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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.

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LA Italian Restaurant Pura Vita Opens Vegan Pizzeria
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