First Bites

David Grutman's Planta Offers Plant-Based Sushi, Pizza, and Burgers in SoFi

Hearts of palm crab cakes.
Hearts of palm crab cakes. Courtesy of Planta
There's no place prettier than Planta. Open less than a month, David Grutman's chic, new, all-vegan SoFi spot is already a hotbed for celebrity visitors and Miami's elite — and its plant-based menu appeals to eaters of all kinds.

The list of guests thus far includes actor Mark Wahlberg and NFL superstar Rob Gronkowski (who flexed together in the rooftop garden), Colombian singer J Balvin, Nicky Jam, and others.

The plant-based menu is lengthy and includes raw/ceviche items, salads, small plates, pizza, sushi, and large plates. The restaurant's plant-based cocktails are heavily inspired by the on-site garden. New Times was invited to sample some of the offerings.

As befits a Miami Beach restaurant, there are many "seafood" offerings. The coconut ceviche with corn nuts, date guajillo, pickled cucumber, and tortilla chips ($15.25) was tangy, creamy, and fresh; and a heart of palm "crab" cake with chana dal, coconut milk, and cilantro ($23.50) was an exact match for crab, texture-wise.

For something more comforting, the cauliflower tots with truffled almond parmesan ($11.25) are rich and flavorful; and the "chicken" fried mushrooms with cilantro and chili lime sauce ($9) are crunchy and indulgent.
click to enlarge Chicken-fried mushrooms. - COURTESY OF PLANTA
Chicken-fried mushrooms.
Courtesy of Planta
Vegan nigiri is a rare find. Varieties include ahi watermelon with ginger; celeriac with olive oil and sea salt; carrot wasabi; and mushroom truffle soy ($2.75 per piece). The nigiri was a beautiful presentation, with the watermelon closely resembling tuna.

The restaurant also offers pizzas made with nut cheese. The Frenchie pizza is topped with mushrooms, squash, arugula, cashew mozzarella, almond parmesan, and truffle vinaigrette ($19.50). Sweet and savory, it had a hearty, cheesy taste. 

For dessert, try the sweet-and-salty chocolate terrarium with mousse, peanut butter cream, chocolate date soil, and salted caramel ($11.50), or a creamy, cashew-flavored soft-serve ice cream of the day ($8).

All in all, it was a plant-powered, supercolorful feast. Planta is the future of food for SoFi.

Planta. 850 Commerce St., Miami Beach; 305-397-8513; plantarestaurants.com. 5:30 to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 5:30 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. 
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Hannah Sentenac covers veg food, drink, pop culture, travel, and animal advocacy issues. She is also editor-in-chief of LatestVeganNews.com.
Contact: Hannah Sentenac