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Popular Plant-Based Restaurant Jewel in Virgil Village Has a Whole New Vibe

Plus, one of Argentina’s best bartenders comes to Venice this weekend, and Pasadena loosens its mask requirement

Buffalo chicken “yuba” sandwich with Korean spice dredge on a toasted focaccia bun at Jewel in Virgil Village.
Buffalo chicken “yuba” sandwich with Korean spice dredge on a toasted focaccia bun at Jewel in Virgil Village
Jewel [Official photo]
Matthew Kang is the Lead Editor of Eater LA. He has covered dining, restaurants, food culture, and nightlife in Los Angeles since 2008. He's the host of K-Town, a YouTube series covering Korean food in America, and has been featured in Netflix's Street Food show.

Virgil Village mainstay Jewel has overhauled most of its setup under the guidance of owner Sharky McGee. Opened back in 2018, Jewel sports a new chef with Kota Hidaka (Redbird) and sous chef Andy Barbato while former co-owner and chef Jasmine Shimoda has left the restaurant to pursue other projects. McGee, a longtime restaurant veteran (Pastis, Spice Market), has tried to embed Jewel further into the neighborhood and also greater LBGTQ+ community with an inclusive but decidedly relaxed vibe in Virgil Village. The Philippines-native says the restaurant has committed all proceeds from merch sales to be donated to the Los Angeles LGBT Center going forward.

Along with its enduring daytime service, Jewel will eventually develop a dinner menu with a more robust wine menu later this year. But until then, the plant-based restaurant highlights a new yuba buffalo “chicken” sandwich, cashew burrata salad, and Beyond burger with roasted bell pepper on its very wholesome menu from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (and starting at 9 a.m. on weekends).

In other news:

  • Pasadena says it will no longer require masks in public for those that are fully vaccinated, according to the Pasadena Star News. The city will still require masks for certain instances, such as public transit, classrooms, and healthcare facilities.
  • Otium is reopening after being long dormant throughout the pandemic. The prominent Downtown restaurant from Timothy Hollingsworth will begin serving Wednesday to Sunday for dinner only beginning June 16.
  • Chicago chef Stephanie Izard of Girl and the Goat says the Arts District restaurant will open within the month.
  • The Shop at City Bean opens in Mid-City to the public this week, offering beans and merch for the longtime LA coffee roaster:
  • Eater San Diego has updated its lists of where to eat in Tijuana, in case a trip south of the border is on the travel docket.
  • Famed Argentinian bartender Renato Giovannoni of Floreria Atlantico, which was just named the number seven bar in the world, is making four special drinks as part of a tour/pop-up at Gran Blanco in Venice. Drinks include peach-loquat sparkling wine cocktail while another sports blood orange, tangerines, and grapefruit with cachaca. Hours are a little funky, with cocktails only available June 12 and 13 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., but hey, it’s Venice, and day-drinking is the local pastime here.


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