The cafe space tucked inside Ava’s Market on Castro Street in Mountain View started serving food under a new banner last week.
The HeyO eatery describes itself as “plant-based,” shorthand for dishes that prioritize nutrient-dense whole grains and vegetables and draw from an entirely vegan range of cheese, sauces and decadent accoutrements.
Zach Anderson, one of HeyO’s co-owners, described their menu as comfort food with a fusion/New American spin.
“The whole mission is basically that I want to create a space that is inviting, a sustainable culinary experience for the community. If I was just cooking for my friends, it would be like, ‘Heyo, time to eat,’” he said.
Roasted vegetables lead off the shareable plates, followed by pretzels with vegan beer cheese and loaded fries – in fact, an entire genre of “loaded” items fills the menu, many of them inspired by the lobster roll, using falafel-like balls or roasted sweet potatoes as a base on which to pile greens, shredded and pickled veggies, sauces and seasoning.
Other new-to-the-neighborhood offerings include zucchini noodle pad thai, a snap pea and tempeh Caesar salad, and vegan sandwiches modeled on the burger, the Reuben and pulled pork (in this case, jackfruit) barbecue.
The chickpea-flour skillet pastas are gluten-free and smothered with toppings like cheesy sauce, shiitake-bacon and crispy seasoned lentils. Weekend brunch brings back gluten with a vengeance, offering cinnamon rolls, biscuits and gravy, and cornmeal pancakes in addition to chilaquiles and sweet potato hash.
The menu includes beer, wine, cider and kombucha, and Anderson said desserts ranging from pecan pie to chocolate chip cookies are on the way.
Anderson and his partner Courtney McCoy, both Palo Alto residents, developed Igzu bamboo leaf tea and while selling it at Ava’s got to know the space and neighborhood.
They only took down the construction tape and started making food over the weekend, so this week will see a series of previews and soft-opening events before HeyO officially opens for business. Anderson said curious eaters can find updates on Instagram @HeyOeats.
To see a full menu and for hiring information, visit heyoeats.com.