Thursday, April 1, 2021

Om Shanti

Los Angeles, 

front of this large menu from 1971 features the word “om” in Devanagari script. Underneath is a description of this sacred sound in Indian religions that ends with the mantra “om shanti,” meaning peace. Since the name of the restaurant is not shown on the cover, the menu is sometimes thought to have originated from a place called Om Shanti. It actually comes from a Los Angeles vegetarian restaurant named H.E.L.P., an acronym for health, education, love, and peace. The menu marks the moment in culinary history when vegetarianism began to enter into the mainstream of American life.