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Seventeen years ago, Dalan Moreno woke up, but not from a traditional sleep. He experienced an awakening.
He decided he was no longer going to eat animals because he watched a video on how animals are farmed and killed before mass consumption.
So, he became a vegan. Now, at 32, he’s determined to offer other vegans quality food options, right here in Santa Barbara.
Moreno is opening his latest version of Rascal’s, an all-vegan restaurant, in February. After years of making food at pop-ups and a couple of years at Venus in Furs, Moreno has found his own physical space at 432 E. Haley St., the former site of Uncorked.
“I am very excited to move forward and have a space of our own,” Moreno told Noozhawk on Thursday. “We’re just really excited to expand and try different things.”
He will offer lunch and dinner, and he has applied for a beer and wine license.
Moreno launched a GoFundMe page recently where he talks about his journey from carnivore to now.
Moreno is a striking entrepreneur, boasting a large “VEGAN” tattoo in capital letters on his neck. He is self-taught, but he learned a lot from other kitchens he’s worked in, and he soaks up knowledge whenever and wherever he can.
He worked for free at Satellite on State Street for a time just to learn. He also took trips to Mexico to master his cooking craft. The flavor in his food comes from the bases and the sauces, he said, which make all of his vegan dishes flavorful.
Moreno and his crew were busy Thursday renovating the building. They have primed the walls, will paint soon, and will make other changes to the kitchen and interior. Moreno said it took a large investment and security deposit to get the lease, so he’s hoping people will help him with expenses.
“We are moving forward with the aesthetics of the interior and kitchen equipment; all those things add up really quick,” Moreno said. “I am only one person.
“There are many reasons why being a vegan is so important to me. The main reason I started out is because I didn’t want to consume animals, and the industrial animal agricultural really saddened me in the way our food is raised.”
It’s about more than just not eating meat, he said.
“There are other reasons to continue being a vegan, including health and the environment,” Moreno said.
It appears that the once-popular Plaza Deli in La Cumbre Plaza in Santa Barbara is no longer open.
Furniture and food are still there, but the restaurant has been closed for several days.
The restaurant’s Instagram page said it was looking for a buyer in April.
The deli was a popular place for sandwiches and hotdogs.
Price, Postel & Parma LLP has announced that Cameron Goodman has become a partner of the firm.
Goodman’s expertise includes business, real estate, land use and environmental matters, representing individuals, families, businesses, nonprofit organizations and public agencies.
He counsels his clients in forming and operating legal entities, negotiating and structuring real estate transactions, and navigating complex land use entitlement and environmental compliance matters, according to a news release.
Santa Barbara Taxes Up
Santa Barbara cashed in on $2.2 million in transient occupancy taxes for November, which was about 12.1% higher than expected, largely because of higher average daily rates and strong seasonal demand for rooms, according to a news release.
Sales tax is also booming.
The City of Santa Barbara received $7.5 million in sales tax revenue during the quarter ended Sept. 30, which is 3.9% above the same quarter last year, according to a news release.