A mainstream vegetarian fast food restaurant with a low-carbon commitment? Could it be so? This humble blogger believes the answer just might be:  “Yes, yes, yes!”

On Wednesday night, I headed downtown to check out Otarian — a new boutique fast-casual restaurant chain in NYC. Now we all know veggie food is already way better for the environment than its meaty counterpart, but Otarian plans to take the eco initiative one step further.

Otarian will be the first global chain to carbon footprint all of its menu items according to the internationally recognized standards of PAS 2050. What’s more, Otarian is participating in the “road testing” of the World Resources Institute’s new product carbon foot printing standard, which is set to become the new gold standard.

According to owner Radhika Oswal,“Vegetarianism is the most sustainable way of eating and being. Vegetarian food has a lighter ecological footprint, reduced resource impacts, and lower carbon emissions than non-vegetarian equivalents. Our goal is to provide consumers with the quantifiable and measurable benefits of each delicious vegetarian alternative they choose at Otarian, and thus, empower them to make a positive impact on the environment one meal at a time.”

At the event we saw a slew of famous faces, including Vanessa Williams, Mark Indelicato, Judah Friedlander, and — wait for it — Mary Kate Olsen? What the deuce? With Olsen’s wicked’s fur-loving reputation, one might not expect to see the starlet at a vegetarian establishment — but hold off before you make a judgement!  During the cocktail hour, I overheard Mary Kate tell the owner of Otarian that besides fish (which she “eats for protein”), Olsen rocks a mainly vegetarian diet. Who knew?

Otarian officially opens its first two locations in NYC on April 19, and plans to quickly expand from there. Are you excited about low-carbon, vegetarian deliciousness? Then stop on by Otarian.com and find out more!

  • http://www.veganjapan.net herwin

    “milk” equals “meat” in any way, from animal cruelty to the producting of global warming gasses.
    “fish” are animals too, and no less animals than cows. And a Fur Hag at an opening party for a vegetarian restaurant ?
    yeah, its nice a veggie restaurantnothing wrong with it, but i save my happy feelings for realy vegan restaurant chains like the Loving Hut and V-Bites, if you don’t mind.

  • http://google C King

    Just maybe Ms Olsen will learn something from her ‘friends’ at the new v. restaurant. Many of us, including me ate meat and wore fur at one time. Thanks to newspapers, new friends, google and eco-razzi I’m now a staunch vegan and activist.

  • georgina0912

    Yes well…so she is “mainly vegetarian”…what the heck is that anyway? You either are or are not and you cannot be both. If she eats fish then she is not a vegetarian. As i see it that is how most veg* start. First i became a veggie because i love animals and could not stand my own hypocrisy any longer. There i was, telling people that i love animals, donating money to animal charities, but was still eating chicken. Then one day i opened my eyes and said meat no more. I was trying to do the right thing, did not buy leather products, did not buy anything tested on animals or with animal ingredients (thank you internet), my household cleaners are all natural stuff, shampoo, deodorant, you name it, but i was still eating cheese…

    Now after 5 months i do not miss cheese at all, and that was my last link to vegetarianism, however i have not declared myself a vegan i know i am one as i consciously buy everything from clothes to food to shoes in materials and ingredients that do have not harmed animals in any way, shape, or form.

    Maybe we should have a little faith in the twin…and maybe somebody should show her the movie Earthlings.

    About the restaurant? I only wish i was the one with the money to open my own vegan restaurant. That is all i have to say, but if i ever visited Otarian i would definitely order something that has no animal ingredients in it at all.