Vegan Korean: The Wandering Buddha opens Friday

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This Friday, the kitchen at Hi-Ho Lounge will be manned full-time by The Wandering Buddha, a vegan- and vegetarian-focused Korean pop-up. The Wandering Buddha previously was holding down the kitchen during Tuesday night's Euclid Records trivia at the bar (one of our "Cheap Thrills", more here), and at events at Mudlark Theatre. It'll expand service at Hi-Ho from 5 p.m. to midnight, Tuesday through Sunday, and delivery is available from Poland Avenue to Canal Street.

Buddha's crew, Christion Droxell and chef Colleen Cronin, prep traditional Korean dishes — that just happen to be vegetarian or vegan, and gluten-free. "We just want to show people that good food is universal," Troxell says. The Buddha is the city's (note: as in "not Metairie") only Korean restaurant (and one of few that is strictly vegan or vegetarian), with one of the only veggie-focused traditional Korean menus in the U.S.

Previous menus have included dobu jorin (braised tofu); gungjung tteokbokki (rice cakes); achae mandu (fried dumplings with glass noodles, seasoned tofu and vegetables); bibim naengmyeon (buckwheat noodles with shredded carrots, red cabbage, spicy cucumbers, zucchini, beansprouts and a sweet and spicy sauce); ssambap (a spicy lettuce wrap filled with tofu and vegetables); agimbap, a Korean take on sushi; and of course kimchi, the popular condiment of fermented cabbage, radish or cucumber. The new menu will include five entrees, five appetizers, a couple soups and plenty of traditional sides. (Prices top no more than $10.)

The grand opening 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday also features free samples and drink specials. Wandering Buddha may branch out to lunch specials on weekends, but for now, stay tuned to menu specials via the restaurant's Facebook and Twitter accounts.

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