June 24, 2024

House of Vegano, a restaurant specializing in plant-based, Japanese-inspired cuisine, has officially expanded to a new, larger location in the Florida city of St. Petersburg. But what makes this eatery unusual is its show-stopping take on animal-free sushi – from vegan caviar and “lobstah” to mushroom-based crab, tomato tuna and eggplant eel – House of Vegano’s fearless reinvention of vegan sushi has attracted a cult-like following from near and far, and is overturning conventional ideas on what sushi can be. 

“I wanted to make the transition to a plant-based diet, but without the sacrifice of taste, flavor and enjoyment”

House of Vegano was created by Thalia Tathum, a mother of five who decided to change her diet in an attempt to combat frequent pain from lupus, an autoimmune disease. Six months into a plant-based diet, she experienced significant improvement in her symptoms and began seeking ways to create satisfying vegan versions of her favorite food: sushi. 

“I wanted to make the transition to a plant-based diet, but without the sacrifice of taste, flavor and enjoyment,” says Tathum. “I wouldn’t be happy eating salad every meal the rest of my life. I wanted to create healthy food that wasn’t bland or boring.”

Talia Tathum Owner
Thalia Tatham ©House of Vegano

Creative menu

Tathum began experimenting with recipes and soon launched House of Vegano with a full menu of stunning sushi innovations. In addition to classic offerings like California and Philadelphia rolls, the restaurant offers an extensive selection of original creations such as:

  • The Volcano Roll – Avocado, carrots and cucumber topped with Spicy Lion’s Mane Mushroom and vegan caviar.
  • The Lewis Hamilton Lobstah Roll – Spicy Krab (King Oyster Mushroom) topped with scorched avocado, vegan caviar and lumps of Vegan Lobstah (Konjac Root & Yam Flour) poached in garlic butter.
  • Royale Roll – Butter Poached Vegan Scallops with cream cheese and avocado. 
  • Tom Kha Ramen topped with Vegan Vork Belly.
Baked Alaska Vegan Sushi
Baked Alaska sushi ©House of Vegano

Realistic flavor

Along with alt-seafood made with mushrooms, jackfruit and eggplant, House of Vegano also features fish-free caviar from Danish brand Caviart. According to Tathum, two of the most popular dishes are Volcano and Caterpillar Rolls, and customers often marvel at how realistic the fish and seafood alternatives taste. 

Globally, the plant-based seafood market is poised for massive growth, with a recent report predicting a CAGR of 28.5% through to 2029. Alt-seafood is rapidly expanding in both quality and diversity, with companies like Good Catch, Aqua Cultured Foods, Mind Blown Seafood, Boldly, and Current Foods offering everything from sushi-grade tuna and salmon to realistic shrimp, scallops and crab cakes. 

Plant-based sushi spread
©House of Vegano

With a new, spacious location and an enthusiastic fan base, House of Vegano is primed to reinvent the sushi scene in Central Florida and beyond. As a former EMT, Tathum takes note of the stark contrast between her previous and current profession. 

“In my old job I used to be with people at the worst times of their life,” shares Tatham. “Now, it’s such a blessing and an honor to help people transition to a healthy way of eating and be a part of the best time of their life.”

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