Don't have a cow: Noble Rice is hosting its first vegetarian omakase

Flora, part one of the Tampa izakaya's two-part dinner series, goes down April 29.

click to enlarge Noble Rice plans to present innovative interpretations of classic Japanese dishes during Flora. - COURTESY OF NOBLE RICE
Courtesy of Noble Rice
Noble Rice plans to present innovative interpretations of classic Japanese dishes during Flora.

Tampa’s Noble Rice is about to make a bunch of veg-head diners very happy.

The nearly 2-year-old American izakaya in Hyde Park is known for its chef’s-choice omakase menu of seven- or 15-course tastings, but it hasn’t yet offered a vegetarian-friendly version. That changes on April 29, when Noble Rice’s first vegetarian omakase, titled Flora, goes down — kaiseki-style.

Flora is part one of the two-part Flora & Fauna dinner series from Noble Rice. The one-off experience — sort of a cross between a traditional, coursed-out kaiseki meal with Western haute cuisine influences and omakase, which is more catered to individual dining — plans to present seven courses of innovative interpretations of classic Japanese dishes.

Foregoing the use fish or meat products, the izakaya remains committed to providing diners with satisfying flavor profiles and top-notch ingredients from around the globe, and guests of Flora should expect no different. Both vegetarians and omnivores are invited to chow down on the special stuff that Noble Rice is flying in for the evening (though vegan and gluten-free folks will have to sit this one out).

Veggie nigiri and a cheese course of several house-fermented tofu varieties are among the featured fare, as well as plates from the binchotan, or Japanese konro grill.

Available for purchase online (scroll down till you see Flora), tickets cost $125 per person. An optional sake and wine pairing can be added on, too, at $65 per person. Reservations for a majority of the time slots — 6, 7, 7:15, 7:30 and 8 p.m. — were still open at the time of publication, but seating is limited.

The dinner series’s Fauna date is to be announced.