The over-the top great plant-based food served at The Plot in Oceanside would be enough of a story to highlight why you should dine there. In this case the food, while very noteworthy, is just part of the story and the specialness of this restaurant goes well beyond each wonderful dish on the menu.
The idea and now reality of The Plot it is a zero-waste restaurant. This isn’t a, well almost zero, or trying, they are the first zero-waste restaurant in San Diego and zero does mean zero. If you don’t finish your water, don’t worry, that water goes to the garden out back to produce fresh vegetables. Your food will never go to waste, as it is composted and the list goes on and on after that of clever ideas to bring the idea of no waste to life. Zero-waste means they don’t need garbage cans and what is exciting is that they have done this without any inconvenience and also being profitable. The hope from restaurant owners Davin and Jessica Waite is that other restaurants will pick up on the model and this will become the norm. It is a great combination as Jessica and her love of plant-based food is the starting ground for all of the tasty creations that Chef Davin comes up with in the kitchen.
The great thing about the zero-waste concept is that plant-based food has never tasted so good. If for someone you still have doubts about the taste of plant-based food, The Plot will put that issue to bed with a menu full of dishes that won’t disappointment any palate. The item that is a must share anytime you visit The Plot is the Chronic sushi roll. A little bit of plant-based genius goes into this as it does with every other dish on the menu and you won’t know you are biting into a vegan roll that has avocado, is tempura fried and a wonderfully flavorful spicy mayo and sweet n’ spicy citrus sauce. This dish alone will keep you coming back as it is packed with a powerful crunch and rich flavors throughout.
You certainly would have no problem making an entire dining experience just out of the appetizers with such favorites as roasted cauliflower, crab cakes and caviar and potato cakes. If you enjoy crab cakes it is all about the texture, density and that crispy breaded exterior, this version has it all and finished off with a tarragon creme that is actually a bit lighter but more flavorful than a typical remoulade sauce. One of the highlights of the The Plot is the consistently good sauces with every dish.
If you are looking for the perfect brunch experience, a table on the patio to go with The Plot version of chicken and waffles can’t be beat. The vegan chicken is crispy and juicy just like you would want in the dish along with a pair of crispy waffles and just an addicting shallot habanero sauce for the chicken and smoky maple syrup and finally some plant based butter. You will be disappointed when your food is all gone because you will just want to keep on dipping. Finally, a true testament to just how creative The Plot is, would be their polenta with chorizo. They create that smooth and creamy texture of polenta using butternut squash then the chorizo is a combination lentil and wild rice blended together with ancho chili oil, just as good as the name as says.
Jessica loves her mushrooms, so much so that the side of her restaurants has reclaimed mushroom wood, but that is far from where it stops. The menu has a number of items that have incorporated mushrooms from local mushroom grower Mindful Mushrooms. Along with other locally sourced ingredients The Plot does have their own garden growing in the back to give you even fresher ingredients.
Great food, a creative menu along with what hopefully is a trend-setting restaurant environment, what else could you ask for. Besides the beautiful Southern California weather, The Plot has an incredible staff such as our waitress Lori, who while a great server, was as excited about what the restaurant was as all about as she was serving food. This says a lot about The Plot as it says that while the food is great, the overall world-changing intent of it resonates on a personal level.
The Plot is always thinking about doing the right thing for the environment and their customers, so in this age of takeout, they are using low-guilt packaging. The Plot along with their other restaurants, Wrench and Rodent and The Whet Noodle all use biodegradable packaging options with some of the boxes coming from World Centric, those turn to soil in 90 days.
You don’t have to be vegan or have a plant-based diet to fall in love with The Plot, you just need to like really good food. And if you are a person who doesn’t think plant-based food will satisfy you or live up to your expectations of what you like to eat, give The Plot one chance to change your mind and they will surely do just that.
For more information, visit: The Plot
(Photos courtesy Vendela Martin)