Gourmet Vegan at PlanTita’s Kitchen in Long Beach

(EXPERIENCE MAGAZINE)  PlanTita’s Kitchen Long Beach, CA is a must if you are looking for authentic Mexican flavor with a vegan spin. We spoke to the owner, Aileen Elizabeth Castañeda, insurance agent by day and restaurant owner by night, who explains opening a restaurant has been a dream for hers; it has finally come true! After your first bite, you will know how much heart and soul was poured into the menu.

Dining out with Celiac can be difficult, but not here! There were so many tantalizing options to try. Most of the tacos, aside from the shrimp, are gluten free. Most flautas that I see are NOT gluten free, however, I was excited to learn that they were gluten free HERE! Woo hoo! Although there is currently only one fryer, Aileen plans on purchasing another fryer dedicated to naturally gluten free items such as the chips and corn ribs. If this is a concern for you, just ask about the cross contact of your chosen food items before ordering. The owner is so kind, honest, and has your best interest at heart! I’m not going to lie, I forgot to ask about the cross contact, darn pregnancy brain!! But I’m happy to report no writer was harmed in the making of this article. Just learn from my mistakes friends.

Delicious Horchata at Plantita Kitchen

To start, we had the very creamy and smooth horchata with a hint of cinnamon that was not too overpowering, very well-balanced. It is way better and less grainy than even non-vegan horchatas!

Elote Fried “Ribs”

First food item up was the Elote Fried “Ribs”. Oh my God were they good! It was a fun new way to experience corn – I loved it! And don’t even get me started on the flavor profile. They top the “ribs” with 3 delectable house-made sauces: chipotle mayo, cilantro mayo, and garlic aioli. No need to ask for extra sauce, and I’m notorious for asking for extra sauce, the dish is SAUCEY. Not only that, but it had the perfect amount of spice, not too little or too much, it was truly just right.

Esquite Nachos

Next, we tried the nachos. Unfortunately, the beans in the Drunken Nachos are made with beer (but if you don’t have Celiac you should definitely try it, they look very good!). However, the owner offered an amazing solution – the Esquite Nachos. They contained all the mouth-watering sauces as the ribs plus tasty jackfruit and charred corn. I’m not lying when I tell you the crunch on the chips were absolute perfection. Will 100% order again when they have a dedicated fryer!


We also tried the asada taco where the protein is made in house. It is soy-based, marinated for 24 hours, and cooked twice to achieve that realistic charred asada taste and flavor, truly as if it were prepared on a charcoal grill. Last, but certainly not least, the Flautas. Prepared with jackfruit carnitas and “cheesy” potatoes, this warm delicious dish is creamy and soft on the palate. That coupled with the amazing sauces. Sooooo good!

Owner and creator of PlanTita’s Kitchen Aileen Elizabeth Castañeda

Although there are no gluten free desserts yet, Aileen plans on adding one to the menu soon, so stay tuned! Other things to keep on the lookout will be the option of catering and the addition of a new dining area – the outdoor patio! Although the place is already filled with Spanish flair, she is currently working on the finishing touches, such as adding a new bar area, plants, and more decor. I highly recommend you go in ASAP before they start requiring reservations!

About Jennifer Hahn

Jennifer Hahn is a Registered Dietitian who helps people manage their blood sugars and weight. Check out her self-paced online diabetes management class here; https://www.byteintonutrition.com/courses/diabetes-management-nutrition

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