Best Unidentifiable Veggies

Grand Tavern

Maybe it's the organic, farm-fresh ingredients, maybe it's chef Kay Noor's mastery with herbs and spices, but Grand Tavern's wide array of vegetable dishes are unique, delicious, and irresistible. This is particularly surprising because the veggies in question look like rabbit food, which is to say, something out of the back-to-nature Woodstock health-food era. Meet these tiny hillocks of earth-toned plant food halfway, though, and you're in for a treat: mashed sweet carrots with a hint of lemon and walnut; roasted squash puréed until creamy and spiced with garlic, onion, and chili pepper; earthy baked spinach infused with bits of sweetly sun-dried tomato; eggplant, bell peppers, and zucchini roasted with garlic and topped with a dollop of sour cream. The setting is a reconstructed vintage-stucco Oakland residence, and the Noor family (including daughter Jasmine and son Temoor) creates an atmosphere every bit as homey and comfortable as their nutritious, delicious food.

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