There's something I've never really liked about the color blue, even when it's not part of my immediate surroundings. If the song “Blue Moon” comes on, I throw the radio across the room. If the phrase “blue state” happens to pop up in a news piece I'm reading, I immediately set fire to the paper (or the computer, depending on the source) and seriously consider registering Republican. About the only blue things I like are cheese (even then, I cut out the blue parts, leaving only green or gray) and movies (except, of course, for those that include the word “Blue” in the title and feature blue cheese wedges as a sex toy).
But like they say, exceptions exist in order to make the rule. And if they're talking about Jyoti-Bihanga Vegetarian Restaurant, they're right. Add the afternoon sun and ample window area, and the powder-blue décor at this Normal Heights eatery is as centering and soothing as powder-blue décor can be, setting the tone for the vegetarian / vegan fare you're about to order. I'm not such a meat-eater anymore, but the taste hasn't quite left me—which is why I swear by the Neat Loaf sandwich ($8.25) and its delicious mix of soy, tofu and grain; I'll buy you one if you can tell me with a straight face that it doesn't contain meat. Add a side of refried beans at $1.50 and a gigrundous glass of peach iced tea, and your meal isn't so much a task at hand as a state of mind.
“Jyoti-bihanga” is Bengalese for something like “the cool bird and the light supreme.” I don't know how cool the bird is, but the light's sure groovy in this place, thanks to all that blue and the exceptionally friendly service that colors it. One catch: You have to go to 3351 Adams Ave. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. (11 to 3 on Wednesdays, noon to 9 Saturdays) to experience it. Phone is 619-282-4116. You'll recognize it by the robin's-egg blue exterior. And for better or worse, there's not a wedge of blue cheese in sight.
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