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Tula Kitchen, Bay Shore, NY

Do you know what the word Tula means? Tula can be a lovely name for a girl in many cultures, and it can also mean other things as well, including mountain peak, tranquility, and leaping water. In Sanskrit, Tula means balance, and this use provides the inspiration for Tula Kitchen, in Bay Shore, NY. One of Tula Kitchen’s goals is to provide delicious, nutritious food along with an atmosphere that is both warm and friendly. I have visited too many restaurants of late where nobody says hello, and the vibe is mostly cold and transactional. Not so with Tula Kitchen. I was greeted with big smiles by the servers Dana and Annika, who went out of their way to make me feel welcome, as they introduced themselves and explained the menu and drink options.

The Tula Kitchen menu is not perfect as it contains animal products, but it does have a ton of healthy mouth-watering vegan options too. After a quick perusal, I chose the delicious Winter Bowl, which contains brussel sprouts, cauliflower, sweet potato, purple rice, avocado, radish & miso tahini dressing. The dish also offers a choice of tempeh, tofu, or chicken. I asked Dana if she knew whether the Tempeh and Tofu were Organic or Non-GMO, and with a smile on her face and without hesitation, she headed to the kitchen and came back with the good news that both offerings were organic! I asked for each one, and Dana brought out the Winter Bowl with an additional side of creamy vegan ranch dressing as well. I ordered a glass of vegan white wine (I confirmed on, and I was off to the races! Do you know the feeling that you get when the food is so good that you start taking smaller bites so that it lasts longer? I was doing just that, and feeling grateful to be able to indulge in such a spoiled way (while 1 in 5 US households are food insecure, and global hunger has now reached over 828 million people).

Dana explained that what she loves the most about Tula Kitchen is the fancy and casual balance (Tula), and how she feels as though she is “living out the dream” by being able to serve and enjoy delicious, healthy food at work, and then head to school to learn more about the importance of nutrition, and the origin of food. She added that the kitchen is top notch, and takes food allergies seriously, while the regulars stream in for their “Tula” fix. She expressed her love for music, and explained that her favorite type of meditation is movement, which aligns perfectly with the “feel good” energy of Tula Kitchen.

I also had the great pleasure of meeting Lina Rinaudo, who along with Jacqueline Sharlup, is one of the co-owners of Tula Kitchen. Ms. Rinaudo could not have been more gracious as she gave me a quick tour of the restaurant, which included a glimpse into an attractive dining space that is currently under construction, and will soon be serving breakfasts & lunches with plant-based options, and fresh squeezed juices. Yes! 

The bottom line on Tula Kitchen in Bayshore, NY? I would go back just for the glowing smiles, and the warmth and friendliness of the staff. And oh yeah, the plant-based food is delightful too! Which reminds me of a quick exchange I had recently with someone close to me, where I said that a warm, friendly, and thoughtful atmosphere is more important to me than great food. Her response? “I would rather go to a restaurant where the food is great, and the people are jerks.” Luckily, you will not have to make that choice with Tula Kitchen! Highly recommended, and I will be back for sure. 🙂

Click here for the Tula Kitchen website.
Click here for the Tula Kitchen dinner menu which includes an array of cruelty free vegan options.
Click here for more pics of Tula Kitchen.

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