Before Eleven Madison Park had their pandemic revelation to go vegan, another concept was already in the works for New York. The chainlette Planta, which originated in Florida, opened last month in the Nomad hood. The verdict is in. Take everything you thought about vegan restaurants, and throw that out the window. Planta is the best vegan restaurant in NYC. There’s wine. There’s cocktails. This is not a granola crunchy vegan restaurant. (You know exactly what we’re talking about). It’s as sleek and vibey as any trendy new restaurant, but made with environmentally friendly materials. Sustainability is at the core of their foundation. The restaurants source the all-plant based menu from ethnical suppliers conscious about environmental impact. You will mostly not even miss the meat.
The atmosphere is excellent, but it’s the food that will keep you coming back. The menu is Asian-inspired and ranges from sushi to dumplings, to noodles and rice. There are also some creative starters like shitake sliders and our favorite, the cauliflower tots, which is mashed cauliflower, deep fried with truffle almond parmesan and just the right amount of lemon aioli. You would easily buy this is vegetarian but the fact it’s vegan makes it even more of a feat. It’s just one of the reasons Planta is the best vegan restaurant in NYC.
Does Vegan Sushi Work?
We love fish so were skeptics about vegan sushi. Chef Lee has a gift with what he can do with vegetables. The California roll is made with hearts of palm, and simulates the texture of crab. A spicy tuna roll rendition is made with ahi watermelon, avocado and toasted coconut. The crispy rice was a favorite, where it didn’t at all seem like it was even fried in oil.
We give high marks on all the dumplings, where once again, the fact they’re vegan doesn’t at all feel like you’re compromising on experience. The sweet corn is in a tom yum broth that we wish they would make into a soup. We would use it on all the rice entrees if we could.
The only time we felt like we needed more protein was with the noodles and rice. All the dishes, especially the pineapple fried rice were excellent, but it’s carb heavy. The General D’s Cauliflower was the closest to a substantive protein dish on the entrees, but we would suggest they come up with a few more dishes in this category for those who are on keto. It would take Planta to the next level as the best vegan restaurant in NYC.
Friendly, nice and people seem like they genuinely enjoy working there. The team was first-hand familiar with the menu which is nice to see. Some restaurants never feed their people what they’re serving, but it’s not the case here.