Konata's Restaurant Serves Inexpensive, Delicious Vegan Food

With tasty fare made from handpicked, fresh ingredients, the chef-owned Konata's in North Miami has been sating locals for more than four years. Mr. Konata makes his Jamaican heritage apparent with the décor and cuisine. It is a spare but quirky shack filled with colorful photos of Rastafarian leaders such as Marcus Garvey and Haile Selassie, as well as the Jamaican flag. There is also a framed letter from Gov. Rick Scott expressing praise for Mr. Konata's service to the community. Konata has clearly made this seeming hole-in-the-wall a labor of love.

The menu changes daily, and your only meal choice is whatever creative mix the chef decides to make that day. The meal costs $10.70 and consists of vegetables that are locally grown and in season. You also have the option of getting one of the restaurant's soup selections, called "sips," several home made juices, and various cakes for dessert.

The day I went, my box contained a bean stew made of garbanzo beans; vegan balls made of soy, K-casein, and seaweed; seasoned quinoa and brown rice; green bananas; a baked plantain; and a small salad.

Every aspect of the meal was delightful. The garbanzo bean stew was rich, hardy, and creamy. The vegan balls were tender and tasted quite meaty, almost like chorizo. They were lightly covered in a sweet sauce made with tomatoes, celery, and carrota. Alongside the meatballs were green bananas, which were refreshing and smooth. The seasoned quinoa and rice was light and a had a little too much garlic in it, but it was flavorful. The baked plantain was a little overcooked. The tomato and cucumber salad was drizzled with a savory, unique poppy-seed sauce.

I also tried guava and mango juice, which was a little expensive for $6 but worth it. It was smooth and tangy.

There are only a few stools available for dine-in, so consider eating there at an off hour or getting takeout.

The server was very passionate and helpful when explaining the ingredients of the meal and how they helped different aspects of the digestive system. He also took pride in the fact that Konata's is one of the cleanest restaurants in the state, with no health violations in the entire four-year existence of the place. Though records show there was one minor infraction, that is still extremely impressive. The restaurant has also arranged a book of vegan-friendly ingredients to peruse while you eat your meal.

Go to Konata's if you are looking for healthful, creative grub at reasonable prices.

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