MILA, Vancouver’s new 100% plant-based eatery, opens to the public later this month, and we went to see what the new Chinatown restaurant has to offer.
Located at 185 Keefer Street, MILA joins one of our favourite foodie strips in town, as its immediate neighbours include Juke Fried Chicken, Bao Bei, and The Keefer, a fantastic dine-around/cocktail tour opportunity if you plan it out correctly.
MILA’s more casual sister restaurant, Virtuous Pie, is also just a skip, hop, and a jump around the corner on Main Street.
The new concept has taken over the former location of Juniper Kitchen & Bar, which shuttered at the end of 2019.
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With a menu described as “internationally inspired,” I didn’t know exactly what to expect from the food here. One thing I knew for sure: we had to get into that Aburi Lox Oshi.
Let me tell you, as a sushi lover and unofficial sashimi ambassador, I was impressed with these plant-based rolls.
The Aburi Lox Oshi, made with carrot lox, aburi sauce, shiso, and serrano, was fresh, light, and satisfying. There was certainly no soy sauce required, which is always a good sign.
The restaurant’s signature MILA Roll was a combo of heart of palm mix, avocado, cucumber, black sesame, and comes topped with tempura crunch and shredded nori, plated on wasabi mango mayo.
It packs a nice punch and had the crunch-factor one loves in tempura rolls.
MILA’s food program was developed by Red Seal Chef, Jim Vesal, who’s put together a selection of elevated yet approachable globally inspired dishes.
You’ll see quite a lot of variety here. Morsels on the heartier side include the Mushroom and Sausage Tagliatelle, the Bulgogi Tacos (which had a really nice kick), and the house veggie burger, a staple for any plant-based joint these days.
The Smash Burger’s got a double patty layered with cheddar on a brioche bun with all the fixings. It’s pretty dang loaded.
It comes with “smashed chips” aka uber crispy miso potatoes and ketchup. This dish would pair nicely with a selection from MILA’s craft beer and cider program.
Really though, do yourself a favour and get the Peanut Butter Cup Pie even if you’re super full (because we all have a dessert stomach, right?).
This slice was a true delight. We’d urge you to finish your meal here with this sweet treat to round out the whole experience.
Whether you’re coming here for a light bite and a cocktail or a full, veggie-packed meal, we’d say MILA is definitely worth checking out whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian, or anything else.
MILA opens to the public in September. We’ll keep you posted on an exact opening date.
Address: 185 Keefer Street, Vancouver