Toronto Export Planta Brings an All-Vegan Lineup of Sushi and Pizza to Bethesda

The airy dining room opens Saturday at Bethesda Row.

Planta's California pizza, topped with zucchini, avocado, arugula, and chili oil. All photographs courtesy of the restaurant.

Planta, an upscale vegan restaurant chain, is planting its roots in the Washington area. The long-awaited restaurant, which also has locations in Miami, Toronto, and New York City, will open its doors Saturday at Bethesda Row.

The restaurants are known for executive chef David Lee’s plant-based riffs on a range of global dishes, including sushi, dumplings, and pizza. The menu includes his signature mushroom-lentil burger; pizza topped with cashew mozzarella, mushroom and beetroot “tuna” tartare; and udon noodles in a truffle/mushroom cream, alongside watermelon and Thai-chili-infused cocktails. There are some locally inspired options in the mix, too, such as “crab” dip made from hearts of palm. For Planta’s weekend brunch, expect waffles, French toast, smoothie bowls and bottomless mimosas.

Planta’s “crab” dip is made from hearts of palm and served with taro chips.

The airy 140-seat indoor space is done up with sleek wood, soft rose tones, and antique brass. Steven Salm, founder and CEO of Toronto-based Chase Group, says the chain aims to attract not only hardcore vegans, but also flexitarians and the curious-minded.

The dining room at Planta.

Planta joins a growing list of upscale plant-based destinations in the Washington area, such as Fancy Radish on H Street, Oyster Oyster in Shaw, and Equinox and Elizabeth’s Gone Raw in downtown DC. Salm, a George Washington University alum, says there are plans to expand Planta into the region—including the District: “[I’m] really excited about the connection and connectivity that DC has to the rest of the world,” he says, “and so we’re excited to have a larger impact in this market.”

Avocado nigiri with a miso/truffle glaze.

The restaurant will offer daily lunch and dinner; weekend brunch starts February 26.

Planta. 4910 Elm St., Bethesda.

David Tran
Editorial Fellow