The Chocolate ShoeBox is the type of place the weak of willpower will find tough to resist—the specialties here are chocolate and shoes. But consider this: all the products at Sadaf Hussain’s just-opened shop are vegan, so you shoe lovers and chocoholics can splurge with a little less guilt.

What is your favorite ingredient of the moment?
I use garlic chili pepper sauce on almost every meal; I always say that nothing is worth eating unless it makes your nose run (except sweets like chocolate). It tastes great on top of stuff or mixed in with stir-fry.

Where is your go-to cheap eats place?
Bamboo Garden, a vegan Chinese place, has amazing food and is quite reasonably priced. My favorites there are the mushroom and potato hot pot and the General Tso’s chicken, and their corn soup is to die for.

What is your favorite book??
I am addicted to the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris.

Where do you take out-of-town guests to eat?
We love to take people to Araya’s Place for vegan Thai food; I met my husband there, and Araya’s catered our wedding. My favorite dish there is the pad thai—it just hits the spot. I also love their eggplant stir-fry and the basil-fried rice. And then there is their aloe vera juice—it’s so refreshing. Even to this day non-vegans who came to our wedding continue to gush about how amazing the food at the wedding was.

What is your guilty food pleasure?
Simple: chocolate.

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