REST Call to Return just _source

In the Java API, I can make a query, obtain the hits and easily build a JSON formatted array with just the source.

But using a REST call I get back a ton of metadata and it's basically a mess that I don't know how to easily parse in Javascript to get an array of the results.

I did an Internet search and found several other people wanting to do the same thing but with no solution. On GitHub there is a plugin "arrayformat" (_search_arrayformat) which does this, but I need a solution that doesn't force me to have the Elastic server admins add a plugin.

Any thoughts, ideas or solutions?