Silver Lake "Jewel" at Taste of the Eastside

SILVER LAKE (KABC) -- If you're looking for plant-based food in Silver Lake, you've got to stop by this hidden gem.

Jasmine Shimoda and Sharky McGee opened "Jewel" last year after working for other restaurants in Downtown L.A. and Venice.

"We picked the name 'Jewel' because we think vegetables are the jewels of the Earth," said McGee.

When they were ready to open their first restaurant together, they knew they wanted it to be on the eastside.

"First of all, we love the Silver Lake neighborhood," said McGee. "We love the diversity in this neighborhood. There's a lot of old people, young people, young families, artists, writers. Just creative creatures that build this neighborhood. Plant-based cooking, I think, really fits into this neighborhood."

The couple noticed a lack of healthy choices in the neighborhood and wanted to offer a plant-based option.

Shimoda believes plant-based food is the future, "Whether you give up meat or dairy entirely or not is really not the issue. It's eating mindfully, thinking about the planet and I just want to show that you can do that without sacrificing flavor and enjoyment."

Right now, "Jewel" is only open for breakfast and lunch. But the constant flow of regulars keeps them busy.

"The regulars that live in the neighborhood, that come day after day, three to four times a week and they just feel so at home here. It's kind of like a 'Cheers' vibe that we're really proud of," said Shimoda.

What's next for this vegan duo? They'll join 23 other local restaurants at the Taste of the Eastside food festival on April 28.

"Jewel" will serve carrot lox toast, buffalo yuba ribs and kale salad.

"We feel very much a part of the east side community and we just want to reach out to more people in the neighborhood and show them what we're doing," said Shimoda
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