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LOCAL VEGAN ITALIAN RESTAURANT, PURA VITA, IS PLANNING PLANT-BASED PIZZA JOINT

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MARIKA LILLY

JUL 24, 2019

Two is always better than one — and Pura Vita, a cozy, all-vegan Italian restaurant and wine bar known for its creamy pasta dishes, is getting ready to bring double the plant-based love to the streets of West Hollywood. But instead of dishing out lasagna and spaghetti, their new culinary concept will be serving homemade ’za straight out of a wood-burning pizza oven.

Introducing Pizzeria Pura Vita, a mecca for pizza-lovers of all kinds, where everything from the dough to the cheese, along with everything on top and in between will be 100% vegan and organic.

PINING FOR PIZZA

Pura Vita opened its doors less than a year ago with the secret hopes to also open a pizzeria one day, they just weren’t sure where or when. But general manager Nadia Kaufman-Selvo told Fitt that day came sooner than planned when the neighboring restaurant owner decided to retire and sell her space.

“What other time will you have an opening right next to you to take over?” said Kaufman-Selvo.

With a little serendipity and a lot of ambition, chef and owner of Pura Vita Tara Punzone decided to take advantage of the opportunity and turn her pizzeria dream into a reality. Not one to let a good thing pass her by, she jumped into action, launching a Kickstarter campaign in June to raise money for new equipment, such as a pizza oven. And thanks to the generous donations of excited Angelenos, they exceeded their $50,000 goal, raising a total of $51,630.

SWEET SNEAK PEEKS

While all the fine details and plans for the pizzeria aren’t entirely nailed down yet, Kaufman-Selvo told us the vibe will be a bit less polished than Pura Vita (think sit-down, casual) with more of an emphasis on beer than wine. But like Pura Vita, the pizzeria wants to create “Italian food that happens to be plant-based with a focus not on it being vegan, but being delicious,” said Kaufman-Selvo.

Other menu sneak peeks? Expect creamy, cannoli desserts and Italian beers (all vegan, of course).

Kaufman-Selvo said she predicts the pizzeria will open in late fall or early winter 2020, so in the meantime, prep your taste buds with a trip to Pura Vita — it’s right next door.

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