I’ve been curious about Purple Yam (1314 Cortelyou Road) since before it even opened about a year ago. The owners of the former Soho hotspot Cendrillon chose Brooklyn’s Ditmas Park for their new baby, and soon began accumulating raves for their Filipino fusion cuisine. I kept hearing wonderful things from locals and visitors who schlepped out for the food, but could a vegan easily eat there?
Yes, as it turns out. While the vast majority of menu items are not vegan, a generous handful are, no substitutions necessary. The Bibimbap, for example, is a spectacular hotpot of delectable heirloom rice, legumes and veggies. Among the accompanying condiments was the kim chee of the day, made of radishes, thoroughly delicious, and totally vegan (yes, I asked). So satisfied was I that I’m torn about whether to get it again the next time I visit, or go for one of my other vegan options. Local market vegetables in a green curry? Jap Chae–sweet potato noodles with greens and mushrooms? Watermelon, jicama, and green mango salad?
No matter what, I’ll definitely try another of their signature soju cocktailsthe martini I had with fresh young coconut was exquisite. The rest of the mixed drink menu looks equally creative and appealing. Unfortunately, most of the dessert menu is off limits. Luckily, the extensive sorbet menu is vegan approved, and delicious. I had one scoop of coconut, one of the raspberry, and I’m still dreaming of the fresh flavors. Scrumptious, I want more.