Vegan Challenge accepted at Nido

Illustration by Serene Lusano

Twenty-five restaurants, one month, no animal products. The Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge is on all October. One of the participating restaurant’s chefs, Chris Woo of Nido (1409 R Street), created its vegan menu (à la carte or $18.50 prix fixe) with the input of cook Tenari Tuatagaloa and Yellowbill barista Alison Joy Willard, who are vegan. The meal ends with a huge coconut chocolate cupcake with coconut whipped cream, but begins with a hardy heirloom cannellini bean and dragon mushroom soup with Brussels sprouts and miso-based broth. The entree, two bao with slabs of seitan and banh mi-style pickled vegetables, is eye-popping in flavor and texture. Although Nido has more vegan offerings on its regular menu than most restaurants, meat-lover Woo said he could see forgoing flesh for meals like this. According to Woo, the seitan bao will probably remain on the menu after October—and he’s reworking Nido’s veggie burger recipe to make it vegan, too.