For the uninitiated, I have a little love thing going with Pura Vida…our all-vegan, all of the time restaurant here in Downtown Las Vegas. Chef Mayra has taken her great passion, creativity, and culinary magic and has created a little oasis of kindness, love, and food bursting with color and flavor. I have given Pura Vida a little love over this past year but it is nothing in comparison to the love and care that they have provided for me.
I visited Pura Vida a couple of times last month when I was on my month of eating raw vegan and and Chef Mayra fixed some very creative things for me that were greatly appreciated. Yet it was also during this time that she introduced a new menu item, the Pura Vida Sassy Tuna Free Melt that simply looked and smelled amazing. I told her in my best Arnoldesque voice that “I’ll be back.” So with the thunder booming and the rain pouring down the other day I sought refuge along with a restaurant full of others in a place that has now become a true home away from home for many of us.
The Sassy Tuna Free Melt combo starts off with a beautiful choice of a salad or smoothie and I opted for a beautiful fruit salad that tried its best to prepare me for what was coming. The Sassy Tuna Free Melt was a sight to behold. Perched on a bed of greens, veggies, herbs, fruit, and spirals of zucchini and sweet potatoes was a mouthwatering sandwich waiting to be enjoyed. The filling is garbanzo bean and sea vegetable based—amazing…with pickles, onions, melted Daiya cheese, and full of Chef Mayra’s quantum flavors between two thick slices of sourdough bread.
I remember sitting at a table just like the one I was at months ago and trying the Jace Sandwich for the first time and thinking that I am so blessed to be vegan because I could not have imagined something like this could be possible. The flavors, the texture, the love that was infused into every bite was thrilling. How Chef Mayra was able to infuse the flavors of the sea into this sandwich and have such a great feel to the entire sandwich was simply brilliant. All done with healthy, whole foods and not a single animal touched or harmed. If I wore a hat, I would take it off to you Chef Mayra and the Pura Vida staff. But instead I will just declare my love…once again.
Pura Vida Bakery & Bystro
1236 Western Ave.
Las Vegas, NV. 89102
Hours: Mon-Wed, Fri 7:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Sat-Sun 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.