Vegan Trips | Living Kitchen – Charlotte, NC
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Living Kitchen – Charlotte, NC

A modern-rustic vibe feels clean and fresh in this vegan and mostly raw eatery. Living Kitchen has several locations, each with a slightly different decor, but they share the same menu. We stopped in for dinner around 7 and were greeted warmly. The restaurant was busy, but not full. Our waitress, Rachel was extremely helpful, knew the menu well and was able to steer us to a good selection of dishes.

We ended up ordering the Sweet Potato Sushi Roll for an appetizer, the Manicotti and BBQ Sliders for entrees and we finished with the Lemon-Berry Cheesecake.

The sushi roll was very good, it’s made with riced sweet potato instead of actual rice and served with a slightly spicy dipping sauce that really compliments the flavors in the roll. Julia didn’t care much for the raw sweet potato which, being raw, had a little starchiness to it, but she also dissected it, whereas I ate it as a a whole composition. So, suggesting on this is to eat it all together. The flavors and textures balance well.

Entrees:

The Manicotti is  not actually pasta, but rather thinly sliced zucchini rolled around a soft cashew cheese filling. It’s topped with a raw tomato basil sauce that to us tasted more like a pesto with tomato than a marinara. The flavor was good, but the filling was so soft that trying to cut the zucchini forced the filling to ooze out and made this hard to eat. We substituted a Cesar salad for the arugula salad that was supposed to come with the manicotti. The salad was very well done with a Brazil nut cheese that had an excellent taste and texture. On this plate we both liked the salad better than the Manicotti.

Next up – the BBQ Sliders. These are made from oyster mushrooms which work very well for their slight chew and umami flavor. Julia normally avoids mushrooms and actually ate a whole one of these, so that’s saying a lot! These were very well executed with the bbq and coleslaw creating a good balance of savory, sweet, and tangy. When you eat here, we highly recommend the sliders.

Dessert:

Lemon-Berry Cheesecake wrapped up our meal at Living Kitchen and was very refreshing. In keeping with the theme of the restaurant, the cheesecake is a mostly raw version. Made from cashew and coconut, the berry and lemon flavors are presented as layers. The crust was very good, and though maybe a bit more of an ice-cream sensation than a cheesecake, we really enjoyed this dessert overall.

If you’re in Charlotte, or passing through, do yourself a favor and check out this creative and tasty vegan spot. You can find them online here.

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