Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Omar's Rawtopia

Where: Omar's Rawtopia, 2148 Highland, Salt Lake City (in the Sugarhouse area)

Who Went: Chelsey, Owen, and Jarom (brother-in-law, vegetarian, and it was his birthday!)

Number of Visits: 1

What We Ordered: Pizza, Bean Burrito with a side of guacamole, Pasta, Chocolate Açaí Beverage

What It Cost: $60 (for all three people)

What We Thought:

Omar's Rawtopia is the first, and only, raw food restaurant in Utah. From what I gathered from the menu, it is specifically a raw vegan restaurant - serving only unprocessed, uncooked, organic fruits, vegetables, and grains (no meat or dairy). Raw diets are becoming increasingly popular, and though I can not get into the idea of only eating cold food for the rest of my life, I thought it sounded like an interesting idea and we decided to check it out for my BIL's birthday dinner.

I started out with a chocolate açaí beverage, which was probably my favorite part of the meal. This was the half-sized beverage, and it is definitely only half of the regular size drink. But it was pretty thick and filling, so I'm glad I ordered the smaller option. It kind of reminded me of a healthier version of my childhood favorite drink, Ovaltine, but with a little chalkier texture. Throughout the whole meal, it was the difference in textures that stood out to me most, rather than the flavors. Everything had really intense and rich flavors, but sometimes the textures were just too different from what we were expecting.

Jarom ordered the pasta, and loved it. The "noodles" were made from shredded vegetables, and it kind of reminded me more of a pasta salad than anything. The presentation of each of the entreés was phenomenal, full of bright colors and interesting textural contrasts. Some people have complained that the service is too slow here at Omar's, but considering that they are not using any pre-processed foods or anything, I felt like it took an appropriate amount of time for us to receive our meals. It also is on the pricey end, but I swear there were at least 4 avocados split between the 3 of us, and there is so much fresh and organic produce in the meal that I can understand the cost.

This was the "bean burrito" - certainly unlike any bean burrito we've ever had before! Though recommended to us by the server, I think this was overall our least favorite of the three meals. The bean texture was too grainy and it just wasn't as satisfying on the lettuce wraps (not to mention my natural distate for lettuce wraps...). We ordered a side of guacamole for $1.50, and though it was pretty delicious, I felt like we didn't get our money's worth, especially since there was already avocado in the bean burrito mix itself. However, I was greatly impressed at how much the "sour cream" tasted like the real thing!

I ordered the pizza, which was full of intense pesto and pepper flavor. I liked the creamy avocado on top as well, and even though it didn't look that big at the beginning, I was only able to eat half of it, it was so filling! But I must warn you - this pizza does NOT make good leftovers! The apple buckwheat crust became soggy and the macadamia nut "cheese" texture was just too much for me to handle the next day.

What You Should Do: Even if you are not vegan or into the whole raw food thing, I would still recommend giving this place a try. It is fun to see the innovative way that they manipulate food in different ways and to see the new creative twists on traditional differences. I was surprised at how flavorful all of the food items were -- who needs artificial flavoring anyway, right? For a meal that will make you feel good inside and will cleverly challenge your palate, I would head to Omar's Rawtopia.

Read other reviews here: 
Omar's Rawtopia on Urbanspoon

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