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La Vida Vegan: Take the Cake

Moncai Vegan serves up black bean cakes with mustard mango habanero


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Yucca black bean cakes at Moncai Vegan

The Dish

Yucca Black Bean Cakes

The Spot

Moncai Vegan, 3531 Adams Avenue, Normal Heights

The Scene

Any restaurant where you can see the chefs cooking and working with their ingredients wins in my book. This vegan eatery is all about that kind of transparency, like when I walked in to find Chef Don making a chocolate cake. The energy is comfortable and homey, with impeccable service.

Recipe for Success

The dish comes with two cakes, made with yucca and black beans plated atop grains and served with the option of mustard mango habanero or green tomatillo salsas. I recommend spooning one on each cake: The mustard mango is sweet and spicy, while the tomatillo is more acidic. Leave room for the cookies and donuts—all of which are vegan and give the traditional dairy versions a run for their money.

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