A new Netflix docuseries details the bizarre breakdown of the popular vegan restaurant, Pure Food and Wine

It may be hard to remember now, in a time where plant-based foods are so ubiquitous that there are vegan options at fast-food restaurants, but back in 2004 when Pure Food and Wine opened its doors in New York’s Gramercy Park, the raw vegan restaurant was unlike anything around. Celebrities flocked to the glamorous eatery; the restaurant’s offerings were the “sexiest” health food had ever been, wrote Vogue. It didn’t last, and now we get to learn all of the strange details about the restaurant’s breakdown. Director Chris Smith, who brought the world streaming hits like Tiger King and Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, has now graced us with Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives, a new Netflix docuseries about the downfall of Sarma Melngailis’ vegan restaurant. For those unfamiliar with the tale of Melngailis (here’s a hint: she’s been called the “vegan Bernie Madoff”), Grub Street compiled a fascinating primer leading up to the series’ release this week. —Tina Vasquez