I’ve never fully understood the appeal of The Naam. Sure, it’s a funky sort of place, and it’s always open. But the food is mediocre at best; the service is terrible; and the place is dirty. And as a vegan, it is incredibly frustrating to see it voted “Best Vegetarian Restaurant in Vancouver” year after year. My theory is that when a paper like The Straight holds a reader survey, all the non-vegetarians (obviously the vast majority), when it comes time to vote for a vegetarian restaurant, ponder for half an instant until the first joint that fits the bill pops into their head. The Naam, of course.
Come to think of it, Vancouver desperately needs better vegetarian/vegan restaurants. It’s supposedly one of the most vegetarian-friendly cities, but what we’re really missing is a fine dining experience. I don’t mind eating at, say, Greens and Gourmet. But it’s essentially a cafeteria. We don’t have anything like San Francisco’s Millennium, Herbivore, or the late, great, Now and Zen. Even Roberts Creek is doing better than we are, with their wonderful Gumboot.