Why name a vegan restaurant after such a delicious cephalopod and its tasty fluids?
The name is kind of an inside joke—we consider our restaurant to be a safe haven for squid. Actually, though, we just added an awesome secret-recipe "vegan calamari" dish to the menu.
What made you decide that Georgetown needed its own vegan restaurant?
It was a combination of things: It's an up-and-coming neighborhood with a really cool artistic community that we wanted to be a part of, and the rent was the right price.
My partner, Jarrod Ducat, and me. He's been a vegan for 15 years, and I've been a vegan for six years. We both feel really strongly about veganism; this place has been a dream of ours for years.
How would you go about convincing vegan skeptics to dine here?
We get plenty of skeptics in here, mostly the meat-eating significant others of vegans. Our philosophy is that we don't need to convince anybody; the food speaks for itself. People can make all the vegan jokes they want, but if you come try the food, you'll find that it tastes good, it fills you up, and it makes you feel good. All it takes is an open mind and your palate will decide the rest.
What dish are you most proud of?
I think all of our fish dishes are really impressive, like our maple teriyaki fish [a maple-teriyaki-glazed soy seaweed "fish" fillet served with risotto and green beans] and the sea monster linguini.
Is having a nose ring a prerequisite for working here?
Basically. Our crew took a field trip to Portland, and while we were there, someone stopped us and asked us if she could join our "gang" because of all our nose rings. I guess being unique ain't what it used to be.