At Doe's Donuts, we asked our host if she could recommend any vegan joints that were actually open. It turned out she had a list! Hah! Also, a customer behind us heard us talking and recommended Lilla which is a plant-based Italian eatery. After some high-level analysis of what was open and what was where we ended up going to Lilla. I find the roads in Portland to be a bit of a rat's nest (Oh, like Vancouver, BC, is so much better!) and even Google Maps couldn't prevent us from crossing bridges unnecessarily and driving around blocks multiple times. Still, somehow we made it!
Lilla - Plant-Based Pasta & Pizza- Portland, Oregon
Located in a rather nondescript building on SE Madison at SE 10th, don't let the exterior fool you. There is a very pleasant warm but high-ceilinged restaurant inside.
We decided to order an appetizer, a pizza and pasta and started with the Polenta with Grilled Mushrooms. This was delicious. Creamy polenta that was just nicely salty from the vegan Parmesan and the mushrooms were earthy and rich. A simple starter that hit the right buttons.
Another simple but amazing dish was the Mushroom Alfredo with Taglioni. I realized just now it was basically our starter but with pasta. I did not ask if their pasta was house-made but they were perfectly cooked and the dish was wonderfully comforting.
I usually test pizza makers by ordering their Margherita but somehow the draw of the Pepperoni Pizza was overwhelming. This was not a bad choice. The crust was amazing on this thing but I didn't see anything fancy like a gas-burning brick oven from Italy so the secret to the crust is safe. Simple tomato sauce, dollops of cashew cheese and really good pepperoni (again, I didn't ask what it was) and I am so glad that we ordered this!
Our server was friendly, helpful and dedicatedly vegan. This is a nice high-ceilinged space which is comfortable with lots of Italian-style accents. There are a lot of other things on the simple menu that we would be happy to try if we find ourselves here again.
Food 4 1/2 out of 5
Vegan Options 5 out of 5
Comfort 4 1/2 out of 5
Service 4 1/2out of 5
Value 4 1/2 out of 5
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