Over the weekend, new vegan restaurant Red White Japanese Vegan opened in Boston. The eatery was created by 32-year-old restaurateur Toc Kobayashi who recently sold several of his restaurants in Japan to focus on new concepts in the United States. Kobayashi and general manager Keita Ueki developed the flavor-forward menu as a tribute to the vegan dining style of Shojin Buddhist monks in Japan. “I love steak, but I wanted to be health conscious, so I eat vegan food once or twice a week,” Kobayashi told Boston Magazine. “Keita and I decided to come up with really tasty food that has a Japanese flair to it.” The menu revolves around “humble” bowls that start with a base of red or white rice seasoned with special umami-packed vinegar. Toppings are divided into categories focused on wellness (such as “Power & Muscle,” “Vitamin & Recovery,” and “Anti-Aging & Beauty”) and include tofu, broccoli, beets, yams, and brussels sprouts—all served with a choice of sauces such as Yuzu Citrus, Monk’s Curry, and Red Spicy. The restaurant also offers brown rice- and oat-based smoothies in both sweet and savory varieties along with a green tea menu. If the concept proves successful, Kobayashi plans to expand Red White Japanese Vegan to more locations.
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