Falafel Sherman Oaks

O’Cado Celebrates Share-Friendly, Plant-Based Cuisine in Sherman Oaks

Erin Mansour flipped California Pita & Grill into a more personal, share-friendly and plant-based restaurant called O’Cado in Sherman Oaks.

O’Cado Restaurant, Beer & Wine Garden is an ambitious new vegan option in Sherman Oaks.

Paul, the bartender and my server, made an impassioned pitch. “We won’t take away your burger patty and replace it with a mushroom cap or jam tofu down your throat and claim it won’t taste like a sponge, since it inevitably will.”

O’Cado’s globally inspired menu touts Shared Plates, Toasts, Salads, Tacos & Sandwiches, and Sweets, all minus meat.

I’d recommend starting with falafel bites, five herbaceous chickpea fritters served with spicy jalapeño hummus, nutty tahini, and supple grilled pita.

Toasts change seasonally, but if they have the version slathered with almond “ricotta” and topped with butternut squash, caramelized onions, apple cider glaze, and pepitas, by all means bite.

Other vegan versions of recognizable comfort foods include “street tacos” with jackfruit and salsa verde; crispy Buffalo cauliflower with O’cado aioli; and Brussels sprouts tossed with brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, and tofu-based house “bacon.”

Expect a solid beer program that’s split equally between taps, bottles, and cans. Low ABV cocktails star alcoholic beverages like infused saké, sparkling wine, and dry cider. Pineapple Basil Smash combines Sabe jalapeño-infused saké, muddled pineapple, basil leaves, and house lemonade, to name just one concoction. O’cado also pours 25 wines, available by the glass or bottle, from sustainable or organic wineries. They pour three-wine flights.

The wood-fronted space features a covered patio with cushioned banquettes and framed air plants. Inside, customers will find an airy dining room and bar with pressed tin facade.

“I was scared of vegan food when I started working here,” Paul says. “Now I’ve tried almost every dish and they’re constantly blowing my mind. I accuse the guys in the kitchen of sorcery almost every day.” Conjure away.

14568 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, 818-380-0005