Santa Monica’s Planet Raw goes kosher

Kosher foodies have a new option in downtown Santa Monica. Raw foods restaurant Planet Raw recently adopted kosher certification by Kosher Vegan Raw, which oversees the vegan and raw foods industry.

Planet Raw owner Juliano Brotman, a chef to stars such as Natalie Portman and Demi Moore, says he had been considering kosher certification for some time. He contacted Kosher Vegan Raw after the restaurant’s manager, Taylor Smith, said that “she was disappointed at how many kosher customers she had to turn away,” Brotman said.

The restaurant, with offerings that include Truffle Heirloom Bruschetta, Medicinal Salad and Cheezy Kelp Pasta, received its kosher certification on Oct. 6.

Rav Uziel Moses, kashrut administrator and co-founder of Kosher Vegan Raw, said certifying the restaurant was easy.

Planet Raw uses no dairy or meat, and because they do not cook their food or use fire, there is no issue with bishul akum, a rule that forbids eating certain foods cooked entirely by non-Jews.

The raw food movement has gained in popularity over the past decade, with its devotees adhering to a diet consisting of “living foods” — uncooked, unheated, unprocessed and often sprouted plant foods — according to Alyse Levine, a registered dietitian in Los Angeles.

Brotman moved Planet Raw to Santa Monica 10 years ago, relocating from San Francisco, where he first opened the restaurant with his sister in 1990.

Looking to the future, Brotman says plans for his newly kashered restaurant could even include a Passover seder.