When you want something healthy but still tastes good while shopping at the Westfield Century City, head over to the newly opened Seasons 52. Everything on the menu is under 500 calories and they use no butter and no fryer. They also have one hundred wines on their list, 62 of them available by the glass.
I was recently invited to a preview tasting in one of their private dining rooms.
So the verbena used in the mojito, along with a bunch of other herbs used in different dishes come from plants grown on site. There are some herbs on the side of the patios and there is a small "Chef's Garden" room near the entrance, and you can peer in through the glass door as the chefs harvest the herbs throughout the day.
There's a large patio area and it was surprisingly quiet for being next to Santa Monica Blvd.
Next is a course I've had at the Costa Mesa Seasons 52:
Organic salmon on cedar plank, lemongrass skewered sea scallop, farmers market vegetables
To evoke the right mouth feel, instead of using butter they use vegetable stock thickened with arrowroot as the glaze. On the side is a bowl of salsa made with seven kinds of soft herbs (dill, tarragon, etc), caper, and yuzu.
These were paired with Mer Soleil Chardonnay, Central Coast 2010. The chardonnay is oaked, which I normally don't like as much but I quite enjoyed this one. It had a butterscotch aroma but didn't have an overly buttery mouth feel. A good wine especially to go with the aroma of all the herbs in the dish.
Organic field greens, grilled portobello mushrooms, toasted pistachios, aromatic truffle dressing (truffle nonfat sour cream). They bring the salad out in a plastic tube.
Our final savory course is a duo of Mesquite grilled Piedmontese striploin and Manchester Farms quail, mashed sweet potatoes and bourbon chili glaze
These were paired with two hard to get wines: Alto Moncayo Garnacha, Campo de Borja 2009 and
De Toren Z, Stellenbosch 2009. These are interesting juxtapositions as the Spanish Garnacha is an old world wine made in the new world style, while the South African De Toren Z is a new world wine made in an old world (Bordeaux) style. Both were great wines but I particularly loved the fruity, palate-coating Garnacha, made with grapes from 80-120 year old vines.
Their dessert is the staple tower of mini indulgences. The peanut butter chocolate is a standard favorite but I also liked the seasonal pumpkin with ginger snap and egg nog with ginger snap.
To go with dessert, a glass of Selbach-Oster Bernkasteler Badstube Riseling Auslese, Mosel 2010
Seasons 52 is a great new option in Century City with a diverse wine list and you won't miss the fried food and butter here (just don't eat too many of the desserts like I did!) At certain times, they also have live piano in the bar area, and because they've just opened, in the first few months they'll be flexible with the minimum requirements for their private rooms (office holiday parties!)
10250 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90067