The Philosophy Is ‘Vegan First’ at L.A.’s Mohawk Bend

  • All however two of the pizzas at Mohawk Bend are served vegan by default, however you possibly can at all times organize them with non-vegan substitutes, flipping the pizzeria paradigm.
  • Advertising director Dan Shapiro says the restaurant “has turn into an entry level for newly vegan or vegan-curious diners.”

Editor’s observe: This text initially appeared right here on PMQ’s sister web site,

Dan Shapiro, advertising director of Mohawk Bend, located in Los Angeles’ artsy Echo Park neighborhood, notes that since opening in 2011, the philosophy has proudly at all times been “vegan first.”

“We heart our vegan choices in our choices and provide nonvegan choices instead to stay inclusive to all dietary wants,” Shapiro explains. “This flipping of the paradigm has helped us develop progressive dishes like Buffalo Cauliflower, which we invented again in 2012 earlier than it grew to become a worldwide phenomenon.”

At Mohawk Bend, this strategy carries over to its pizzas, too: All however two of them are served vegan by default. “Our hottest, the Offended Vegan, is served with vegan mozzarella, cashew ricotta, vegan Parmesan, serrano, Calabrian chilis and oregano,” Shapiro notes. “We use Comply with your Coronary heart cheese in our pizzas, and general we’ve seen that this has been the largest enchancment in vegan eating previously decade—these cheeses have a a lot better taste and mouthfeel then once we started!”

PizzaVegan’s Tracy Morin, who can also be senior copy editor and have author for PMQ, sat down with Shapiro to study extra about Mohawk Bend’s philosophy and meals.

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Morin: Why is it essential so that you can provide plant-based/vegan pizzas, and cater to vegans generally, at your restaurant?

Shapiro: Ever since we opened in 2011, Mohawk Bend has at all times described itself as “vegan first.” Though we provide objects for all dietary decisions, most of our menu picks come vegan by default (with the choice to make them non-vegan). We consider that our visitors worth the chance to make extra sustainable decisions, and we’ve discovered that even non-vegans respect the creativity and new flavors introduced by our vegan objects. Extra importantly, the inclusivity {that a} vegan-first menu offers signifies that nobody is neglected from the celebration—notably essential for a restaurant that focuses on making nice pizza that everybody can share!

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Mohawk Bend’s Get Me to the Greek pizza. (Mohawk Bend / Instagram)

Morin: Do you see gross sales of vegan/plant-based rising?

Shapiro: Vegan gross sales have completely been rising. Over the previous decade, we’ve seen veganism go mainstream. Working example: our buffalo cauliflower. After we launched this merchandise in early 2012, it was a very new invention. Now, it’s on menus in pubs throughout the nation—vegan or not. This pattern has solely continued to rise yr after yr, and we’re excited to see the way it will develop sooner or later.

Morin: What was the method of selecting the vegan manufacturers and merchandise so as to add to your kitchen and menu? Do you create any of your individual vegan components in-house?

Shapiro: Foremost in significance is clearly taste—if the product doesn’t style glorious, it received’t go on our menu. However availability is simply as essential, too, as a result of we’d hate to must continually take away a product from the menu attributable to provide shortages. For a few of our objects, like our vegan cheeses, we’ve discovered nice suppliers, like Comply with Your Coronary heart, that make a product that works for our pizzas. Different occasions, nevertheless, we’ll look in-house for our provide. We’ve obtained an incredible recipe for our vegan ranch that makes use of all in-house components and is produced from scratch.

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The Offended Vegan (Mohawk Bend / Instagram)

Morin: What vegan-friendly objects do you provide on the menu? What are some vegan-friendly best-sellers?

Shapiro: Our hottest pizza is the Offended Vegan, made with vegan mozzarella, cashew ricotta, vegan Parmesan, serrano, Calabrian chilis and oregano. However our Baked Potato (with garlic aioli, mozzarella and Asiago, Yukon potatoes, tempeh bacon, bitter cream and scallion) and Bianco e Verde (mozzarella and Asiago, ricotta, crimini, portobello, garlic, spinach and extra-virgin olive oil) pizzas should not far behind on that checklist. We even have a rotating particular pizza every month that we name “Piece of the Pie,” the place $4 from every pizza bought goes to an area nonprofit group. This pizza at all times comes vegan.

Q: What has been the client response to your vegan choices?

Shapiro: Our prospects love our vegan choices! Since we’re such a well-liked spot for giant events, we discover that we frequently turn into an entry level for newly vegan or vegan-curious diners, and we love once we see these diners come again after first making an attempt new vegan objects right here.