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Taste Of The Town: Planta South Beach Makes Vegan Dining Cool

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MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) -- Welcome to Planta on Miami Beach's South of Fifth neighborhood. The popular Toronto based restaurant is 100-percent plant-based. The vibe is cool and relaxed yet upscale and fancy at the same time.

"When we saw the space last year my mouth dropped and said we have to be here. We have to put a Planta here," said Executive Chef and part owner David Lee.

Chef David Lee along with Chase Hospitality Group and restaurateur and nightlife impresario David Grutman's Groot Hospitality have teamed up in this socially conscious eatery that comes complete with its own rooftop garden. The plan is to bring in foodies of all kinds.

"We have a lot of people that are plant-based eaters that come to Planta and we have a lot of meat eaters, carnivores that love this eating plant-based food. It's the way to go," Lee said.

"So you have a burger and you have sushi but no meat and no fish?" asked CBS4's Lisa Petrillo.

"You're 100-percent correct," replied Chef Lee.

The chef prepared a tasting menu for Lisa and started with a coconut ceviche. The coconut meat from Thailand is the base of it and a host of other plants goes into it the dish.

"It's not like we're trying to imitate the food.  It's just a similarity to ceviche. That's the play in it," Chef Lee said.

He prepared a watermelon poke with ingredients straight from the homemade garden dill plant Lisa tasted.

"It's like a mini pickle in a plant," joked Lisa after tasting the raw dill weed.

At the table, it is full on plant food that looks and tastes like the real deal. The coconut ceviche has so much flavor you forget there's no fish in it.

"It has a wonderful consistency and that ceviche you know it's not fish, but it tastes like ceviche. It's such a wonderful dish," Lisa said.

"It's like coming to Planta for the first time. Every time I try it, I have this wow factor," said the chef.

The Habibi Salad made with split pea fritters, lentils, cauliflower and greens in a tahini sauce is extra special.

"The Habibi is happening. Wow!" Lisa exclaimed. "Hearty but also a salad and delicious dressing. I love the flavor of it."

There is also a ginormous DL Burger named after the chef. The "cheese" you think you see is carrot and potato.

"You can safely bring a carnivore here, there is so much flavor and heft to this and it feels and tastes like a real burger," Lisa said.

The meal ended with a coconut soft serve. It's charcoal flavor, sprinkled with cheerios, corn flakes, sponge toffee and raspberry crunch.

Planta is open for dinner 7 days a week and brunch on Saturday and Sunday.

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