Leafy plants hang over wooden tables and comfortable couch seats surround the dimly-lit restaurant, creating a relaxed, rustic ambiance, and a renovated bar area brightens the room with luminous blue tiles and colorful drinks. The cozy and comfortable appearance translates to the customer ambiance — friends, families and couples warmly converse, diverting their conversations at times to the menu, which is entirely plant-based; they ask each other and employees for suggestions, instigating delightful conversation everywhere.
Vegan restaurant Wildseed, Town & Country Village’s newest addition, opened on March 10. This is the restaurant’s second location, with their first in San Francisco. The restaurants are owned by Back of the House — a restaurant ownership group in the Bay Area founded by Adriano Paganini.
In bringing Wildseed to Palo Alto, Paganini said he hopes to accommodate a variety of plant-based diets that have recently gained popularity as a way to promote wellness and the environment — and do so in a way that appeals to all types of eaters.
“There’s this label to vegan food sometimes, that it’s boring and bland,” Executive Chef Alejandro Morgan said. “We want to prove that that’s not real. We wanted to prove that we could make vegan restaurants really fun, and really good and modern.”
“We wanted to prove that we could make vegan restaurants really fun, really good and modern.”
— Alejandro Morgan, Executive Chef of Wildseed
Morgan said he drew inspiration from many different cuisines as he developed Wildseed’s menu, but emphasized Mediterranean flavors.
“We start with dishes that we like to cook,” Morgan said. “It’s actually a little easier to make vegan [Mediterranean] food because Mediterranean diets have a lot of vegetables and good fats in their daily diet.”
For students like junior Morgan Greenlaw, who has been vegetarian since third grade and vegan since eighth grade, plant-based restaurants like Wildseed allow them to choose from a wide variety of options.
“I’m very excited,” Greenlaw said. “It’s rare that I go to a restaurant and there are so many different options that are plant-based. A lot of young people know the benefits of plant-based eating, so they will go there and get delicious food and also get inspiration for how you can make an effort [to go vegan].”
Although the dishes may be pricey for the average high school student, the food combinations and vegan substitutes appeared unique and exciting.