Oishī (pronounced Oh-“E”-she). It means delicious in Japanese and you’ll need it to describe the plates from Matsuri, a vegan-friendly food truck, usually found on the Northwest side of Las Vegas.
We’re told there are at least a dozen vegan items on the menu and all the entrees can be made vegan. Plus, on Tuesdays, the truck goes all vegan.
Growing up eating Japanese food and going vegan herself five years ago, Matsuri co-owner and chef Brittany Ishiwata-Hisey says veganizing traditional dishes was a fun challenge. Nearly everything the Las Vegas vegan-friendly food truck serves is made from scratch and many of the traditional eats are the only vegan versions in town.
So, let’s go!
Las Vegas Vegan-Friendly Food Truck: Matsuri
We start our tour of Japanese street food with takoyaki.
Vegan options at Matsuri
The crispy, savory bites are given a touch of sweetness with the house-made takoyaki (brown) sauce and topped with vegan mayo and nori. Inside, there’s shiitake mushroom, green onion and red ginger instead of traditional octopus.
Next up is the truck’s best seller for vegans and omnivores alike: sweet chili tofu.
This entree starts with tofu cubes tossed in a potato flour mixture and fried to a perfect golden brown. It’s finished off with green onions and served with a side of rice. A little sweet. A little spicy. All yum!
If you’re concerned about cross-contamination, you’re all good — Matsuri has a separate fryer for all vegan items. If you’re not convinced, you can watch the food truck’s live stream here on Twitch.
Maybe tofu isn’t your jam, try the sweet and savory okonomiyaki. Stuffed with cabbage, red ginger, green onion and yakisoba noodles, this hearty “pancake” is drizzled with vegan mayo and okonomiyaki sauce.
For a garnish, it’s nori and pickled ginger. Make sure you tell them you’re vegan so they hold the bonito flakes.
This dish is a meal and will definitely fill you up, but … there’s more. Of course.
Leave room for dessert!
Vegan Dessert at Matsuri
In traditional Japanese fashion, dango is a fantastic, not-too-sweet way to wrap up your experience at Matsuri. These soft, chewy mochi balls-on-a-stick come smothered in a syrup-y soy-based glaze. We like to think of it as soy sauce’s sweeter, cooler, older cousin, adding just the right amount of gooey-ness.
Then, wash it all down with a selection of Japanese drinks, including three vegan options: peach, strawberry and Ramune (think a milder Sprite).
Celebrating its one year anniversary in July 2020, expect the popular Las Vegas food truck to add on cold ramen summer 2020 and hot ramen once the temps drops. Both are always vegan and get rave reviews from plant-based diners and omnis.
If you’re craving more, ask for a punch card. Return customers get a free small appetizer after five stamps, and a free large appetizer after 10 stamps. Who doesn’t love free food?
Check Matsuri’s Instagram to preview the day’s menu and to find them around Las Vegas. The food truck normally parks in Centennial/Northwest Las Vegas.
702-274-0121; Tues., Thurs.: 5pm – 8pm.; Wed., Fri., Sat: hours vary.