An embarrassment of riches, for sure. How were we ever to choose? On our Facebook page, Ingrid suggested a restaurant not even a month old.
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Vegetable is an organic plant based restaurant serving raw, gluten free and vegan dishes; what Chef Jerry Yu calls guilt free and comfortable food. But you don't have to be a vegetarian to enjoy his food. Take the Kale Salad; hand massaged to order. He starts with a tall pile of red leaf kale, he puts a couple scoops of the housemade avocado, apple cider vinegar dressing on top. He squishes and squeezes. The big pile slowly gets smaller as the leaves' cell walls break down and tenderize. The final dish has shavings of heritage carrots in purple and yellow and a small tangle of pickled shallots. Kale lovers will happily chomp this salad down. The avocado adds more creaminess than flavor, the kale remains the star with the pickled shallots adding a little sharpness to break up the kale's slight bitterness.
Vegans and non vegans alike will applaud the Mac and Cheese. It's orange like a familiar boxed macaroni and cheese, but this one has nothing in it that will make you regret eating the dish. Chef Jerry uses another cashew based sauce, poured over Andean Dream quinoa macaroni. The orange color comes from red pepper. He par cooks the macaroni and then heats the pasta and sauce until the sauce thickens, but before the quinoa pasta turns gummy. Look, this dish isn't going to make you forget a full fat, five cheese macaroni and cheese, but you'll be able to eat Chef Jerry's dish far more often without any major repercussions. More than one diner told me it was the best dish on the menu.
If you want something unique, try the raw squash "pasta" with a garlic (!) alfredo sauce. The squash is mandolin cut into ribbons, there is spinach, red pepper, marinated crimini mushrooms, red onion and what Chef calls "walnut dust."
This is a combo of pulverized walnut with nutritional yeast; nutritional yeast is what vegans use to mimic the flavor of parmesan. The dish is raw, gluten free and and vegan; I can well imagine this unique dish would be appealing, indeed, for someone craving pasta. I would order, just because the cool, creaminess of the dish, complimented by the fresh vegetables.
For those not gluten challenged, be sure to try pastry Chef Angela's focaccia. Fresh baked daily, this is a classic focaccia, topped with mushroom and sweet onion ragu and a garlic cashew mushroom sauce. Think biscuits and gravy, but instead of that gloppy milk gravy, something as good as any meat based gravy. Umai! This dish will appeal to those not into eating vegetables per se. There's also a classic grilled cheese sandwich, made three ways. Regular bread with two types of cheese and a gluten free bread with a vegan ricotta and onion marmalade. The sandwiches are served with a cup of Tomato Basil soup, thicker than a typical tomato soup. It was almost like drinking a really well made tomato sauce, but fresher.
Another one of Chef Angela's offerings is the Banana Bread Pudding. Gluten free and vegan, on the day, served with a chocolate sauce and pear ice cream made with almond milk. The pear ice cream is bright and full of ripe pears. The dairy free chocolate sauce probably has dates to give it body. The banana bread pudding doesn't have that soft, pudding texture, but the chunks of well made gluten free bread, get a nice crispiness on the edges and yet remains tender.
3711 Cahuenga Blvd W
Studio City, CA 91604
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