PLANTA opened its first restaurant in Toronto in 2016. It is an entirely plant-based restaurant chain with 10 locations across the United States and Canada. PLANTA's mission is to make plant-based diets more acceptable and accessible to the greater public. They also are dedicated to making their business environmentally friendly and sustainable. As for the food, PLANTA's menu is a fusion of several different cuisines, offering a wide selection of plant-based sushi and pizza. The menu varies slightly from location to location.

I first dined at one of PLANTA's locations in March of 2018 in South Beach, Miami. At the time, I was entirely plant-based (I now indulge in seafood and honey on occasion). However, my family was not. Despite my family not being plant-based or vegetarian, we all thoroughly enjoyed our meals. So, when I found out they were opening a location nearby in Bethesda, MD, I was eager to make plans to dine there with two of my good friends. One of which is vegan and another is not. 

 The Location and Space 

PLANTA is seated at the heart of Bethesda Row, making it the perfect stop for those shopping or strolling nearby. The space itself is large, spacious, and modern. The large windows allow plenty of natural light to flow through the room, but unfortunately, I did not experience this due to the poor weather outside. My only complaint was that it was a bit warm inside the restaurant, and I am unsure if this was a temporary or ongoing issue.

**Due to the stormy weather, the photos taken of the food were of poor quality. Instead photos of the same dishes from PLANTA's instagram have been linked.

The Service

Our waiter was lovely and able to answer all our questions about the menu. He was also not afraid to give us recommendations, which was a plus since none of us had dined at the Bethesda location. The service was fast as well despite the restaurant being busy.

The Food

My friends and I decided we wanted to order all of PLANTA's sharable plates so we could try as many things as possible. We chose dishes from the sushi, chilled and raw, and snack and share sections of the menu. We started by ordering the cauliflower tots and crab dip as appetizers. The cauliflower tots were spectacular. They were crispy on the outside, soft inside, and had a delicious and creamy lemon aioli with truffle Parmesan on top. The crab dip was made out of hearts of palm. As someone who has grown up eating crabs my whole life, I can confidently say it did not taste like crab. I still thought it was rather tasty, but I would probably not get it when I come again. 

We shared the Torched and Pressed sushi roll and the Pad Thai Slaw for our main course. The Torched and Pressed roll was to die for, and the avocado paired with the miso truffle glaze was melt-in-your-mouth good. As an avid sushi lover, I enjoyed it as much as a sushi roll made with real fish. As for the slaw, I thought it was tasty but would have much instead had regular Pad Thai because I am not a huge salad fan. Next time I would save ordering Pad Thai for the next time I go to a Thai restaurant. 

The Consensus

Overall I enjoyed my experience dining at PLANTA, as did my friends. The cauliflower tots and sushi roll were more than enough to convince me to come back. Next time, I want to try more of the sushi rolls, a larger dish from the signatures section of the menu, and dessert. PLANTA does a wonderful job making delicious dishes that cater to a wide variety of audiences from vegans, to omnivores, and health nuts to junk food junkies.