Gourmet vegan restaurant with L.A. celebrity connection debuts in downtown Dallas
A major vegan restaurant with L.A. roots is coming to Dallas. Called Belse Plant Cuisine, it'll be located downtown at 1910 Pacific Ave. #1400, next door to the Majestic Theatre, with an opening set for the first week of February.
Belse is from the owners of Little Pine, the highly acclaimed Los Angeles restaurant founded in 2015 by musician and dance music pioneer Moby, a vegan who wanted to open a restaurant with an entirely plant-based menu.
Little Pine has appeared on numerous Best lists including being named "Restaurant of the Year" by Vegnews Magazine. It's also been a charitable endeavor, donating its profits to animal charities.
Moby departed the restaurant in 2020, but Belse continues the mission to serve a menu featuring excellent plant-based cuisine, says spokesman John Hodges.
"Vegan" and "plant-based" are both terms indicating there are no animal products used, meaning no meat, eggs, or dairy.
"Our goal is to come in and show that this food can hang with the best of them," Hodges says.
- Creamy cheddar queso and guacamole with chips
- An amusing "ketchup flight" of house-made flavored ketchups served with seasoned fries
- Battered cauliflower florets with charred pineapple aioli
- A "Mocki" roll featuring sushi made with watermelon in place of fish
- Seasoned Brussels sprouts with roasted cashews and Calabrian chili aioli
- Watermelon "Ahi" Stack with seared watermelon, avocado, and sesame-crusted rice
- Belse Burger with a quarter-pound Impossible patty, baby gem lettuce, sliced American, beet & onion jam, Calabrian chili aioli, and fries
- Mac & cheese with creamy cheddar sauce and Italian sausage
- Flatbread with fennel and Italian sausage
- Pupusas with black bean and mozzarella, with crispy onion strings
- "The Melt," a toasted (rather than grilled) cheese sandwich with tomato basil bisque
Prices run from $8 to $16, with the most expensive item being the pupusas at $18.
The menu draws inspiration from Little Pine, but is nonetheless its own thing, Hodges says.
"Little Pine has a great reputation in Los Angeles, and we didn't want to step on that," he says. "This also allows us to try new things, allowing for some creativity while still maintaining some cooperation beween the two ventures."
Belse will join Dallas' thriving vegan scene, home to nationally recognized initiatives that include pioneering vegan restaurant chain Spiral Diner; the annual Texas Veggie Fair; the University of North Texas' Mean Greens, the first vegan cafeteria to open at a university in the U.S.; and El Palote Panaderia, the first restaurant in the U.S. to do a Mexican version of vegan food.
Belse is going into what was previously a lunch spot called Pacific Deck, but it will be open for dinner, with a selection of vegan-friendly wines and beers, and will also host a weekend brunch.
They hope to be a destination for vegans, obviously, but also for foodies interested in trying something new, and they felt like downtown was the perfect place for that kind of adventure right now.
"It's most exciting to be in downtown Dallas, and to offer something new and fresh as people start venturing out into the world after the pandemic," Hodges says. "We're hoping to do this in a way that makes plant-based cuisine accessible and comforting and creative, in a way that people may not have seen in this area."