mana food bar.

last summer, my friend (hi, blair!) suggested we try mana food bar, a vegetarian (but w/ a vegan menu & gluten-free menu) restaurant on w. division in wicker park. 

we never made it to mana ... so when i was looking for a tasty dinner spot w/ another friend (hi, carly!) ... off to mana food bar we went!! 

why vegetarian? you might ask. the answer : "the creators of mana desired a meatless dining option in a warm tasteful environment." well there you have it.

here's what i had ...

 custom juice :
collard greens, pear & ginger.
i'm not one to pass up the opportunity for a green drink. so with a little help from our server, i created this. and it.was.awesomeee.

sampler :
from the top ... 
- panzanella : ciabatta bread salad w/ shallots, tomato, cucumber, basil & red wine garlic vinaigrette. -- quite tasty.
- avocado, arugula & tomato : w/ picked red onion & roasted garlic chili dressing. (gf.) -- super delicious. my favorite of the three. 
- endive : grilled endive & radicchio, toasted hazelnuts & white balsamic. (gf.) -- also yum. the white balsamic was unique & flavorful.

gyoza :
pan seared dumplings w/ soy dipping sauce :
the best vegan gyoza i've had in a long time. (and maybe ever since i've been vegan?) perfectly crispy.

brussels sprouts :
w/ miso mustard. (gf.)
the best brussels sprouts. the shredded preparation was great ... and you could really taste the freaking great miso mustard in each bite. mmm.

rice noodles :
w/ green curry, sweet potatoes, garlic chives & spicy peanuts. (gf.) 
slightly spicy, a variety of textures, overall amazing. my favorite dish of the night. if you like it extra spicy (like me), they give you a hot sauce to pair with it. yum. 

mana food bar is my new favorite vegan/vegetarian place. the dishes are great for sharing and all were super flavorful & delicious. i can't wait to go back this summer & enjoy their outdoor seating!