There are clear benefits to eating vegan, but one of the consistent criticisms that veganism sustains is that it doesn't do a good job of appealing to communities of color; Cena Vegan is a pop-up restaurant in Los Angeles' Highland Park neighborhood that answers those concerns. The shop is fully vegan, but its recipes are targeted toward the Latin community in the area, having been expressly crafted to offer the full palate of traditional Mexican cuisine without any of the animal products.
Though Cena Vegan is far from the first vegan restaurant to use Mexican flavors, few of the preceding restaurants have attempted to actually mimic Mexican dishes themselves, instead opting to convey the cuisine through referential flavors. Cena Vegan answers the common plaint lobbed by the Latin community that they simply can't give up the meat dishes from their heritage. It uses seitan to simulate classic meat dishes like pollo asado and barbacoa.