Being Vegan in Rancho Cucamonga

I think I’ve said in every post from the Inland Empire that it is more difficult to be vegan here.  I sort of take that back, because of places like Bright Star in Rancho Cucamonga.  This all-vegan thai place is very similar to the vegan thai places all around LA (I never knew burgers and pancakes were such a Thai staple).  But, in addition to the burgers and pancakes, they do have more traditional Thai dishes.

I got a lot of food (and shared most with my family).  My first appetizer was the Shrimp Batter: deep fried soy shrimp and vegetable tempura with sweet plum sauce.  I normally don’t get tempura at Japanese restaurants, but this had a thicker batter and was quite good.  Sweet sauces are my thing (I’m not a salty soy sauce girl) and this one was delicious.

Bright Star Fried Shrimp and Veggies

Shrimp Batter

Another fried appetizer was next – the Fried Chicken.  This one also came with that delicious sweet plum sauce.  I liked this dish – simple, greasy comfort food.

Bright Star Fried Chicken Appetizer

Fried Chicken Appetizer

My favorite appetizer was the Chicken Satay.  This dish comes with a sauce that is the best sauce of all time: the peanut sauce.  Really – what can’t creamy peanuts go with??  If you aren’t into fake meats, they have this dish with tofu instead of chicken.

Bright Star Chicken Satay

Chicken Satay

Although tempted for more peanut sauce, I didn’t get the Pad Thai and instead went with Pad See Ew.  Really, there’s nothing “ew” about it! (sorry, bad pun).  Thick rice noodles are coated in a lovely, light brown sauce and tossed with two of my favorite veggies.  It’s great the next day, too!!

Bright Star Pad Sew Ew

Pad See Ew

My least favorite thing I ordered here was the Teriyaki Chicken.  I was expecting chunks of chicken marinated and coated in teriyaki sauce.  This was just some grilled chicken with a teriyaki dipping sauce.  Not as flavorful as I had hoped.

Bright Star Teriyaki Chicken

Teriyaki Chicken

But the Orange Tofu was a lovely dish.  They have it with chicken, but I had already ordered so much chicken.  The tofu was lightly fried, making it not so heavy.  And of course I’m going to like that sweet, orange sauce.

Bright Star Orange Tofu

Orange Tofu

And if all the sweet sauces didn’t satisfy that sugar craving, I wanted a small dessert.  They have a few more traditional desserts, but that Pancake just sounded too appetizing for me to pass up.  This pancake was nice, a little dense, and maybe not the best vegan pancake ever – but it will sure make those pancake cravings go away.

Bright Star Pancake


And to make Rancho Cucamonga even more vegan friendly, I stopped by Viva la Vegan – a moderately sized all-vegan grocery store.  This place has lots of vegan products to offer.  You can get all kinds of things here: from organic produce to frozen foods to fresh foods prepared by local vegan vendors.  It’s kind of out of the way from me, but I sure would like to come here more often.

Viva La Vegan Grocery

Viva La Vegan Grocery

I didn’t get much (any perishable foods would have spoiled by the time I got home hours later), but I did get some stuff I can’t easily find in my local health foods store.  (Seriously – Chocolate Inspirations products are delicious!)

Viva La Vegan Goodies

Viva La Vegan Goodies

Bright Star
9819 Foothill Blvd Unit F
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730

Monday – Sunday: 11 am-10 pm

Viva la Vegan
9456 Roberds St
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91701

Monday – Sunday: 10 am-8 pm

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