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“Food good. Service bad.”
Review of Pura Vida - CLOSED

Pura Vida
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Reviewed 20 August 2013

I'm with others-- I have kind of a love-hate feeling about this place. I was really torn about how to rate it, so here goes.

The good:
I went with 3 other people and all of us LOVED our food-- even though I was the only vegan. I ordered the chocolate pancakes, my husband got the PB and banana stuffed pancakes, my friend got some other type of pancake, and my other friend got the french toast. The servings were HUGE, as in, I could have easily shared with someone and we would have both been full. I ate less than half of my meal, as it came with 4 or 5 very large pancakes. If you are going to have pancakes or french toast and don't tend to have a monstrous appetite, I would recommend ordering with the syrup on the side so that you can take a to-go box. Ours were pre-syruped, so they would have gotten soggy if we would have tried to take our leftovers. If I was rating this restaurant just on my food that I ordered, it would be 5 stars. Delicious.

The bad:
1) Menu selection: This is one of those vegan restaurants that is able to be vegan because they use lots of fake meats, fake cheese, and soy. If you are soy sensitive or trying to avoid soy (or just don't like the fake meats and fake cheeses), you may have a hard time finding something to eat unless you are there for breakfast.

2) The wait: HOLY COW. Unreasonable doesn't even begin to cover it. I called about an hour ahead and we were seated immediately when we got there (there were about 3 or 4 empty tables left, which is a lot given how small this place it), but waited literally an hour and 20 minutes for our food. They told us it would be 45 minutes and asked if we wanted a snack while we waited. My friend ordered a fruit plate, and that took 35 minutes to come out (yes, we were timing it). It was obvious that the fruit was pre-cut (the apples had that browning around the edges from sitting after being cut), so why on earth it took 35 minutes to throw some fruit onto a bowl is beyond me. Also, 3 of our meals were done about 15-20 minutes ahead of the 4th, so we were almost done eating by the time the last person at our table got his food.

3) The coffee: This is a little thing, but the coffee was WAY too strong (or had been sitting for SEVERAL hours, which I don't think is even possible given that we were there at 11:30 am). My friend ordered the coffee and used 3 servings of creamer, and it was still too strong to drink. We all tried it and agreed on this.

4) Don't judge this place by its location or its exterior. It looks very shady, with bars on the windows in a neighborhood that is obviously less than desirable. My friends were clearly nervous when we pulled up to the building.

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Thank Jess_RGS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (34)
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7 - 11 of 34 reviews

Reviewed 3 June 2013

If you are vegan, you will love this place. It has all the non-vegan delights in a veganized form. Lots of non-dairy cheese, soy chorizo, vegan desserts and pancakes etc... The tuna melt and the cheesy quesidillas are huge and satisfying to a vegan. And unlike many vegan places, there are gluten free options. But I found the food to be gloppy and heavy. Since I eat cheese and eggs - I was looking more for fresh, light vegetarian fare. This is not the place for that. The salads are good, but everything else was very heavy. The portions are huge, easily splitable. The service is a bit slow - so get an app to share while waiting.

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Thank dp_2000NewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2013 via mobile

The location may not be prime but the food and service is well worth the drive! If you are not a vegan bring an open mind and don't be on a hurry!

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Thank csmarceau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 May 2013

The food here is amazing. It's gourmet quality vegan food that is artfully created. Plating is just as beautiful as the food tastes. The chef is wonderful, visiting our table just to make sure we are enjoying our meal. It's in a little spot behind the old vintage stores, but it adds to the neat individual quality this place has. Order ahead of time - you'll get your meal much quicker.

Thank Kristena H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 May 2013

My sister found this place a few years ago and treated my sister, Mom and I to lunch last week. Wow. When I ordered one of the dishes and asked for "no tomatoes or peppers" the Chef herself came to the table with an interested and kind smile. She informed me that to remove the night-shades from the recipe would alter the intended flavor of the good. "Tell me what is going on in your body and I will come up with something that will be just right for you." And she did. She prepared a quesadilla type of dish with "Franc" (not sure I'm spelling that right. No gluten. No nightshades and just pure wonderful flavor combined with the kind of attention you usually only get in five-star restaurants when you are really rich. I loved this experience. That's what it was. Good food and a great experience. Yes, you will have to wait a bit but that is part of the whole thing. Arrive in time and plan for a leisurely lunch or dinner. You will be glad you did. If you are a slave to glitz and atmosphere, you may be disappointed - this place is way off the tracks amid antique barns and industrial parks but it is worth the search and worth the wait. A little oasis in the middle of the Las Vegas craziness.

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1  Thank BetterDecisions
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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