To say that dining together is an important aspect of our social lives is an understatement. The moment we’re born, food is associated with human connection, from the bond we form with the family members who feed us, to our first experience with eating lunch with friends at school, and to all the times we spend an evening with friends gathered around the dinner table at a restaurant. If you’re cutting back on or avoiding meat and dairy, you may run into some challenges in terms of what we’re going to eat if the restaurant we choose to go to doesn’t happen to be vegan. For example, the typical plant-based options at a steakhouse are almost always French fries and a salad — and when it comes to the salad, you might have to inform your server that you’ll take your bowl of iceberg lettuce without the cheese and meat. But still, we go, because of the social experience.
At BOA, a steakhouse in Santa Monica, California, new plant-based options to the menu will ensure that nobody, whether you are a meat-eater, vegan, vegetarian, or flexitarian will walk away feeling unsatisfied. Simply put, they’re the type of offerings that you would expect to find at swanky vegan restaurants such as Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Modern Love or Pamela Elizabeth’s Blossom.
BOA’s new vegan burger, the Wild Mushroom Burger, features a Beyond Burger patty, arugula aioli, truffle, and a potato bun.
On their appetizer menu, they added a Beet Poke Bowl with jalapeño, ginger, and root vegetable chips, a seafood-free take on a Hawaiian dish traditionally made from raw fish that has been gaining popularity in the restaurant world.On their entrée menu, they also now offer a Mediterranean Chickpea Panelle, featuring smoked carrots, summer squash, almond yogurt tzatziki, and chermoula.
And finally, this mushroom bolognese with almond ricotta. This is how you add vegan options to your menu.
BOA’s plant-based options show that even if a restaurant is a steakhouse, the vegan options need not be limited to fries and salad, a dish that could easily be ordered at any other restaurant. Instead, they are showing their customers that you can create innovative, flavorful, and crave-worthy dishes that truly make their menu stand out from other steakhouses.
According to NPR social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam, eating the same food as your dining companion increases trust and cooperation. With options like these, BOA will likely attract not only more customers with plant-based preferences than ever before, but also customers who may have never ordered plant-based. We hope that more meat-centric restaurants follow BOA’s example. Food, especially delicious food, will always be an important part of socializing — and their new menu options will no doubt bring people together.
If you love cooking plant-based foods, we highly recommend checking out the Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone. With over 8,000 vegan recipes (and over 10 new recipes added daily), you’re going to find something you love!
Lead image source: BOA/Facebook