Today, Los Angeles-based vegan Italian restaurant Pura Vita opened a new location that specializes exclusively in pizza. Pura Vita Pizzeria, which took over the space next door to its sister Italian restaurant, offers traditional pizzas—which are available on scratch-made wheat and gluten-free crusts—such as the Margherita with vegan mozzarella, tomato sauce, basil, and macadamia nut-based Parmigiano; San Gennaro with vegan mozzarella, tomato sauce, Italian sausage crumble, fennel, peppers, onion, and fennel pollen; and Amelia with ricotta, mozzarella, roasted garlic cream, wild arugula, and shaved Parmigiano; along with a selection of appetizers, salads, wine, and beer.
Last year, Pura Vita raised more than $50,000 through a Kickstarter campaign to renovate the new space and purchase the necessary kitchen equipment. “As a vegan of more than 30 years and an Italian New Yorker, I have always wanted to open a plant-based pizzeria,” Tara Punzone, Pura Vita chef and owner, told VegNews. “When I originally opened Pura Vita, the first 100-percent plant-based Italian restaurant and wine bar in the US, my plan was to have traditional southern Italian pastas and Neapolitan pizzas. However, being a small independent business owner, I could not afford a large enough space as I was starting up. So I practiced patience. The success of Pura Vita and the support from our community was overwhelming. I decided it was time to take over the space next door and finally make the pizzeria a reality.”
Though the city’s COVID-19 stay-at-home order delayed its opening, Punzone still wanted to provide plant-based food to her community, which is why she decided to soft launch today with take-out and delivery only until she is able to open the full-service dining room. “While so many doors are closing, we are opening a new one,” Punzone said. Customers can order online through Pura Vita’s website and through delivery apps such as GrubHub.
Pura Vita Pizzeria is located at 8726 Santa Monica, Blvd., West Hollywood, CA.