Kenshō is the best vegan sushi in Orange County, California. I don’t use the words “must try” often, but Kenshō deserves it. Kenshō was co-founded by Sandy Do and Don Phan, two entrepreneurs that are collectively responsible for some of the best vegan food in Orange County. Their goal was to provide great tasting food options for vegans that also open up the minds of non-vegans.
The biggest draw of Kenshō is that the food recreates sushi flavors that are uncommonly veganized. Many vegan sushi places substitute fish for veggies and go for a healthier spin on things, while Kenshō just goes for damn good food. And they do it to perfection.
Co-founder Sandy Do has a long history with sushi — she grew up in Hawaii and became a sushi chef at 17. Though now a passionate vegan and animal activist, the biggest thing she did not want to give up was fish — sushi was her favorite food. There was simply no vegan sushi places, and certainly none like Kenshō. Sandy and Don have changed that for the better. Say goodbye to mildly enjoyable avocado rolls, and enjoy fish-replicated rolls layered with crab, cream cheese, spicy mayo, and more — all completely vegan.
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Their most popular roll is is the crunchy cali — crab, avocado, and cucumber on the inside, with tempura and panko friend breadcrumbs on the outside. Celiacs rejoice, this and many other rolls can be made gluten free.
The rolls just keep getting better. You can go absolutely crazy with the I Lava You, take it slow with the Caterpillar, or find the perfect mix of flavor and pacing with the Jalapeno Popper.
Kenshō’s delicately crafted menu contains rolls that have been made 30 to 50 times over to get the right tastes and flavors veganized. Kenshō’s name comes from the Japanese word for the initial form of enlightenment. Current owner Sandy believes that is the embodiment of the ambition behind Kenshō. She says that once we remember our connection to the animals, and to each other, the decision to reduce the harm we cause becomes easier.
Vegan or not, Kenshō will change your opinion on what vegan food can be.
Nathan loves to learn and share. A lifelong vegan, he spends his time working towards the goal of a cruelty-free world. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.S in economics, and wants to inspire conscious consumption in the food industry.
You can find him obsessing over volleyball in San Francisco.