First Taste: You won't miss the meat at Cow Hollow's stylish plant-based restaurant Wildseed

The Impossible burger at SF's newest vegan restaurant, Wildseed. (Sarah Chorey)

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by Sarah Chorey

We've all jumped on a wellness trend or two—a new workout class, a few steps of a Korean skincare routine, periodic conscious disconnection from our devices.

If eating more plants is on your list of self-care (and environmental) goals, you may now do a little a dance: Wildseed is a full-service restaurant that's taking vegan eating beyond your usual grab-and-go salad and green juice.

Greenery finds a home in every nook and cranny.
Greenery finds a home in every nook and cranny. (Sarah Chorey)

The conscientious concept comes to us from the folks at Back of House Restaurant Group (A Mano, Beretta, Lolinda, Starbelly, etc). CEO Adriano Paganini tapped chef Blair Warsham, of The Bird, to devise a menu of vegan eats; Warsham got all prolific with a huge menu of meat-free delights centering on purely seasonal ingredients.

Wildseed's corn cakes channel flavors of a fancy cornbread, with a thicker, richer intensity.
Wildseed's corn cakes channel flavors of a fancy cornbread, with a thicker, richer intensity. (Sarah Chorey)

There are snacks—think probiotic plates and harissa-spiced veggie chips; shareables—grilled avocado toast, Mexican corn cakes, and curried cauliflower; salads and bowls (try the mushroom-based "neatball masala"); and entrees including a super grain paella, rigatoni Bolognese made with Impossible meat, and a spicy yellow curry. Still hungry? There's dessert too.

Meyer lemon agave cheesecake with a gluten-free graham cracker crust and whips of coconut.
Meyer lemon agave cheesecake with a gluten-free graham cracker crust and whips of coconut. (Sarah Chorey)

Just because this is a plant-based restaurant, doesn't mean it's a crunchy-granola scene. The old Belga restaurant has a bright, effortless atmosphere thanks to a sprucing up by designer Hannah Collins. The palette is warm wood and white with accents of teal in pretty tiles behind the bar and in upholstery on the banquettes. Tropical fans lazily spin overhead and light spills through the windows. It's the kind of atmosphere that makes you want to eat healthy.

The zinc-topped bar is an inviting spot to have a drink.
The zinc-topped bar is an inviting spot to have a drink. (Sarah Chorey)

"Wildseed is about giving everyone a chance to make a better choice—a place where you can feel good about the decisions you are making," says Paganini. "Not only because the space is beautiful, but also because you know that the food is good for you without sacrificing satisfaction or flavor."

Cubes of chilled beets are topped with slices of cucumber, macadamia crumbles, a dash of ponzu, and sesame seeds, paired with seaweed crackers.
Cubes of chilled beets are topped with slices of cucumber, macadamia crumbles, a dash of ponzu, and sesame seeds, paired with seaweed crackers. (Sarah Chorey)

// Wildseed, 2000 Union St. (Cow Hollow), wildseedsf.com

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