Lotus Cafe and Juice Bar

Lotus signReview #63

I must confess that I hate yoga. Maybe it’s because of the rods and screws in my fused back from too many falls during my equestrian show jumping days.  Good times.  Or maybe that’s just been my excuse.  I really hate yoga because I am just so bad at it.  “Keep at it” you all say. “Find the right class” you encourage.  Let me tell you that if the white-haired participants at the YMCA’ s “Gentle Yoga” class (G-d bless them) look like Gumby next to me, I’m pretty sure there is no class beginner enough.  There was nothing “gentle” about it.  I moaned and tortured myself through the whole 90 minutes with a patient instructor explaining that there just aren’t enough blocks to help someone like me.  And I’m tired of being yoga-shamed on Facebook by the “Julies” who are in their 50’s and can contort their rock hard bodies into a freaking infinity signs while balancing only on their thumb and third fingers!

Lotus is where the yogi’s come.  I had no business being here.  I am not one of them.

Lotus has a large wrap around deck with lots of seating, and a spacious inside area as well.  You will be welcomed by Ganesha. Of course you will.

Lotus ganesh

There are pretty photos and oil paintings of India inside.

Lotus pics

When I picked up the menu, my eyeballs buggled out.  There are a LOT of choices here!  I expected many Indian dishes, but what I found was all sorts of tacos, burgers, sandwiches, pasta, stir-fry and nachos, smoothies along with like one curry dish.  I think Lotus doesn’t know what it wants to be when it grows up and is trying everything, and I mean everything to see what sticks!

In addition to offering every food that ever was, you need a key to decipher the hieroglyphic symbols next to each menu item.

Lotus key

You’re probably wondering if they have any add-on items .  For instance, maybe you want to add-on some sauteed fish with ranchero sauce to your salad.  Yup, you can for just $4.95!

Lotus add-ons

Our boys didn’t want to join us tonight, but asked that we bring them back “a burger or something”.  You won’t find anything made with sacred cow at Lotus, and I’m pretty sure this plant-based patty wasn’t what they were hoping for.  “We should really tick them off and bring them back some vegan Tempeh Tacos” I told Hubby.  Although they are good eaters, they have limits.  “Do people really like tempeh?” Hubby chuckled.  I doubt it.

I needed help.  This ridiculously inclusive menu makes it impossible to choose from.  The kind yogi-looking young man taking our order couldn’t have been sweeter and thought I would enjoy the popular Chicken Pesto and Artichoke sandwich offered for us non-vegan Muggles.  For just $.50 you can upgrade your chips and salsa to a fresh vegetable stir-fry.  Which I did.  Which they forgot.  But fixed right away.

Lotus chicken pesto

Lotus veggies
upgraded side of stir-fry veggies- yum

The sandwich was huge and really good.  Lots of artichokes which I love, but a little light on the pesto.  They use chicken fingers instead of a patty which means that every time you take a bite, a finger slips out.  (Don’t go there, please) Minor details, it was really good, and the veggies were delish.

Mary and Geoff shared a Portobello Sandwich.  They said it was good, but not spectacular.

Lotus portobello

Hubby ordered Black Bean Enchiladas.  I thought they were only ok, too ricey for my taste.

Lotus black bean ench

Debbie brought her two teens late to the game and they had just ordered as we were finishing up.  Emme and Geneva, both vegans,  frequent Lotus.  When I asked  what they ordered tonight Geneva chimed in “Tempeh Tacos, they’re the best!”.  So there you go.

Bottom Line:

If you are vegan, Encinitas is the right town to live in.  There are a plethora of restaurants that will cater to your dietary needs.  Lotus is  great because of their extensive menu loaded with vegan options.  And if you aren’t vegan but your friends are, this is perfect as they cater to everyone except the beef-eaters. Lotus’ prices are reasonable and the service is excellent.  The few menu items we tried were pretty good, but we didn’t even come close to trying most of what they offer.  I hear breakfast here is really good and we didn’t even touch the juice bar,  so this is a very limited review.  The restaurant is spacious and authentic looking, even if lasagna is on the menu.

Image may contain: one or more people, shoes, living room and indoor
My mom at age 73- the truest Yogi I know

Next week’s blog is Sunday, December 2nd 6pm at

Lobster West


Author: foodkibbitzer

I love to cook, especially soup, and bake challah. I ride horses, enjoy sarcastic people and am a food snob. I'm busy being mom to my two boys and I play mahj jong.

One thought on “Lotus Cafe and Juice Bar”

  1. You’ve done it again Kori! We would have never considered trying Lotus, because we figured it was just another Swami’s. Obviously, we were wrong in our assumptions! Such an entertaining read – and BTW Ilene, you do rock! Great job on that headstand! XO Lynne


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