Most tacos are made on the stove or the fryer. These come from the mandolin.
In addition to being vegan and gluten free, these sunflower street tacos are also 100 percent raw. Instead of tortillas, the tacos are wrapped with thin disks of Asian daikon radish cut on a mandolin kitchen slicer.
The Tasteful Kitchen's co-owner Sigret Thompson is inspired by the challenge of creating vibrant and filling dishes without animal products or flour. Rather than serving the standard mock meats of many vegetarian restaurants, her menu showcases vegetables and other natural ingredients like sunflower seeds.
For the tacos, she soaks the raw seeds in water to soften them up before straining and blending with jalapeños, cilantro and other Southwestern seasonings. The result is a punchy paste with a nutty flavor and the "mouthfeel of taco meat," she said. The sunflower spread is rubbed into the daikon wrap and topped with a bright bouquet of fresh grape tomatoes, red cabbage, avocado and whispers of pickled onions.
Something strangely magical happens when you take the tortilla away from a taco. It becomes fresh and light, almost like a salad or an Asian spring roll. The daikon has such a wonderful sweet flavor, with just a hint of bitter on the back. It's surprisingly supple for a radish, despite how crisp it is. And it's a great foil for those ripe avocados, nature's butter ...
Weird fact: Gotta say, this has been one of the most interesting dining experiences of all the places I've been. It's not every day that you get to sip water from a crystal goblet while sitting next to a tree painting of a deer with a dragon's tail.
Location: 722 N. Stone Ave.
Hours: 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, closed Sundays and Mondays
Payment: accepts debit and credit cards