, Ocean Beach, The Widder Curry


French fries with the order.

Restaurant Review

Plant Power
2204 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.
(Note: Menu has address at 22014 – )
San Diego, CA 92107

I wasn’t going to do it.  I knew that if I reviewed this restaurant there would be many comments – some favorable, but mostly unfavorable towards the review.  However, I have been asked by so many people what I thought about it. I decided to “bite the bullet” and go.

My friend Barbara and I have talked about “Plant Power” for months. I should immediately point out that neither of us are vegans. We like our meats; we like our breads; we like so many things that are not offered at this restaurant. But we went in with an open mind and decided to order several items so that we could sample the menu.


Drive-in area.

To begin with I want to say that once you get into the parking lot (off of Voltaire) there was ample parking. I was somewhat puzzled by the “take out” sign, because it is not a true “drive through” as we know it. Rather, you place your order from your car into the loud speakers mounted on poles under an awning.  When your order is ready it is brought to you.  That’s fine; backing out may become a problem because you cannot drive through after receiving your order, but that is a minor problem IF you are not trying to turn right onto Sunset Cliffs Blvd.  (If it were me, I’d turn left; go through the alley and exit on Cable.)

We were the first ones in the restaurant.  We arrived about 11:45am, but after us there was a steady stream of patrons.  Many were there on their bikes; many were walkers; many orders were take-outs.  Barbara and I elected to eat indoors – the thought of all the exhaust from cars traveling on Sunset Cliffs and/or Voltaire was not appealing. A problem that I found was that I was facing the intersection of these two streets.  The sun shining off the windshields of the cars was almost blinding at times.  If I were to eat there again I would not sit at the back wall facing south.


Inside the raw burger. All photos by Judi Curry.

We looked at the menu board behind the cash register for some time. (I had difficulty deciding what I wanted to order.) There are several different categories, beginning with BURGERS – all with a gluten-free option.  A gluten free bun is available for an additional $1.95 or wrapped in cabbage at no additional cost.  You have your choice of patty – an organic one made out of Tempeh or Black Beans; or a “Beefy” ¼ pound, which is, of course, not made with beef but other form of grain.  They start at $6.25 and go to $7.95.  We also found that we could have a “combo” for $2.95 more, which included regular fries, chili, coleslaw or organic carrots and a 16 ounce fountain drink.


The Jumbo wrap

There are “Handheld Specialist” – from Buffalo ’66 sandwich to Jumbo Veggie Wraps, etc. at $7.95.  (The combo is also available with any of the nine offerings.)

There are “Raw Specialties” – raw Tacos ($8.95) and/or a raw burger for $7.95).  There are only three salads listed, each one at $8.95, as well as a Small Meals”  (mini-corn dogs $5.50 and Buffalo Wings at $6.95). There are “Chicken Tenders at $4.50 for 3 pieces and $6.50 for 4 pieces.)

Additionally there are breakfast items – from Hash Browns (2) at $2.50 to Bagel with “cream cheese” at $3.25 to more expensive and full breakfasts starting at $6.25 and going up to $7.95.  There is as “Kid’s Combo for $5.95.

There are many drinks, from “milkshakes” to Fountain Drinks, to Kombucha on tap to Smoothies. There are also Organic Juices. The prices vary according to what you order but they start at $2.50 and go up to $6.95.

To round off the menu there are sides and desserts.


The Chili

After much looking, Barbara decided on the “raw burger” – a walnut and sunflower burger patty topped with cashew hummus, lettuce, tomato and onion ($7.95 + $2.95 for the combo of chili and lemonade.)

I decided to have the Jumbo Veggie Wrap – same price as the raw burger – which included Spinach, avocado, cashew hummus, mustard, tomato, onion, carrots, sprouts, bell pepper and cucumber in a whole wheat tortilla.  I also ordered lemonade and a side of French fries.

Barbara was, to say the least, nonplussed when she unwrapped her “burger” to find it was wrapped in cabbage leaves.  She ate nothing but raw cabbage until she finally found the filling.  Although it was tasty, she finally ate most of the filling with a fork because one can only eat so much raw cabbage.


Cookies and Cream

I had no complaints about my Jumbo Veggie Wraps except to say that I surprised at how cold the wrapping was.  It appeared to me, and I may be wrong, that it was not made to order but was in a refrigerator awaiting an order.  The veggies were fresh and crisp.  The tortilla was soft.

The French fries had an odd taste to them. I’m not sure what it cooked in, but I probably would not order them again. That is the same comment we both made for the chili also.  I am not sure what the over-whelming spice was but it was not to my liking.  Remember, I am not a vegan and whatever was used for seasoning is not what I cook with in my kitchen.

We split a chocolate chip cookie, which was tasty but a little different. Maybe it didn’t have butter in it, but we decided that even though it was good, it wasn’t something we would reorder.  And we also split a “cookies and cream” cheese cake.  It, too, was tasty, and somewhat creamy, but we’d both pass on ordering it again.


Chocolate Chip cookie

Our assessment of “Plant an Power” is that it would be very appealing to millennial’s; The place was very clean; somewhat noisy – and probably if it were full it would be very noisy. It is interesting to note that we did not pick up on any of the outside traffic noise. The windows must be triple pane; only too bad the inner walls are not also.

Our total meal came to approximately $32 and we left a $5 tip in the tip jar on the counter.

And would we go back? We would, when we become Vegan’s.



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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Zen October 20, 2016 at 6:00 pm

I like the place despite being a meat eater, obviously more than Judi. Let me add a few points to the review:

1. The place is kept very clean, and it has a nice modern airy atmosphere in a brand new building.

2. I loved the chocolate chip cookie. I think it is oatmeal chocolate chip.

3. They also have several fancy vegan “cheesecakes” and every flavor is great. They are expensive though. For two people, splitting one is a delicious and fairly small little dessert.

4. The crowd tends to be young and hip, plus some families with kids (and usually skinny good looking moms.) It is a nice compromise between adults who want healthy and kids who want McDonalds.

5. The burgers are all pretty good, and I did not have any problems eating with my hands the cabbage-wrap burgers. $7 to $9 is kind of high in my view, cooking a couple vegan patties on a George Foreman grill takes 3 minutes, no meat juices to clean up afterward, and far cheaper.

6. The fries are a low point. Kind of mushy and bland, and not served crispy right out of the fryer. Also there is no option for a small fries, just a single large serving. If I wanted a few fries with my burger, I might sneak in a $1 value fries from Jack in the Box across the street.

7. The salads are above average, but the dressings are amazing. Might be worth ordering extra and taking them home.

Overall, I am very happy they opened up.


Zen October 20, 2016 at 6:02 pm

I did not try the cookies and cream cheesecake Judi did. The raspberry and the chocolate were both great, might want to get one of those flavors instead next time.


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