Vegan Chow at Philippe Chow

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We got a plate of the crispy seaweed ($9), which is essentially flash fried and tossed in a bit of sugar, and served over a handful of candied walnuts.

Since the seaweed is naturally salty, the taste is like fluffy Asian kettle corn. The wispy green shreds were soon littered all over the table cloth. Josh assured us that we weren't necessarily the messiest diners Chow's had ever seen; apparently the lightweight flakes often fly around the restaurant like tasty sea-green confetti.

Among the healthy vegetable sides we tried were the green beans ($9 for two people). They were cooked to tenderness and tossed in a red bean sauce. There's nothing complicated about the dish. It's simply high quality vegetables in a tasty brown sauce.

We also tried the bok choi and broccoli (each $9 for two people), both of which were cooked to tenderness, without draining the natural flavor of the greens. I love bok choi, so the fact that the sauce was pretty unremarkable did not faze me. The broccoli came coated in a subtle ginger glaze, making it my favorite vegetable of the night. But again, other than the fact that the produce itself was of superior quality, none of these sides was in any way surprising or outstanding.

The vegetable spring rolls ($9) were also relatively straightforward; cabbage and carrot rolled in crispy fried rice paper, and set atop more sweet seaweed confetti. They were crunchy and had a clean taste, without a lot of grease.

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Camille Lamb Guzman is a journalist who writes on wellness, travel, and culture. She is also finishing a book of creative nonfiction.