Plant Food+ Wine, 1009 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291.
I first heard of this place, on a VICE video that was hanging out with NBA’er Ben Gordon on his day off in LA, and he happened to want to stop by a vegan spot. Because he’s vegan.
I’d never heard of the spot but became immediately interested as soon as I saw some of the plates that were coming out.
But it is in Venice. I don’t know how familiar you are with the Los Angeles area, but living in the 818, getting out to that side of town on a Friday is a non-started. But me and my business partner happened to be in Venice to interview someone and right after the interview, I remembered that I wanted to go here and figured it had to be close.
It was about 3 minutes away off of Abbot Kinney.
Deciding to stop by, was probably the best decision I’ve made all month.
I strolled in to the spot on a day that it was about a million degrees and not a cloud in the sky … but I wanted to sit outside on the patio. Another good decision.
Plenty of shade, good vibes, beautiful and cool people chillin outside.
Here is the lunch menu.
They change menus for dinner service, and the current dinner menu is pictured later in the post. Side note: I need to come back for dinner…..
Ordered a beer. This was my first alcoholic bevy in 3 weeks.
I ordered some “cheese” . They use cashews and macadamia nuts for their chee.
I went with the white truffle and the mixed peppercorn.
The peppercorn is on the left, the truffle is on the right.
The peppercorn, is f.cking incredible. To the point where I wanted to order more, but I had a pretty big lunch coming. Each chee is served with pickles (today were pickled apples), mustard seeds and fennel crackers. I’m going to Whole Paycheck and buying a whole mess of fennel crackers.
I ate everything in that app except the wooden chee cutter thing.
Oh, and I need to pickle some apples…
So next up is my main.
I got the roasted tomato sandwich with smoked cheddar, avocado, arugula and a chipotle aioli. And, a side of fingerling potatoes so that I had that freedom fries feel to my sando. The potatoes came with a carrot ketchup. I need to learn how to make that.
Plant Food+ Wine guys.
I can’t recommend this place more.
As you know, I am NOWHERE close to being vegan but this is one of the best lunches I’ve had in a while.
And you know what, I will say this, if all vegan restaurants were this good, I might have to grow myself a man bun, start wearing all kinds of cloth bracelets and live in an Airstream on some unincorporated land in Malibu.
If you are in the area (or up for the drive) I highly suggest you go there and get this vegan meal in. It’s no joke. So good.
They have a small wine room that is just passed the garden that you can sit in and enjoy a meal.
Here is the garden.
As an FYI, they incorporate pretty much everything they grow on site into the menu. But they make a point to support the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market and that is where they source most if not all of their food.
Now, here was something interesting.
The entire time I was eating out back, I’d notice people (pretty people) walking upstairs and joining a group.
I thought it was a private dining area for parties. Or maybe some sort of meeting and/or training facility.
But I asked my server Yvette what was going on, and she told me that there is a culinary institute there that has several different kinds of raw food curriculum.
Its called Matthew Kenney Culinary and here is the description from their website:
Matthew Kenney Culinary was created to meet the increasing interest in living foods and the art of raw food preparation. Our raw and vegan culinary school emphasizes the use of whole, organic, unprocessed, plant-based foods to achieve healthy, aesthetically refined and flavorful cuisine. Our intimate classes and personalized instruction allow for a successful integrated hands-on experience, within a custom designed, state-of-the-art living foods kitchen.
* I want to go there.
Oh, I only ate half of the sandwich and half of the potatoes and took them home and CRUSHED them later. Dare I say, the food tasted even better a few hours later at room temp… I’m sure it wasn’t better but I think I was so happy with the place that I was already reminiscing from the afternoon.
Here is one of the interior rooms.
Here are some of the books available for purchase. I should have picked one up, but I will be back soon to check out dinner service so I will probably cop then.
Both books available at amazon.
Entertaining in the Raw – Available but from resellers on Amazon. You can find it though – and if you are in the area, they have them at the store.
Here is a card they give you with your togo. I like it.
Current dinner menu, but it changes regularly.
Here is one more thing, this is the soap in the bathroom.
I’m not really that guy who does all of the picture taking in bathrooms, but I felt this is important.
FURTHER hand soaps and products are great. And, they arent for the feint of heart. That’s like a $20 bottle.
FURTHER products are DERIVED FROM locally sourced depleted vegetable oil, refined into biofuel and then ARTFULLY CONVERTED into EXCEPTIONAL GLYCERIN SOAP, GLYCERIN LOTION, and SOY CANDLES.
* So, all in all, this was a great experience, and I’ll be honest with you here: If all vegan food / restaurants did this good and tasted this well, I could easily be vegan.
The problem comes that although a lot of other vegan restaurants have their heart in the right place, they just arent as good a chef as Kenney. No shade, its just the truth.
The only problem with that though, is that when you have a restaurant executing at this level is that its a bit expensive. This wasn’t ridiculous, but I still dropped about fiddy for lunch. I did have two beers and I could have done without the potatoes, even though they were great, but if it was a regular lunch, I’d be in for about 35 bucks. ANd I was by myself. That’s kind of steep.
And therein lies the rub.
How can we get this kind of food and execution, in my life everyday? I guess I have to teach myself how to make food taste this good.
I can do that. It might take a while, but I can do it.
This vegan thing might be happening.
Here is his Ted Talk, that might make you think differently right now.
Follow them on the gram and come by the restaurant.