By Andrea Harward
How can a vegan restaurant satisfy the needs of even the most voracious carnivore? VegeNation, the answer to thousands of prayers to the veggie gods, is revolutionizing the local vegan and vegetarian restaurant scene by creating food that’s good for you, satisfying, and tastes damn good.
Owner and chef Donald Lemperle has done everything right with his new downtown restaurant. The lunch and dinner crowds are impressive, drawn to VegeNation’s innovative and eclectic plant-based dishes. The interior décor is casually natural with a focal wall in the main dining room covered in ivy, tomato plants growing behind the hostess stand, and a quaint patio in the rear perfect for al fresco snacking.
The Bao Wow ($5.95) offers up two beautiful homemade bao buns filled with Asian barbequed tofu and mushrooms. The bun itself is light and airy and nearly melts in your mouth and the tofu is perfectly cooked and full of flavor. Ginger-packed with a little spice, Bao Wow stands as a top pick on the menu.
The Mexican Hummus ($5.95) served with homemade chips is a great group starter. The black bean base with chipotle and lime means big flavor for this tasty dip.
Up next, the vegan sushi roll Save the Tuna ($6.95) is immensely satisfying, with a center of red pepper, mango, carrot and crisp veggies surrounded by forbidden rice and sprinkled with sesame seeds. This roll is great for sharing or, even better, not sharing at all.
The East West Tacos ($10.95) are showstoppers. Presented on house made tortillas, filled with jack fruit prepared to taste eerily identical to pulled pork, highlighted by a Korean barbeque sauce, and topped with all the standard taco fixings, it’s hard not to order these on every single visit.
The Downtown Tony ($9.95) is a trio of Portobello mushroom sliders served on hearty, wheat buns with a Sriracha aioli. I never feel guilty after devouring these tasty mini burgers.
VegeNation has pizza figured out as well. Topped with daiya cheese (made from cassava and arrowroot), the Mushroom Madness ($10.95) is a DTP favorite. If you have a mushroom phobia, go for the Picante Pineapple ($10.95).
In the mood for a little international spice? The Casa Blanca ($11.95) is a Moroccan tagine made up of harissa spiced vegetables and quinoa. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the bold, exotic flavors and the unique fusion of sweet and spicy.
If you haven’t checked out VegeNation, don’t wait any longer: It’s a great local spot for a delicious, casual meal that won’t leave you stuffed with regret.
616 E. Carson Ave., Ste. 120
Las Vegas, NV 89101