A vegetarian oasis

Yam Leaf transforms El Calderon's Salvadoran classics into healthful, organic, meat-free dishes

Six blocks southeast of Castro Street, Yam Leaf Bistro is like a time-out. No fighting for parking, no scrum of restaurants vying for your business. Just a pleasant meal of organic, local and vegetarian food, with vegan options. On the ceiling are thoughts such as "Here Gather Family & Friends."

This story contains 622 words.

If you are a paid subscriber, check to make sure you have logged in. Otherwise our system cannot recognize you as having full free access to our site.

If you are a paid print subscriber and haven't yet set up an online account, click here to get your online account activated.


Like this comment
Posted by jc
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 19, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Delicious vegan food is one reason why the number of vegans has doubled in less than 3 years. Here's a video to help everyone understand why so many people are making this life affirming choice: Web Link

Join the revolution! 21-Day Vegan Kickstart Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 19, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Earlier this year when I started moving towards eating vegetarian and vegan I thought I was in the perfect place for it. After all everyone makes jokes about California and the Bay Area as the land of the fruits and nuts and you hear a lot of people from this region talking about vegetarian/vegan and other health trends ... BUT, when I started going around looking for places that had this healthy food I really have not found a good one in many months of searching and experimenting.

Mostly what I see are really unappetizing concoctions of fake soy meat products. Trying to eat vegetarian in Chinese restaurants is the best alternative I have found, but even that is expensive and usually filled just bok choy, or one or two cheap vegetables on top of lots of rice or cheap noodles ... for the same price as huge meat dishes.

Falafel and hummus can be a good break now and then, but the offerings in that area are few as well.

I have been completely underwhelmed by the vegetarian/vegan/raw/natural food places that mostly I don't see, and trying to get vegetable dishes in other places is problematic.

I'm looking forward to trying this new place hopeful that it will be something different.

Like this comment
Posted by A little happier
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 19, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Thank you so much for this information. You just made my day!

Like this comment
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 21, 2013 at 7:41 pm

I took the opportunity last night to go to Yam Leaf to have dinner.

The building is in a small L-shaped strip mall some are familiar with from the place that was there before, a Salvadoran restaurant. I had never been there and don't think I ever set food or tire in the shopping center before. It is easy to find off El Camino towards Central Expwy. about two blocks in on Calderon, the street where the Jack In The Box is.

Parking was easy. The place was about 2/3 full. It's pretty small space, painted inside a mild combination of yellow and green color and easy on the eyes but not particularly decorated. The tables are not overly crowded together and the chairs are comfortable. The sound level was not too high, and the music was very low key and you could hear or it not if you wanted to concentrate on it, very relaxing.

It took a while to get a waiter, but our waitress was friendly and explained the food. We settled on a kale salad with butternut squash soup, one pupusa, mushroom enchilada, some grass jelly and flan for dessert. The food was really tasty. A distinct positive difference from the vegetarian fair elsewhere, and enjoyable. After our meal I felt pleasantly full, but not stuffed or bloated. The check came to just over $30, so it's a tad higher than a normal eatery but worth it.

Now, for the negative. I am not quite sure why, but there seemed to be no heat inside the restaurant. It was so cold we sat and ate in our fleece snow jackets! The other negative was the service was inattentive and very slow. Just for a simple meal of one course we were there for over and hour and a half. It was very hard to find get the waitresses attention even when she was in the dining room, and that was not that often. That service and wait-time could be a killer.

I liked this place and it has a lot of potential, but my girlfriend said she will not go there again since they wasted our evening. I can see her point ... they need to get better with there service and speedier with their cooking. My understanding is that they are a new place, so I'm going to hope they get their act together and continue to go and explore their menu. I really liked the food.

Thanks for posting the story about this place or I probably would have not noticed it.

Like this comment
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 21, 2013 at 7:43 pm

"with there service" = "with their service" :-)

Like this comment
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 21, 2013 at 7:46 pm

jc, a resident of Adobe-Meadows ... you seem to be knowledgable about vegan/vegetarian food ... I wonder if you can list some other vegan/vegetarian restaurants you would recommend in the local area?

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Nobu confirmed to open in Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 0 comments | 19,898 views

And one more makes three
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 6,064 views

Secretary of Plate
By Laura Stec | 3 comments | 2,033 views

New York College Tours
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 2 comments | 1,027 views

Family Planning: Both Agree Before Getting Pregnant
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 659 views


Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund

For the last 23 years, the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund has given away more than $4 million to local nonprofits serving children and families. When you make a donation, every dollar is automatically doubled, and 100% of the funds go directly to local programs. It’s a great way to ensure your charitable donations are working at home.