Chef Matthew Kenney has been a vegan for the last 16 years. “It wasn’t until I ate in a hole-in-the-wall vegan restaurant, by complete chance, that something clicked,” he says. “I became determined—right then and there—to create innovative, gourmet vegan food that could be as sexy and luxurious as a traditional fine dining experience.” Since then, he’s opened 19 restaurants on five continents with more to come. One of his most recent introductions is Double Zero in Venice (where Kenney also resides), the West Coast outpost of his NYC vegan pizza concept. In addition to restaurants, Kenney now also has his sights set on the food-product industry, with PlantMade frozen meals, Double Zero frozen pizzas, a nutrition bar and a line of pumpkin-seed milk elixirs all set to launch this year. “At the end of the day, it’s still about creating the best—and healthiest—food, and this is an opportunity to make it available to as many people as possible.” Here, Kenney shares some of his favorite food and drink spots in the City of Angels.
Market Fresh “New Deli(Venice) is a pet project of mine, and it sells all of my favorite plant-based products—from beer and wine to plant-based snacks and household goods.”
Cup of Joe “Deus Ex Machina is a coffee-slash-motorcycle shop that is the epitome of Venice Beach. I live only a few blocks away.”
Slice of Heaven “MTN (Venice) is my favorite local place for clean Japanese food with a great ambiance and plant-based options. Their housemade pickles, veggie temaki and kabocha-squash gyoza are musts.”
Wine & Dine “Wally’s (Beverly Hills) atmosphere is great, and I always find myself hanging around for a while browsing the wines.”
Sweet Sips “I love wine, and Stanley’s Wet Goods (Culver City) has an amazing selection. They also have a wine-tasting bar that attracts a really eclectic, fun crowd.”
Photography by: portrait courtesy of Matthew Kenney Cuisine