Food

Planta Restaurant Will Open in Bethesda This Summer With Vegan Crab Cakes and Watermelon Sushi

The plant-based, full-service restaurant chain plans for several DC-area locations.

Plant-based sushi from vegan restaurant Planta, opening in Bethesda this summer. Photography courtesy of Planta

Toronto-based Chase Hospitality Group will open a seventh location of their plant-based restaurant, Planta, at Bethesda Row early this summer. The full-service vegan concept, with branches in Toronto and Miami, serves a global variety of meatless fare like homemade mushroom-lentil burgers, thin-crust pizzas with cashew-mozzarella, cauliflower tots, kelp Caesar salads, and ahi watermelon nigri alongside cocktails and wines.

With a large, airy dining space, the restaurant is designed to seat 140 indoors plus a 50-seat patio. Appropriate spacing and capacity limits will be followed in accordance with Covid-19 restrictions upon opening.

The restaurant will serve a variety of health-minded cocktails.

Overseen by executive chef David Lee, each Planta restaurant offers a different menu with locally-sourced and locally-inspired options. So yes, being in Maryland, expect a crab cake—though this one is fashioned out of hearts of palm instead of crab.

Plant-based restaurants have become increasingly popular with health and wellness trends, whether it’s fast-casual spots like Shouk, bakeries such as Sticky Fingers, or finer dining restaurants like Fancy Radish. Planta will be the first full-service vegan restaurant to open in Bethesda Row.

Diners interested in trying Planta’s offerings won’t have to wait until the Bethesda location opens this summer. During the pandemic, the chain began shipping its dishes nationwide, including pizzas, lasagnas, and dumplings.

Thin-crust pizzas come with toppings like cashew mozzarella and mushroom-bacon.

President and CEO of Chase Hospitality Group Steven Salm isn’t new to the area—he attended George Washington University—and he plans to open more Planta locations throughout the region.

“We’re actively looking for a downtown DC location as well, and plan to introduce our full line of Planta restaurants in that market,” says Salm. That includes Asian-inspired Planta Queen, the Mexican Planta Cocina, and Planta Burger. “We’re super excited. DC is a city that I’ve always loved.”

Planta. Opening early summer 2021. 4910 Elm St., Bethesda, Md. 

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