A vegetarian for more than 20 years, chef Jerry Yu admits to a bit of meat-free blasphemy: “I do not crave salads,” he says.
At Vegetable, his new—and yes, vegetarian—restaurant in Studio City, Yu does offer several quite inventive salads. But his preference for more comforting veggie-based dishes guides the homey menu.
Yu crafts healthier twists on hearty favorites like mac ‘n’ cheese ($14)—his made with quinoa macaroni, heirloom tomatoes, cashew “cheese” sauce and walnut-garlic crumble—and pasta-free lasagna ($15), made from eggplant and baby spinach layered with fava bean “ricotta.” Warm soups like tomato-basil ($6) and a seasonal array of roasted vegetables (we swooned over the rainbow heritage carrots with maple syrup and cinnamon, $8) round out the selections.
Vegetable’s vegetables are sourced locally and organically. “If I can’t get it organic, I’ll figure out a way not to use it,” Yu says. The menu is 80 percent vegan, but when dairy is used, it’s organic cheese or grass-fed butter. Yu eschews fake meat products (such as those made from soy) and favors wholesome, gluten-free grains, which he uses sparingly.
The warm setting is a perfect backdrop for the warm foods. Rustic woods, exposed brick and chalkboard black walls create a chic, intimate dining experience. But Yu does have a way with cold salads, especially the herb salad with watermelon, shaved radish and kumquat vinaigrette ($11) and the red leaf kale salad with avocado marinade ($10) that’s hand-massaged to order.
It’s everything you need to make your table into a veg table.
3711 Cahuenga Blvd. W., Studio City