The story behind Pythagoras began with a truth that is largely unknown, said Roozi Avokhani, co-founder of the vegan restaurant in Sugar Land.

“Basically all the Greek philosophers—Pythagoras, Plato, Socrates—these guys were all raw vegans, meaning they only ate fruits, vegetables and nuts,” Avokhani said. “Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, ... at the time there was no term for veganism, but these people did not consume anything that came from animals.”

This knowledge was revealed to him 10 years ago, Avokhani said, after a conversation with a guest at the JW Marriott hotel in Houston’s Galleria introduced him to the concept of veganism.

The guest said if he truly loved animals, he wouldn’t eat them. This idea dismantled his worldview, he said.

“What I thought of myself, this belief that I was an animal lover, was completely demolished,” Avokhani said. “When it comes down to truth, people can be very selective. People only accept the truth that they can handle. But I was always a person who embraced all truth.”

How we got here

It took two or three years for Avokhani to completely cut out meat and any animal byproducts from his diet, Avokhani said, and only with the help and support of his now wife, Jaime Avokhani. In 2016-17, she became vegan herself.

It started with preparing vegan recipes at home. Then, a friend of theirs opened a pop-up vegan restaurant for concerts and festivals that the couple often helped with, they said.

Their shared background in the hospitality industry gave them an edge over other restaurant concepts, Jaime Avokhani said, through their emphasis on customer service.

In fact, it opened the door for them to create Pythagoras when a customer who worked in commercial real estate encouraged them to start their own business, she said.

The couple relocated to Sugar Land after the birth of their daughter. In her research for where to plant a vegan restaurant, Jaime Avokhani found that the southwest region of Houston was an ideal location.

“[At the time, there was] nothing out here in the form of fully vegan [restaurants], but there’s a good amount of vegetarian/vegan community out this way. When we were doing pop ups, people would come from Missouri City or Rosenberg,” she said. “We thought, ‘This might be where we’re supposed to be.’”

They purchased the space for a restaurant in 2021 and opened Pythagoras in January 2022.
Kebobs are one of Pythagoras' most popular menu items. (Asia Armour/Community Impact)

Craving galactic vegan?

The couple’s goal is to remain diverse and creative when it comes to concocting new and innovative vegan options for their menu, they said.

“We call ourselves ‘galactic vegan’ because we have [influence] from a little bit of [everywhere.] I’m Persian; she’s American; I had a cook ... who was Chinese; ... we had a cook who was Mexican,” Avokhani said. “On our menu, you're going to see some Mexican cuisine infused with Asian American, Italian, Persian. That's what people really like about our [restaurant]—the options.”

Pizzas were a main feature of the restaurant’s pop-up era and something the couple carried over to the restaurant space, they said.

“Our top seller is the Annoying Vegan pizza, which is our stuffed-crust pizza,” Avokhani said. “When we started doing that, we were the only vegan restaurant in the entire Texas that was doing stuffed crust.”

Avokhani’s affection for the kebab prompted him to create a vegan version. After finding the perfect combination of ingredients, it's also become one of Pythagoras’ most popular dishes, they said.
The Tipsy Mermaid is one of many unique drinks from Pythagoras' bar. (Asia Armour/Community Impact)
The restaurant also has a bar with creative cocktails, such as the Tipsy Mermaid, a coconut rum-based drink made with pineapple juice, fireball, lime and orange liqueur, and the Alien Tears Martini, crafted with organic tart cherry juice and shaken with gin or vodka and dry vermouth.

Why it matters

Jaime Avokhani said there’s a lot of reasons people go vegan or plant based.

“One is the animal aspect. Another is for their own health. And then another one is environmental because animal agriculture is so destructive,” Jaime Avokhani said.

But for Avokhani, the most important reason is to live an intentionally cruelty free lifestyle.

“Peace starts on our plates. It's what we put in our body,” Avokhani said. “‘You are what you eat’ is a true statement—if you put death, torture and misery in your body, consciously and unconsciously, it's what you are becoming.”

Whether through animal activism or opening a vegan restaurant with something that everyone—vegan or not—could eat, Jaime Avokhani said the goal is “planting little seeds.”

“It's all about introducing people to it, and then maybe one day they'll want to change,” she said. “Maybe they won't—but at least they are open to it and have a little bit of knowledge about where their food is coming from.”
This quote from philosopher Pythagoras hangs at the entrance of the Sugar Land vegan restaurant and inspired the co-founder to begin his journey into veganism. (Asia Armour/Community Impact)

Pythagoras Conscious Food Philosophy