Restaurant Review: Wildseed’s fresh, vegan flavors

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A colorful and tasty array of fresh ingredients: the probiotic bowl consists of warm “forbidden” rice, chard, tamari marinated mushrooms, purple yam, black beans, kimchi, avocado, hemp seeds, green goddess dressing. According to assistant manager Nicolette Tomcik, the restaurant offers a variety of different flavors universal in quality and nutritional value. “We try to keep everything as fresh as possible,” Tomcik said. “Everything is generally very nutritious and has a lot of different ethnic backgrounds.” (Photo: Sophia Yang)

Saachi Nagar and Sophia Yang

From bowls filled with purple yam, kimchi, and avocado to spaghetti with tempeh bacon, Wildseed, a vegan restaurant with an emphasis on fresh, locally sourced ingredients, has replaced Town and Country’s iconic Mayfield Bakery.

The restaurant features indoor and outdoor seating with rustic white furniture, hanging monstera plants, and lively R&B music, creating a laid-back atmosphere. However, the restaurant is very busy during the dinner hour, with a steady stream of customers and waitstaff hurrying around with orders. 

According to Assistant Manager Nicolette Tomcik, Wildseed’s use of fresh, local ingredients from the Bay Area is what sets it apart from other vegan restaurants.

“We try to keep everything very local, which has to do with our area and the fact that we grow so much produce,” Tomcik said. “It makes it easy to shop locally and keep everything environmentally friendly.”

As of now, Wildseed is only open for dinner, but, according to Tomcik, the restaurant is planning to expand to lunch and brunch in the near future. In addition to broadening its menu for more meals, Wildseed often changes its planning to its menu to ensure seasonal freshness. 

“Our S.F. location actually comes out with a new menu every two to three months,” Tomcik said. “For us, we are probably going to wait about three months before adding our lunch service, which will have a few different items, as well as our brunch service, which will have a full spread and vegan brunch.”

Aside from the telltale solid-colored cloth aprons, the waitstaff wear no distinct uniforms, adding to the casual atmosphere of the restaurant. The service was excellent and enhanced the overall dining experience. Our waiter checked in with us multiple times throughout the meal to make sure everything was going smoothly. 

The clientele present for dinner were mostly older couples and families. The pricing of the dishes is on the expensive side, potentially attributing to the lack of younger diners. Despite this, Wildseed is trying to appeal more to the younger generation, according to Tomcik. 

“We’re brand new and we’re looking to really see new walks of life come in,” Tomcik said. “We’ve had a lot of older people and families come in, but we would love for you guys [high schoolers] to come in and experience the ambiance.”

We sat down for a dinner at Wildseed a few weeks ago, and this is what we found:

Probiotic Bowl – $17 – (8/10)

The Probiotic Bowl consists of warm “forbidden” rice, chard, marinated mushrooms, purple yams, black beans, kimchi, and avocado all drizzled with green goddess dressing. The serving size itself was average for the price, but the contents of the bowl were filling. The purple yam had a subtly sweet and woody flavor, complementing the strong, savory flavor of the mushrooms. The mushrooms had a unique and smoky taste, but the amount of salt was a little overpowering. The fresh and creamy avocado paired well with the rice, which was warm and rough with a mildly nutty flavor. The unconventional juxtaposition of textures and flavors present in the bowl made the dish enjoyable. 

Wild Mushroom Zeppole – $14 – (7/10)

The Wild Mushroom Zeppole was an appetizer of mushroom fritters served with garlic aioli sauce. The fritters had a touch of crispiness on the outside and were chewy on the inside, with a piece of mushroom at the center. The garlic sauce complemented the fritters well since the fritters were on the more bland side. One downside was that the dish was slightly greasy and left an unappealing aftertaste. Saachi tried one and disliked the texture, but it was a nice way to start off the meal.

Bucatini All’ Amatriciana – $18 – (8/10)

The Bucatini All’ Amatriciana is a pasta dish with tempeh “bacon” and marinara sauce. The imitation vegan components of the dish were the tempeh and the “parmesan cheese.” The tempeh had a wonderfully smoky and subtly sweet flavor you would expect from traditional bacon, and what was surprising was how the cashew parmesan cheese tasted exactly like the more typical kind. The crumbly texture of the tempeh and the softer pasta worked well together. Overall, the pasta was very filling and embodied the flavors of a typical satisfying pasta dish.

Vanilla-Coconut Panna Cotta – $10 – (8/10) 

Sitting on a bed of mint, pistachios, fresh strawberries, and blackberry jam, the Vanilla-Coconut Panna Cotta was the perfect way to end an amazing meal. The freshness of the mint and the strawberries and the crunchiness of the pistachios paired beautifully with the creaminess of the panna cotta. The blackberry jam added a burst of sweetness and tartness to the subtly sweet dessert, which lacked flavors itself. When eating the dish it is wonderful, however, there is something left to be desired when having a plain bite of the panna cotta. Overall, the coconut was undetectable compared to the more overpowering elements of the dish.