Now that she’s stepped off the 279-episode TV rollercoaster known as the Big Bang Theory, actor Mayim Bialik is using her newfound free time to start a career as a fast-casual restaurateur.
The former Blossom star has partnered with vegan chef Allison Cruddas on running a restaurant in Downtown LA called Bodhi Bowl that serves grain bowls, salads, soups, and sandwiches. Bodhi Bowl’s homepage boasts that it’s a “100 percent vegan restaurant owned and operated by 100 percent vegans!” The logo is a smiling Buddha with his belly hanging out, and the menu includes grain bowls with Buddhism-themed names like Samsara, Mandala, Sangha, and Dharma. In the mornings, however, the restaurant breaks from this Buddhist dish naming convention by serving tempeh bacon panini, suggesting that all the spiritual enlightenment and appropriation happens after breakfast.
Bialik and Cruddas have apparently been vegan buddies for over 20 years. “I had been testing out her seitans and dressings for years, and now we can enjoy them in what’s essentially a vegan healthy Subway sandwich restaurant at reasonable prices in Downtown LA,” Bialik recently told Haute Living. “It’s so exciting and my kids and I wish she lived in our house so we could eat this food daily!” The actor also notes that she and her chef friend have been “dreaming of a world where we would not just eat salad and pasta and french fries,” hence the $10 Dharma grain bowls.
Bialik is no fly-by-night vegan: The actor became a vegetarian at 19, and later made the switch to full veganism after reading Jonathan Safran Foer’s 2009 book Eating Animals. In 2014, she published her own book called Mayim’s Vegan Table, featuring over 100 plant-based recipes, and the actor has also filmed a few videos for her YouTube page extolling the virtues of the vegan lifestyle. While she’s clearly trying to make this a big part of her personal brand, a lot of people likely still remember her as the Big Bang Theory star who has a complicated relationship with vaccines, and wrote a Times op-ed called “Being A Feminist in Harvey Weinstein’s World” that was perceived by some readers as a form of slut-shaming (she since apologized for the article).
The restaurant has actually been open for nearly two years now, but Bialik only recently started affiliating herself with Bodhi Bowl. An update on the website reads, “We will now be closed on Sunday to spend time with friends and family,” suggesting that perhaps the Bodhisattva wraps and Om bowls were not as initially popular as Bialik and Cruddas had hoped.
• Mayim Bialik opening vegan restaurant not called Big Bang Blossom [The Takeout]
• Mayim Bialik On The End Of “Big Bang Theory”… And Her Next, Utterly Delicious Move [Haute Living]
• Bodhi Bowl [Official]