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Planta's lunch spread.
Planta's lunch spread.
Courtesy of Planta South Beach

Planta to Open in CocoWalk With Asian Plant-Based Menu

Planta, the Toronto-based vegan restaurant with a location in Miami Beach, will double down on South Florida when it opens a location in CocoWalk next spring.

The new Planta, however, comes with a twist.

Instead of replicating the South of Fifth menu of comfort food such as burgers, tots, and mac 'n' cheese, the CocoWalk location will serve vegan versions of Asian fare.

The upcoming location's dishes are based on a Chinese pop-up menu at Planta in South Beach. The menu, which featured take-out classics such as wonton soup, egg rolls, and noodles proved so popular that Planta's cofounder and executive chef, David Lee, opened an entire restaurant based on the concept. Planta Queen debuted in Toronto in March 2019 with a menu that includes fried rice, dan dan noodles, gyoza, and Peking duck skin — all made with plant-based ingredients.

Though the Coconut Grove menu isn't yet available, expect offerings like General Lee's cauliflower with bell peppers, onions, ginger, and sesame; pineapple fried rice with curry cashew, goji berries, and Thai basil; udon noodles with truffle-scented mushroom-and-coconut cream; and an array of dumplings. The menu will also include an assortment of vegan sushi rolls and salads.

Another difference between Planta South Beach and Planta Coconut Grove is in its ownership and management. Planta Coconut Grove is led by Steven Salm’s Chase Hospitality Group and Chef Lee. Restaurateur and nightclub owner David Grutman will not be part of the new restaurant's ownership and management team.

The firm ICrave will design the 7,000-square-foot, 160-seat restaurant, whose decor will be inspired by traditional Chinese courtyards. The menu comes from Lee's imaginative takes on authentic cuisine from China, Japan, and Thailand.

The chef says the decision to introduce a second Planta in South Florida was easy. "Miami has been incredibly receptive to Planta South Beach and our mission to bring sustainable, plant-based food and a rooftop-garden-to-table dining experience, so it was a no-brainer to open another Planta in Miami."

Lee says Coconut Grove was the perfect neighborhood for this new iteration of the vegan concept. "Coconut Grove is surrounded by so much nature, and the new CocoWalk will bring a new life to this neighborhood. We’re excited to be part of the transformation."

Planta will join a host of other restaurants slated to open at CocoWalk, including Sushi Garage, Botanico, Mister O1, and Los Generales Mezcal & Grill. Other tenants announced include eyewear purveyor Edward Beiner and the Spot Barbershop.

If you missed the Chinese pop-up and want a taste of the upcoming menu, Planta South Beach will offer a special "Chinese Takeout" dinner Christmas Eve. The menu will be announced soon.

Planta at CocoWalk. 3015 Grand Ave., Coconut Grove; plantarestaurants.com. Opening spring 2020.

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