Guilt-free, organic, vegetable-based comfort food at Vegetable in L.A.

For the record, I will state that I am not a vegetarian and absolutely not a vegan. I love fish and meat and will never ever give up cheese or ice cream. But at the same time I love my vegetables. And with all of the eating out that I do, somethings a meal of just vegetables is what is desired. I can be boring and steam vegetables at home or I can go out and enjoy a guilt free meal of comfort food at Vegetable.

Located in Studio City, Vegetable is a small restaurant tucked along Cahuenga Blvd, just south of the busy intersection of Lankershim and right across the street from the entrance to the 101 freeway. Inside, the space is cozy and minimalist with exposed brick walls and dark wood table booths. And the menu is all about vegetables.

Owner Jerry Yu, himself a vegetarian, opened Vegetable to offer fresh farmer’s market produce, simply prepared. Serving season, local and all-organic produce, the menu changes daily, based on what is available at the farmer’s market. There are no soy products on the menu. There is nothing vegan trying to mask itself as a carnivore dish. It is about the vegetables.

The menu is divided up into snacks, soups, vegetables (aka sides) and plates. Dishes are marked as vegan, option vegan, gluten-free and/or optional gluten-free. While the menu is predominantly vegan, there are some dishes with eggs and real cheese.

SNACK

Breads & Spreads – pub-style cashew cheddar made with Arrogant Bastard Ale, dairy-free whipped maple butter, herbed coconut tzatziki yogurt, green & black olive tapenade served with a selection of grilled artisan bread. The dairy-free whipped butter would fool any butter-lover. It is delicate with the perfect amount of sweetness and melts into the cornbread.

Hearts of palm ceviche with coconut, cucumber, tomato, cilantro, jalapeno, avocado is served with sliced jicama and sriracha popcorn on the side. The dish is fresh and bright with just a hint of heat. I loved the balance of the creamy avocado with the crispy jicama. The sriracha popcorn is very spicy!

Cheesy fingerling potato with macho cashew cheese sauce, herbs and coconut sour cream. The cheese sauce on top of these beautifully roasted potatoes is more earthy than cheesy. I still prefer real cheese but enjoyed this sauce on one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes.

PLATE

Roasted cauliflower steak and grilled portobello served over cauliflower and sweet potato mash, herb butter, herb-roasted tomato, wild mushroom au jus, Session Black Lager maple reduction and crispy brussels sprout leaves. You might think that cauliflower and mushrooms will not fill you up but this is a hearty dish.

Baked eggplant lasagna made with pasta-free layers of roasted eggplant, spinach, cashew ricotta, wild arugula, alfredo sauce, garlic and purple sweet potato mash, heirloom cherry tomato, pickled sweet onion and balsamic reduction. It may be all vegetables but this dish is filling. The eggplant is thinly layered but there is a lot of it.

DESSERT

Sweet potato pie topped with coconut whipped cream and served in a mason jar.

Vegetable is open daily for lunch and dinner. Next time you are craving vegetables or if you are just sitting in traffic on Cahuenga, trying to get on the freeway, pull over and enjoy a casual, guilt-free, filling meal at Vegetable.

3711 Cahuenga Blvd
Studio City, California 91604
818-754-1149
www.vegetablela.com

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