October is Vegetarian Awareness Month and to kick it off OpenTable.com has revealed the 52 Top Vegetarian & Vegan Friendly Restaurants in the US.
Seven of the restaurants are in the Los Angeles area and one, Plant Food + Wine is right here in Venice at 1009 Abbot Kinney Blvd., in the old Axe space.
Matthew Kenney is the founder of Plant Food + Wine. He also runs one of his 5 culinary schools in the upstairs space above the restaurant. With other schools in Thailand, online, and another set to open in Miami.
“We’re honored to be part of it but I’m even more excited to see Open Table put an emphasis on vegetarianism to begin with. The fact they took the time out to celebrate World Vegetarian Day. It was a great list. I saved it,” says Kenney.
Joey Recipé is the beverage director and manager at the restaurant. He says, “it’s so awesome to be part of a movement. I think more and more people are becoming aware of what they put in their bodies as a correlation to how they are feeling.”
According to OpenTable.com the list was decided “based on our restaurant experts’ recommendations and diner reviews,” and that all the restaurants “feature vegetables front and center, creatively presented with expert technique and serious attention to flavor.”
Diner Alice Fox, who is not a vegetarian, said while dipping a roasted fingerling potato into carrot ketchup “Oh my gosh, these potatoes are delicious. They taste like they’re cooked in chicken fat!”
Kenney explains that you can use different, non-animal, ingredients “like smoke and spice and salt in ways that satisfy those desires for comfort food.”
Plant Food + Wine may be local but Kenny has a vision that reaches further afield.
“We want to change the way people eat and change the way the world eats and show that plant based food is actually the most exciting and most beautiful food and the only way to do that is for there really to be a lot of amazing options around the world. That’s why we train students so they can go out there and do this, and share it,” says Kenney.