If you’re craving tacos, Chelsea’s Kitchen might not be your first thought, but the chic Arcadia diner sports six varieties of the Mexican staple, including the very satisfying Ethan’s Vegetarian Tacos ($15 lunch/$17 dinner).
Named for a longtime customer, the tacos are loaded with an ever-changing parade of locally farmed and seasonal vegetables. In winter, the taco platter is laden with zucchini, red bell pepper, mushrooms, carrots, spinach and Brussels sprouts. In other seasons, the culinary team might throw in corn, asparagus or artichokes.
Irrespective of season, the vegetables are sautéed in canola and olive oils and seasoned with sea salt and cracked pepper. Owner Bob Lynn says the simple preparation reflects LGO’s philosophy of serving food that’s “clean and without surprises and hidden ingredients.”
The vegetables share the plate with a mound of guacamole cradled by shredded Napa cabbage, chunky pico de gallo flecked with fresh tomatoes and onions, a ramekin of salsa made from tomatoes charred on the wood-burning grill, and a vinaigrette-dressed kale slaw studded with grapes. Stuff it in one of the made-to-order griddled corn tortillas (it comes with four) and keep plenty of napkins on hand to soak up the juicy overflow.
Lynn says LGO’s culinary staff will continue to develop new vegetarian dishes. “We’re always in this debate, because we love being vegetable-centric. We don’t think people should be punished if they’re vegan or vegetarian.”
5040 N. 40th St., Phoenix