The Unvegan

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Attempting to be Unvegan at HealthyCA

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I have flanked the chicken with carbs.

Somehow, some way, I was convinced to go to a restaurant in North Hollywood called HealthyCA (pronounced hel-the-ka, rather than Healthy California) . The very name offends me, but I have chosen a life of open mindedness, as opposed to the closed-minded lifestyle so many vegans choose. I must admit, though, that I feared this place, and not because it was healthy, but because so many people associate vegetables with a healthy diet. Us unvegans know they are wrong, but it is hard to convince vegans to pay attention to facts.

Luckily, when we arrived I found that they were not totally loaded up with veggies. Sure, almost all of their dishes, from sandwiches to hot food, included veggies, but I was able to find one dish on the menu that seemed free of vegetative ingredients. This was their Tandoori Chicken ($10.95), which was made with Indian spices and a non-fat yogurt sauce. It came with a choice of two sides, which fortunately had the carbs to balance out my protein. I chose the Red Smashed Potatoes and the Basmati Rice. Good thing they had these two, because every other side was unfit for unvegans.

After about 15 minutes, my chicken was finally ready. This was a surprisingly long wait for a lunch, so I hoped it would be worth it. At first glance, this was definitely not worth it. Sitting atop my chicken was a slice of tomato and underneath it was a few lettuce leaves. It was like a sandwich from hell. I scraped the tomato off and struggled to avoid the lettuce while cutting off pieces of chicken. Lucky for HealthyCA, the tandoori chicken was really tasty. I’m no expert on Indian food, so I can’t vouch for authenticity, but based on taste alone, I was happy with the chicken. The yogurt sauce and the spices made for a flavorful glaze on the juicy chicken. The sides were pretty basic, but definitely acceptable. Neither one really had any special flavoring or spicing, but did a good job of filling the space in my stomach that the chicken just couldn’t reach.

Overall, I was quite happy with the taste of my chicken, but it wasn’t without effort on my part. First, I had to scour the menu for any unvegan options and when I found one, it still came with some vegetable surprises. Too bad for HealthyCA…if they hadn’t tossed on those veggies, they may have changed my mind about “healthy” restaurants.