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Nah, I'm Gonna Stay 

Sunny Yoga Kitchen gives a reason to loiter for lunch

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Open for little more than a year, Sunny Yoga Kitchen is pretty much what its name promises: A restaurant that doubles as a yoga studio—or vice versa, inverse pose, yin yang.

Surprisingly, though, the front room—a small and tidy space with several tables—does not have much natural light, as the name might indicate. But, walking in on a recent Tuesday afternoon, it was quickly apparent that the name may be a more metaphysical reference, as co-owner Courtney Hynum greeted us from behind a small, blond-wood counter with infectious good humor, and the space bustled with chatter and a Danger Mouse soundtrack.

The yoga space, though, is not immediately apparent (as all good truths are somewhat hidden, yes, Buddha?). Past the front room is a charming and spacious room with walls sparsely adorned with large works of colorful abstract art, and the only indication that the space might double as a yoga studio is a small statue of the Buddha on one wall. Tables hinge on the wall, and are opened or closed depending on whether class is in session or not.

The menu itself is simple, with basics like crepes, bowls, and three choices of sandwiches—and within those basic categories there is a great deal of variety, from banh mi, to a chicken curry sandwich, to a muffaletta—a salami, ham, onion and provolone sandwich that would seem more at place in a New York deli than a health center.

The menu also strays from some common pitfalls of health food stores, and offers Bloody Marys and a decent selection of beers. (In a nod to the restaurant's other services, the beer selection includes Dogfish Head's Namaste.) The banh mi, a traditional Vietnamese sandwich, also strays a bit, but not too far, from its customary definition, and is served not on French bread but on a crispy roll from Sparrow Bakery, and is a bit light on cilantro, normally the defining fresh flavor for the sandwich, and a bit heavier on a spicy sauce.

The Sunny Bowl is a bit more "traditional" than what one might expect at a yoga studio-restaurant; filled with spinach and kale, and an undertone of curry Indian spices.

The Summit Bowl follows the adage that sometimes less is more, and is a satisfyingly simple option that includes jasmine rice, spinach, and is doused with "Sunny sauce," a sort of coconut yellow curry.

Although it took our staff a whole year to visit Sunny Yoga Kitchen, we certainly will return in less time than that.

Sunny Yoga Kitchen

2748 NW Crossing Dr #120

541-678-3139

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