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Davis, California

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Review: Chay Corner

Vegan take on Asian cuisine opens inside Lazi Cow

Chay Corner, a pop-up eatery located inside of the popular boba and dessert shop Lazi Cow on G Street, had its grand opening on Jan. 19. Chay Corner specializes in Asian cuisine that is entirely free of animal products. Menus for the vegan eatery are available alongside Lazi Cow’s menus at the front register, and purchases for both can be made in one order.

Chay Corner offers fried spring rolls, five different spice-fried tofu appetizers and three types of bánh mì, a Vietnamese sandwich. The spring rolls were fresh and perfectly crispy, pairing nicely with the sweet chili sauce. The Grilled Goodness bánh mì was especially delicious. Unlike many meat substitutes, the bánh mì’s garlic and lemongrass-marinated imitation pork had a convincing texture and packed a surprising amount of flavor. All three bánh mì are served with vegan mayo-butter, jalapeños, pickled vegetables, cilantro and house marinade.

In addition to bánh mì, Chay Corner serves imitation beef phở, miso ramen, Japanese curry and fried rice. Chay Corner also offers four vegan drinks including Vietnamese coffee and milk teas, all prepared with organic soy creamer.

Chay Corner is refreshing because it offers more options for those with dietary restrictions. While their food is prepared in the same kitchen as Lazi Cow’s non-vegan menu, the kitchen area is divided and cleaned to avoid cross-contamination.

Chay Corner is reasonably priced for the freshness and high quality of ingredients. Both appetizers are $6 and the bánh mì and rice dishes are $9 each. Both noodle dishes cost $11. Drinks are $5 without toppings, making them comparable to what Lazi Cow charges for its non-vegan tea drinks.

With the addition of Chay Corner, Lazi Cow is a great place for mixed company. Lazi Cow serves an array of creative boba milk teas, rolled ice cream and brick toast, as well as alcoholic tea drinks for those over 21. Lazi Cow previously did not offer many vegan food options, but Chay Corner fixes that.

The atmosphere of Lazi Cow and Chay Corner is relaxed. Customers can sip tea on an indoor swing or savor a bánh mì on a bench shaped like a cow, making the restaurant café a popular hangout spot. Lazi Cow has ample seating and space. Students are welcome to study, collaborate on projects, and socialize.

Lazi Cow is already a Davis favorite, and so far, Chay Corner has been well-received by the Davis community. Its Yelp reviews are positive. Those who have had bad experiences with vegan cuisine or have never been exposed to it may be hesitant to try Chay Corner. However, considering how flavorful their food is, it’s surprising that there’s no meat or dairy in it at all. Anyone who is uneasy about trying meat substitutes can’t go wrong ordering one of the tofu dishes.

As Davis becomes increasingly involved in healthy and environmentally-conscious practices, Chay Corner represents a general shift toward meat-free and dairy-free eating. A hidden gem, Chay Corner is a fantastic addition to Lazi Cow and the community in general. It has the same hours as Lazi Cow — open from 3 p.m. to 12 a.m. on weekdays, and 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. on weekends.

Written by: Cheyenne Wiseman  – arts@theaggie.org


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