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This past week I finally decided to get off my lazy butt and walk ten minutes to New York’s Quintessence restaurant. Founded in the 90’s, this hole in the wall restaurant has been serving up delicious living food to the Lower East Side for many years.

Upon entering into the restaurant, a wall covered in pothos vines instantly sets the mood for this elegant, yet zen-like space. The walls are a bright orange, and are covered in photographs of Buddhist monastic life. A kind waitress welcomed me in and showed me to a seat. The menu is comprised of some pretty amazing food options, and they even have a breakfast and brunch section; rare for a raw food restaurant.

I decided that the taco platter sounded most appetizing, and I was intrigued as to whether or not they would make an actual taco shell. I’ve had other raw “tacos” that resort to an uninspiring romaine leaf to substitute an actual tortilla shell. The meal came with a cup of herbal tea, and a mesclun greens side salad with my choice of dressing. (I ordered the spicy fig!)

After a short 8 minutes the same waitress brought me my meal and I was happy to see that an actual taco shell was included. Although it was difficult to eat without getting messy, the mock taco “meat” was delicious and was topped with salsa, guacamole, “sour cream,” and a special chili sauce.

The salad was simple but refreshing as well, and the spicy fig dressing was a definite inspiration. I’ve never attempted using figs in the kitchen and now I’m hoping they’re in season. I’m trying to get back on the raw bandwagon this week so I’m sure I’ll be visiting Quintessence sometime in the near future. Like tomorrow. For 13 bucks, I got an amazing meal that made the rest of the day all the better.

Go visit! They’re on 1st Avenue and 10th street.