We were greeted by the owner Eduardo Longoria, or as everyone calls him “Wayo.” He was immediately warm and very appreciative of our contribution within the community. We felt a sense of family from the very first moment.
The space is very open and gave us an abundant sense of freedom to enjoy our dining experience. It’s modern design by OCIO features a beautiful, industrial palette and range of tones and lighting which creates an inviting draw to explore the space. We loved the thought-provoking quotes that are chalk-drawn on black-boards and they said the plan is to add more throughout the space.
Vegan Chefs in San Diego
We are so fortunate to have this kind of healthy dining option in our city! We have been waiting a long time, and have tended to frequent the same few restaurants where we can find vegan options over and over, and none of them have anywhere near the culinary flair nor the ambiance of Casa de Luz. The kitchen’s trained macrobiotic chefs create something new and amazing every night- 100% organic, vegan, alkalizing, nutrient-rich meals that will lighten your mood and improve your health. Being served something unexpected and new every time is such a fresh experience, especially when compared to going to a familiar restaurant and always choosing from the same menu items.
The Lead Chef is Denise and our Chef for the evening was Rey who will soon be the Sous Chef. He explained with a smile that his friends call him Sun-Rey, and it’s easy to see why. His presence, positivity, love of food and healthy glow all shine through when you meet him and taste his food. The other managers are Ran, Bruce and Stephanie while our lovely waitress Carmen saw to it we were happy and kept our glasses filled with their amazingly pure ionized alkaline water.
Casa de Luz is also an educational community center. It’s a place to eat, but Wayo assured us, (and we found completely evident) it’s not just a restaurant, in fact it’s not a restaurant at all in the traditional sense. People learn by doing, eating and sharing the experience with friends and family. There are main communal tables which is a trending way to meet new people. I enjoyed the explanation in this article from sfgate.com about the growing appeal of communal tables.
Experts say that in these isolated times, people yearn to break bread with neighbors. Some are looking to make friends — and even long-term relationships — while others just want to feel a sense of community.
As an added bonus, Casa de Luz will be offering cooking classes and other educational meetups in a beautiful upstairs loft space which is also available to rent for community health-related classes.
Wayo and Rey each know first-hand how to heal with food. Both have chosen a plant-based path after learning what a processed diet can do to the body. They take great care to ensure each dish is fresh and inspired- there is no menu- there are selections for the evening that everyone partakes in. Dinner includes salad, a choice between two soups, a prix fixe entree, alkaline water and you may choose to order specialty juices, teas, beer, wine, and fabulous little desserts. We were told sake will also soon be offered.
Our Exceptional Dinner
- Red and green cabbage, baby romaine, broccoli, cilantro, green onions, kelp noodles and tossed in a raw walnut pate dressing
Soups: Choice of One
- White miso, crimini mushrooms, cauliflower, white onions and scallions.
- Baked rutabaga, carrots, onions, oregano, almond milk.
(Image note: when we finished we realized that we forgot to take a picture of the soup. So as you can see by the empty bowl that we must not have liked it much [our favorite sarcastic joke around the house.] I didn’t want to be seen licking the bowl but if I was at home I would have.)
- Risotto Mexican style with cumin and coconut milk
- Sweet potato gratin with coconut milk and herbs
- Black beans with oregano, garlic and olive oil
- Bok choy with sesame seeds, tamari, fennel with lemon and olive oil
We also enjoyed a wonderful fresh fruit juice tea made with pear, cucumber, mint and apple. As if we needed more, we then devoured little sesame cookies, a cacao truffle, a coconut delight of some sort and the cutest little zucchini muffins.
Casa De Luz (619-550-1857) is open daily 8am to 10pm. Breakfast is priced around $8.50, lunch and dinner are around $14.75 including salad, choice of soup and main entree plate. For those who want lighter or quicker fare they offer a soup or salad for $5 each or both for $9.50. They will be offering meal cards as well- when you purchase a card at $130 they load it with $150.00 to offer incentive discounts to frequent diners. Casa de Luz is located in the fun North Park area at 2920 University Ave directly in front of the North Park sign just steps from the cozy coffee house Claire de Lune.
Kale University + Casa de Luz
Naturally, Kale University will be holding raw food classes and educational talks there in the future so stay tuned! We’ve recent;y had a lot of requests for hands-on classes and longer, more in-depth workshops so we are already collaborating with Casa De Luz because they are the perfect venue for what our groups are asking for. They are also asking for ways to donate and support our non-profit business, so we are very grateful that we have such a thoughtful, generous following already. Our Meetup Group – Kale University would love to teach and share our mission around all things kind, alive, learning and exploring. A series is in the works that will cover the basics you need to know to start taking your health and wellness into your own hands.
Have you visited Casa De Luz yet? What do you think of communal table dining? What kind of topics would you like us to cover in the curriculum of our upcoming workshop series? What kind of classes and meetups would you like to attend in the future?