Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Healthy Eating at Fresheast (West Hollywood)

Being a food blogger is tough. No, really. You eat big, delicious meals day after day, sometimes multiple times a day. It gets to you - or rather, it gets to your waistline. When you're feeling particularly weighed down, an invitation to a healthy meal is very welcomed.

I admit, the first time I heard about Fresheast and what they were doing, I wasn't too enticed. They serve healthy, organic, Asian dishes and use no salt, butter, or nuts in their dishes (they still use miso, soy, and other sauces, though, so I don't think it's entirely sodium-free).

With all that said, a lot of their dishes turned out to be quite boldly flavored. One of my favorites were the Goa Shrimp ($11.95)

Tiger Shrimp
I was expecting food that are rather bland here, but the goa shrimp jumps with spices and flavors. The lamb curry as well was in fact quite spicy, again, unexpected from a healthy casual restaurant in West Hollywood. With the bold and spicy flavor profiles of Southeast Asia, perhaps you don't need extra salt after all.

Another dish I liked was the Bulgogi (Harris Ranch Natural Beef bulgogi, fresh wok’d vegetables), $10.95
Well, they taste like a good, standard bulgogi but they're supposed to be healthier! The meat was pretty tender, too.
If the Avocado Rolls ($7.50) are on the Specials menu when you go there, get them to share with your table.
Avocado Egg Roll

Grilled Miso Chicken (Miso grilled Jidori Chicken, fresh wok’d vegetables, miso glaze), $9.95
Miso Chicken
In all honesty, in all the dishes above I did not miss any of the butter, nuts, added salt, etc. The right flavors were all there, the chicken and beef were tender, the shrimp fresh and crisp. If one thing can be improved, it's the rice. The brown rice in these dishes were just ok, they could have a better texture.

The Indian curries didn't fare as well for me. We tried both the Palak Paneer (Spinach, fenugreek leaves, paneer cheese or tofu, yogurt, red lentil dal) and Indian Vegetable Curry (Fresh seasonal vegetables, onion, tomato, red lentil dal) - both $8.95.
These were the only dishes that I actually thought were kind of bland in comparison with the original. The palak paneer is one of my favorite Indian dishes, but this one wasn't as creamy - or salty.

They also have juices, mango lassi, and whole coconut. I tried the Melonade (seasonal melon, lemon, palm sugar, raw sugar), $1.95
Sweet and refreshing, though I preferred the fresheast Juice (orange, lemon, apple, cucumber, spinach, kale, red beets, $3.95).

They have seasonal fruit sorbets for dessert, and while they still have it, be sure to get the Strawberry!
For only $3.95 they give you quite a large portion. The strawberry sorbet was just like eating a frozen, pureed strawberries, thick and sweet. We also tried the mango sorbet but that was more tart than sweet.

On another night, since my dinner companion had been told he has high blood pressure and need to eat less salt, I suggested we go to Fresheast.

This time I got the bulgogi again and a Vegan Red Lentil Soup ($3.95)
Lentil Soup
Unlike the Indian curries, this one was a hit! Thick and flavorful, I'll be getting this again.

My friend got the 5-Spice Glazed Salmon (organic salmon, brown rice, asparagus, 5 spice glaze), $13.95
Five Spice Salmon

The salmon was cooked well, moist, with a lightly sweet glaze.
Came with a side of salad:
Side Salad

For drinks, I tried the Mango Lassi this time made with fresh mango, yogurt, palm sugar ($2.95). It seems like they like to use palm sugar in their drinks. It works better with the mango lassi than the melonade.

The next time you need a healthy meal, considering trying out Fresheast. A lot of places try to do "healthy but tasty" recently, and Fresheast is one of the ones that succeed. For the most part, you won't miss the less healthy additives, the prices are fairly cheap and the portions generous, the ingredients are fresh, oh and did I mention they have free parking?

PS. They also have 1/2 price beer and wine from 4-7pm. LA-OC-Foodie really likes their red wine paired with the spicier dishes.

8951 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 859-9989
Fresh East on Urbanspoon
Disclosure: The first meal was hosted. For the second meal, we were regular, paying customers.



their sorbets ARE awesome. the indian dishes, not so much. i have to go back sometime - still a lot to try!

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