Plant Food And Wine Springs Up On Abbot Kinney
Half of the plates trotting out of Abbot Kinney's new Plant Food and Wine restaurant look like they’ve taken a trip through a field of wildflowers, and that look is intentional. After all, when you’re running a plant-based kitchen with a penchant for raw foods, there’s no such thing as too many vegetation flourishes.
Walking out of the blaring SoCal sun and into the restaurant is rather like stumbling into the lair of a hip, artsy friend who bought in Venice in the 80s and is now reaping the rewards that only a shrewd refinancing can bring. The carefully crafted look at Matthew Kenney’s new Abbot-Kinney home is all greys and whites. A wash of white Calcutta marble on the tabletops and countertops adds a cool hand, while the French oak floors imbue a touch of warmth.
Inside are two sophisticated dining rooms. The first is more cafe-casual, its focal point a modern fireplace set behind glass. The second is a nearly all-white loungey dining room where the eye rests on air plants set in geodes. All the strict modernism inside, however, gives way to lush vegetation down the hall and out a door into what might be one of Venice’s most idyllic back gardens. If there was ever a place to consume locally grown vegan food, it is on this leafy patio framed by olive trees set with twinkly lights.
To further set the stage, a small side garden separated from the outdoor dining area is bordered by blooming nasturtiums, which add color to “cheese” plates, avocado preparations, and more. Jasmine grown on site infuses the water. And although the garden is not big enough to supply the whole of the restaurant’s needs, the vegetable mash-up that’s there (corn, artichokes, zucchinis, etc.) is utilized.
The restaurant’s chef and director of culinary operations, Scott Winegard, knows how to make vegan food look not just appetizing, but like a work of art. Among the local farms that service Plant Food and Wine is Coleman Farms, which supplies delicacies such as bachelor buttons, purslane, chocolate mint, lovage, and dandelion greens that give the food its signature look. The avocado toast could not be more beautifully composed, as Instagram can attest.
Brunch, lunch, dinner, and dessert are all served with prices ranging from around $8 appetizers and $16 mains to $10 for the stone fruit sundae. And while there are traditional vegan offerings such as carrot soup, kale, and grain bowls, other dishes on the menu are familiar to those who prefer to cook their food and eat meat and gluten, save for the ingredients. There’s an eggplant bahn mi sandwich and zucchini tagliatelle at lunch; a sprouted farro risotto for dinner; and a polenta scramble for brunch. It’s grown-up vegan food for when Westsiders wiggle out of their yoga pants and into their chambray jumpsuits.
Cold-pressed Make Out juices, from Matthew Kenney’s Culver City cafe, are served, as is coffee from Vulkan Coffee Roasters and teas from Art of Tea. And if you’re interested in the restaurant’s wine list, which is organic and biodynamic, you might consider reservations in the restaurant’s private room, set off the edible garden, which doubles as elegant wine storage.
Plant Food and Wine // 1009 Abbot Kinney, Venice 90291 // Photos by Plant Food and Wine
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