Shima - A Japanese Macrobiotic Adventure in Venice, CA
Japanese restaurants always tend to have healthy vegan food. The Japanese culture is one of the healthiest and longest lived people on the planet. However, as Japan began sampling the fried animal carcasses of western cuisine after WWII their health began to decline. As a response to the declining health many Japanese began to revisit Macrobiotic principals developed in the 1800s by Japanese military doctor Sagen Ishizuka. Macrobiotic restaurants are wonderful when you can find them, they are basically vegan + fish. The macrobiotic diet focuses on grains, vegetables (many sea veggies). We are blessed with many wonderful macrobiotic restaurants in Los Angeles. We recently revisted Shima on Abbott Kinney (a trendy street in Venice, CA). Shima is smartly designed in minimalist modern, plywood walls and herman miller chairs. The entry is practically hidden from the street, but when you pass through the rope curtains into the sanctuary you know you are some place special. The Japanese staff is extremely accommodating to vegans (especially healthy ones!) and the food, presentation and DESSERT MENU are all stellar. Healthy vegans have an assortment of vegetable sushi and an entire page of vegetable dishes including tofu steaks & scrambles. We opted for the items that are already made with out oil to avoid causing too much trouble at our new favorite spot, but plan to dive deeper into the menu with each visit. Unfortunately, the soups all contain bonito (fish flakes).
The real star of the meal were the steamed veggies and the accompanying oil-free sauces. You can see the vast selection of squash, okra, cabbage, turnip, asparagus, mushroom, round carrots, heirloom carrots & corn. Dipping these in the spicy miso, miso & rice vinegar and ponzu sauce was a complete culinary delight!
Finally, I know what all our regular readers are thinking! WHAT IS THAT?! First, I have to say notice the TWO spoons :) haha, but seriously this is home made Japanese rice ice cream with home made chocolate pudding (caco powder, agave & soy milk) and granola with paper thin almond shavings. If you look at the size of the raspberry compared to the rest of the dessert you'll realize its a small marvel of vegan dessert. This has to be the best least unhealthy vegan dessert on the planet, the miracle parfait!