New Asian Comfort Fusion Pop-Up, My Vegan Panda, Makes Waves in SoCal’s Food Scene
Every now and then, a place comes by that really steals our attention. When food is a normal part of our every day, from restaurant tastings to writing articles dedicated to the latest vegan offerings, it’s not often that something pops up, stops us dead in our tracks, and drops our jaws in amazement. That, our friends, is exactly what happened when we first experienced My Vegan Panda.
Started by the same enthusiastic group of humans behind Munchies Diner, led by head chef Skyler Tanksley, My Vegan Panda takes the soul of American comfort food and combines it with the vibrant flavors of different Asian cuisines. The result is an array of dishes that reel you in with their familiarity and shock you with their unexpected pizzazz. This concept, which is unlike any other the streets of SoCal have seen, was spearheaded by chef Tanksley, who drew inspiration for the menu from his Black and Asian backgrounds. Both cultures are represented in his food, with his African heritage providing depth and his Asian background bringing vitality. This balance creates dishes that hit every possible craving with each bite.
Oftentimes, fusion concepts fail to hit the target, whether it be from weighing too much in favor of one cuisine, unintentionally blurring culture lines, or simply degrading a culture altogether by treating their flavors, techniques, and traditions with no regard. For that reason, it’s understandable to be skeptical about a new fusion pop-up. However, My Vegan Panda maintains its integrity throughout all the invisible boundaries, earning its place among the few fusion concepts to nail their mission right on the head. They may be a newcomer on the scene, but their caliber is that of Roy Choi’s Korean-Taqueria food truck, Kogi, who sparked the food truck movement back in 2008. We’re not entirely sure what impact My Vegan Panda will have on the food scene in coming years, but if it means more prestigious pop-ups from chefs of mixed backgrounds, we couldn’t be more excited.
Ryan is a cook, writer, and musician born and raised in Tampa, FL. With years of recipe testing for his Asian-American food blog, No Eggs or Ham, behind him, he strives to sharpen the image of vegan food by highlighting chefs who push the boundaries of plant-based cuisine. Unlike the advice your mom lent you, he encourages you to play with your food every chance you get!
More from VegOut
Vegan Mexican Restaurant and Wine Bar Opens in NYC’s Chelsea Market
This month, New York’s historic market welcomes Pia, a restaurant featuring plant-based Mexican fare with natural wine pairings.
14 Vegan Haircare Brands We’re Obsessed With
Revamp your hair routine with these cruelty-free products.
Vegan Jewish Delis and Bakeries Across the US
From Los Angeles to New York, these vegan Jewish businesses make nostalgic plant-based sandwiches, sides, and pastries.
Vegan Night Market Comes to San Diego
Burgers, nacho boats, and hard kombucha hope to attract steady crowds at this environmentally friendly vegan night market.
Ben & Esther’s Vegan Deli to Open Oceanside Location This Summer
A vegan New York-style deli is bringing cold cuts to South Oceanside.
These Vegan Cookies Are Better Than Grandma’s
Snag a few bags of Tate’s Bake Shop’s new vegan cookies!
AAPI-Owned Vegan Restaurants, Food Trucks, and Pop-Ups in LA
From donuts and ice cream to burgers, dim sum, and sushi, there are so many great items to try from these businesses!
The Best Vegan Food Trucks in America
These food trucks are rolling into town with some of the best vegan eats!
Sustainable Period Underwear Brand Proof Expands to Walmart
The sustainable leak-proof period underwear will be available at more than 4,000 Walmart stores nationwide beginning May 14.
Tabitha Brown’s McCormick Seasoning Launches at Stores Nationwide
Customers will be able to find the popular seasoning in retailers nationwide this June.
AAPI-Owned Vegan Food Brands to Support Now and Always
From meat alternatives and pasta to ice cream and cookies, there are so many great products to try from these AAPI-owned brands.
Cruel World Music Festival Food Lineup Is Entirely Vegetarian and Vegan
The days of no vegan options at music festivals are a thing of the past!
Subscribe NowOrder the magazine!