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Very Important Taco: The Chipotle Lime Cauliflower Taco from Second Nature

Vowing to eat less meat in the new year? Try this vegan taco even meat lovers will enjoy.


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Maybe you’re forgoing meat. Maybe cheese has gone on the chopping block, or maybe you’re cutting down on the gluten. Thankfully, you don’t have to give up tacos in the name of a New Year’s diet. At Second Nature, the year-old Pacific Beach vegetarian- and vegan-friendly restaurant, the plant-based, gluten-free chipotle lime cauliflower tacos are resolution-ready.

The kitchen starts with a corn tortilla that gets a thick spread of tofu-based cheese (to imitate Cotija sans dairy), followed by juicy chunks of cauliflower dipped in an herb-infused rice flour batter as well as a corn starch “bath” for crunch before hitting the fryer.

“Cauliflower has a texture that emulates meat when it’s cooked,” says Hoffman Leung, partner of Second Nature alongside Eddie Okino.

The pair also operates The Rabbit Hole in Normal Heights and OB Surf Lodge, among others, under their brand Social Syndicate. On top of the taco is a thick drizzle of Vegenaise (a vegan mayonnaise brand) with fresh garlic, chipotle peppers, and lime juice.

And yes, you can get your greens for the New Year, too: The taco is stuffed with shredded romaine and microgreens. It comes in a platter of two with chips and a fiery salsa to wake up your sleepy, post-holiday taste buds. As Leung reveals, “The key is the blistered tomatoes and jalapeños.”

5026 Cass Street, Pacific Beach secondnaturepb

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