Showing posts with label salad. Show all posts
Showing posts with label salad. Show all posts

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Erven Gives Los Angeles Its Best New Vegan Restaurant

I've always enjoyed Chef Nick Erven's cooking from his previous restaurant, the now-shuttered Saint Martha. I wasn't expecting him to open a vegan restaurant in Santa Monica, but I looked forward to it just the same, especially after hearing all the glowing reviews!

Erven is divided into two parts: the Marketplace side which serves sandwiches, cookies, juices, and such. Then there's the dining room which is open for a casual lunch, but the highlight is of course, the dinner service (although the vegan sandwiches are also great).

We started with a bowl complimentary fried chickpeas - the amuse bouche seems to rotate based on the other reviews.
The savory portion of the dinner menu is divided into "Snackables", "Shareables", and "Principles".
We tried a couple of the snacks including the Black garlic chickpea fritters with yuzu and Aleppo pepper ($5)
The chickpea fritter is a good way to start and gives you an idea of Chef Erven's cooking.

Purple sweet potato rice roll with avocado and Korean chili ($5)
Vegan kimbap, anyone?

From the Shareables section: Tiny Beets with avocado mousse, curry-almond streusel, and cilantro ($12)
The beets weren't really "tiny" but regardless this was a wonderful and interesting take on beets, with the crispiness of the streusel, combined with avocado mousse.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Picnic LA: Fast Casual with a Fine Dining Flair (Culver City, CA)

Culver City residents and workers have a great new lunch spot. Picnic LA is a fast casual, produce-driven spot that's perfect for a quick lunch, takeaway orders, and now even deliveries. Opened by trio Brad Zions, Noah Ellis (who formerly worked in the Red Medicine kitchen), and Eliot Silver, Picnic LA is slinging healthy, vegetable-heavy menu that features produce and proteins from local farms and ranches.

Walking in, you'll see today's selections of entrees, salads, and more displayed on the counter


Each item can be purchased individually, or you can get a combo. A combination of any entree with any 2 salads will be $14.50, $17.50 for entree and 3 salads, or get 3 salads with no entree for $12.
Picnic LA
The bread they use come from Lodge Bread Co, a new darling in the LA bread world, which is also made in the Culver City area.

Picnic LA

As I mentioned, the items here are produce-driven so there are a lot of vegetable items featuring local farm products like in this Citrus and fennel salad

Friday, February 12, 2016

Healthy Dining at Freshii (Boston, MA)

When you eat out as much as I do, and eat as much unhealthy stuff as I do, a dinner filled with salads and healthy options is a welcomed change. A couple weeks ago that change came in the form of a blogger dinner at Freshii in Back Bay.
Freshii is a fast food franchise out of Canada that focuses on fresh, healthy items like salads, wraps, juices and such. They have multiple locations in Boston including one on Dartmouth St in Back Bay.

We tasted samples of quite a few things during dinner including the popular Metaboost Salad (field greens, spinach, kale, mangos, carrots, edamame, almonds, goat cheese, balsamic vinaigrette)

Monday, October 12, 2015

New Lunch Deal at Del Frisco's Grille

Del Frisco's Grille recently launched a lunch deal dubbed "Grab a Pair". For $12 you get your choice of : any personal size flat bread, half of a chicken avocado wrap, 2 fish tacos, or half of a banh mi. This will be served with your choice of mixed green salad, caesar salad, or cup of soup.

If you want a flat bread with a kick to it, try the Spicy pork meatball with banana peppers, fresh mozzarella and housemade ricotta.

Del Frisco's Grille
The pork banh mi also comes with chips.
Del Frisco's Grille
I think the $12 lunch combo is a good deal given the ambiance and service at Del Frisco's Grille, and the many options make it a good spot for a group work lunch. Even if you don't want to do the $12 deal, there are many choices here from appetizers to salads and entrees.

For the banh mi they use the same BBQ pork that they use in the Asian street tacos (BBQ pork with Korean marinade, pickled daikon and carrot, cucumber, cilantro, chiles, $10.50)
Del Frisco's Grille
Lollipop chicken wings Buffalo style, avocado ranch dressing ($12)
Del Frisco's Grille

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Area Four (Cambridge, MA)

I may have complained a bit about the lack of lunch options at MIT, but actually, if I just go out of campus for a bit, there are some great places - take Area Four, for example, known for their pizza.

The menu at Area Four is short and simple - some appetizers and salads, and then pizza. Area Four's pizza has won many accolades and boasts an older-than-12-year starter, over 30 hours of fermentation, and wood-fired oven. They make a great version of the New England staple, clam and bacon pizza with pecorino, chili pepper, and parsley ($17.50 for a small)

Area Four
I had a very satisfying Little gem salad with tomatoes, blue cheese dressing, and crispy pork belly
Area Four
The crispy pork belly made this salad that much better - it's still healthy right?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop Transforms with Hollywood Location

Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop is transforming their look with the new Hollywood location. I still remember the Century City and Beverly Hills locations, a small, fast-casual lunch spot with salads and fresh juice bar. Small, bright, casual. But now, in Hollywood, the restaurant has an outdoor seating area where they also grow some herbs, a gorgeous full bar, a rustic, dimly lit dining room.

Still serving the same organic, healthy food as the other locations, but they've also expanded the menu with more entree-like options and cocktails.

The entrees are "build-your-own" where you can choose a protein and 2 sides. Salmon filet is $16.95 and I chose pomegranate quinoa and baked sweet potato fries as my sides.
The salmon was nicely cooked and the quinoa with almonds and pomegranate was almost like a dessert or a nice breakfast dish. They're healthy and delicious like other Greenleaf offerings I've had before, but definitely heartier than the usual salads.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Fast Casual Lebanese at Urban Garden (Los Angeles, CA)

George Abou-Daoud may be famous for his previous enterprises along the lines of gastropub The Bowery or Delancey, but he's started to bring his Middle Eastern heritage into the LA dining scene.

His latest venture is Urban Garden, a fast casual Lebanese spot in Mid-city that boasts free range chicken shawarma, organic chickpeas in the falafel, and more.

As you'd expect from a Lebanse spot, they have hummus, falafel, shawarma, etc.
They have three types of hummus: Traditional hummus, spicy hummus (with spicy pickled peppers), garlic hummus (with thyme roasted garlic). On top of that you can also get a lebneh made with Mediterranean yogurt, topped with French feta cheease and za'atar. There's also babaganoush with sumac.

Urban Garden
Pictured on the wall is Abou-Daoud's mother, who inspired most of the recipes (the baklava with rosewater syrup served here is his mother's recipe). These are the food that Abou-Daoud grew up with, but he's added his own touches.
Urban Garden

Monday, February 24, 2014

La Brea Bakery Celebrates 25 Years, Reopens Full Service Cafe

Yes, it has been 25 years since Nancy Silverton first opened La Brea Bakery. Amazing! They recently reopened their flagship cafe in a large, beautiful space on La Brea (of course), coinciding with their 25 year anniversary.

Of course, there will be plenty of bread and pastries to satisfy you, being La Brea Bakery, and all, but the cafe serves more than that.
Don't miss the pastries, though, from the French toast rosette (which I highly recommend), almond croissant, to flower shaped macarons.

The cafe is poised to be a great place to grab lunch. serving salads, sandwiches, and pizzas.
I couldn't get enough of the Ham and Cheese Panini with rosemary ham, gruyere, balsamic onions, dijon aioli, sage, country white sourdough ($10.50)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Bulgogi Banh Mi and Juices at Fruit Farm in Little Tokyo

An unassuming cafe called Fruit Farm had popped up inside of Little Tokyo's Galleria mall, serving fresh juices, smoothies, sandwiches, and salads. What to know is that one of the owners is Korean so you can get fun sandwich mash ups like this bulgogi banh mi ($6.75 gets you the two pieces shown below and you can get half filled with something else!)

What I actually like even better was the spicy pork banh mi that I got in my other half of the sandwich.
The bulgogi tends on the sweeter side and I think the light spiciness of the pork works better with the banh mi accompaniments, but both were good and interesting.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Casual and Healthy Lunch at Twist Eatery

Twist Eatery recently opened in La Brea, serving breakfast, lunch and baked goods along with coffee.

The lunch menu is mostly healthy (although they do have a burger if you're so inclined).
I got the Salmon Bowl, with lentil, quinoa salad tossed in a pomegranate, vinaigrette served with moroccan spiced salmon and a citrus salsa ($14)

The salmon was nicely cooked, still moist, and the sauce and dressing were flavorful yet still light. I really liked this for a healthy yet still filling lunch.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Soleto: Solid Italian and Housemade Limoncello in Downtown LA

The South Park district in downtown Los Angeles is getting more and more exciting with two new restaurant openings. One of them is Soleto, an upscale Italian restaurant from the IDG Restaurant Group which took over the old Zucca space. Soleto is run by Executive Chef Sascha Lyon who is also in charge of the kitchen at Delphine.

I say it's upscale, but Soleto has a pretty great happy hour (M-F, 3-7pm), especially where the food is concerned. There were quite a few items that were all really cheap and good! The portion sizes are quite good as well. Here are some of the happy hour items we tried:

Shrimp Oreganato ($5)

This whole pot of shrimp for $5? You can come here for an early dinner during happy hour and have a feast!

This Sauteed Calamari with Anaheim chili and tomatoes is also only $5!
Much more interesting and better than the typical fried calamari.

I also recommend the Charred Cauliflower, Grana Padano, parsley ($3)
Grana Padano is a hard Italian cheese, similar in texture to parmesan cheese but milder. You'll see this cheese in many of Soleto's dishes. 

For drinks, there are sangria and "cello spritzer" (one of their housemade limoncellos/orange-cellos with soda) for $3.
OK, so that's happy hour. Now, on to dinner.

You won't really find duplicates from the happy hour menu here. The popular appetizers include Grilled Oyster Mushrooms, grana padano, white truffle lemon vinaigrette ($12)
These earthy mushrooms were made even better with the sprinkling of grana padano cheese. I can definitely eat these all day.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

DineLA 2011: Lunch at Napa Valley Grille

The first summer DineLA Restaurant Week started earlier this week, so I thought I'd do a quick post on one of my Dine LA visits from last year. I had lunch at Napa Valley Grille last Fall, and the $22 per person for three courses was a great deal! (The format this year unfortunately does not have dessert for lunch. It is $20 for two courses. Not sure why, I want my desserts!)

I used to go to Napa Valley Grille a lot when I worked in Westwood, but since then I haven't gone as much. The lunch was a pleasant reminder of Napa Valley Grille's good food and generous portions!

Chopped Kale Salad, toasted almonds, golden raisin, lemon parmesan vinaigrette

Very fresh and light! I don't like salads with too much dressing, but this one had a nice light dressing and a lot of the flavors came from the almonds and raisins.

Tahitian Squash Soup, pomegranate syrup, pistachio pesto
The entrees:
Marinated Ahi Tuna Salad, heirloom cherry tomatoes, dry cured olives, anchovy vinaigrette, country croutons
This lighter option still had plenty of tuna to fill you up for the rest of the day.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Flagship Mendocino Farms in West Hollywood Opens May 31

Mendocino Farms, the beloved sandwich shop, is getting ready to open their flagship location on 3rd and Fairfax, just across the street from The Original Farmer's Market.

This fifth location is their swankiest (being the flagship and all) with a kid's corner, communal table, outdoor seating, and a lit-up "EAT HAPPY" sign above the kitchen.
They're also trying to have beers that are more interesting than the ones at the Marina del Rey location and will be selling those that have been selling well at Blue Cow Kitchen.

We tried small portions of various sandwiches during the press preview, from the classic to the seasonal sandwiches. All the sandwiches are served on breads specially developed for them by Dolce Forno (Celestino Drago's bakery).

Here are some highlights of what we tried
Spanish chicken: shaved, roasted chicken breast, housemade Manchego pimento cheese, romesco, paprika vinegar, house marinated red peppers, roasted tomatoes, Scarborough Farm's arugula on ciabatta
Summer Cubano: slow braised carnitas, prime honey ham, Mendocino mustard, housemade dill pickles, Cuban mojo sauce, drispy plantains on Dolce Forno's soft roll
They have finally "perfected" their cubano sandwich using the new mojo sauce developed at Blue Cow Kitchen, and topping it with fried plantains

Try also the "Not so fried"chicken sandwich: roasted chicken breast in Mendo's krispies with herb aioli, mustard pickled slaw, tomatoes, pickled red onions on toasted ciabatta with chipotle BBQ Sauce.

Some new salads are also coming out for the summer, full of healthy grains like this Fregola Salad.
Starting May 31, you don't have to drive to Marina del Rey or downtown for their popular pork belly banh mi anymore.

Mendocino Farms
175 S Fairfax Ave
 Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 934-4261
Mendocino Farms on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fundamental LA Hits Westwood: 4-Visit Recap

When I was a UCLA student, my food options seemed to have ranged from Sak's Teriyaki to Gushi to In-N-Out. Oh, how lucky the current students are. Fundamental LA opened just South of Wilshire not too long ago, serving quality sandwiches and good beer at inexpensive prices.

Let's start with my current favorite:
chicken torta, heirloom tomato, lettuce, cotija, crema, pickled jalapenos, guacamole, bolillo bread ($9)

While I don't normally order chicken, they convinced me when they said there's only chicken thigh meat in this sandwich (dark meat FTW). I liked everything about this sandwich, from the moist and flavorful chicken, the fact that it's not overly heavy and filled with guacamole or sour cream, to the crunchy bread, and the sweet tomatoes and pickled jalapeno that refresh your palate.

The menu changes constantly, even if the main meat stays the same. On my first visit we had and loved the short rib sandwich with curried eggplant on sourdough. On my last visit this was served with kimchi.
Short Rib Sando
Regardless, the short rib is always excellent.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Salads and Wines at Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop

After multi-course tastings all week, a dinner composed of salads is most definitely a nice change. That's why I happily accepted an invitation for dinner at Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop in Century City. This location usually closes at 4pm and only open on the weekdays, so on a normal day, I would not be able to try it.

Antioxidant Orchard Salad
Antioxidant Orchard Salad
The ones responsible for Greenleaf are owner Jonathan Rollo and Corporate Chef Kristi Ritchey, who met when they were both working for the Patina Group. Chef Kristi's reason for joining Greenleaf is an interesting history. After being hospitalized during her tenure at Patina group, Kristi made a drastic change in eating habits and participated in bootcamps. She lost over 100 lbs but she started having difficulty maintaining her new lifestyle while making risotto fries and cheesecakes at work.
Even though the Beverly Hills location has had alcohol license for a while, the Century City location finally obtained theirs only recently. To celebrate, and also to celebrate the National Salad Month, during the month of May customers can get a free taste of paired wine with their salad purchase (w/ min $10 salad purchase). Want to know what they're pairing with what? Keep reading.
Before starting with the salads, we had the Wild Mushroom and Truffle "Pizza" ($9.95)
Wild Mushroom Truffle "Pizza"
The "pizza" is made using whole wheat tortilla made especially for Greenleaf. They worked with a tortilla maker to get a low calorie whole wheat tortilla that tastes good. The tortilla has 110 calories and the whole pizza is about 400 calories.

Afterwards, we had a sampling of their signature salads. At Greenleaf, you can build your own salads, which starts at $7.95, or you can order one of their signature salads. The signature salads are $10 each. It may at first seem expensive but the portions are big, and filled with meat and various ingredients. Compared to this, I paid $5 for a bit of grilled vegetables at my school's salad bar.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Eat Greens with Salads at Green Street Restaurant

Even I sometimes crave salads. In particular, when I do, I usually crave the Dianne salad from Green Street Restaurant, a family-operated comfort food place on Shoppers Lane in Pasadena.
Since the place is only 3 blocks away from my home/school, it has become a pretty standard go-to place for me.

A lot of the salads/entrees come with their famous zucchini bread.I absolutely love this zucchini bread (which as usual doesn't taste like zucchini ... weird). I can eat this all day, 7 days a week. Forget the butter, you don't need it! Moist and buttery enough as it is, this is close to a dessert.

Before I would get the Cornucopia salad which has chicken, cranberries, apples, almonds, blue cheese crumble, etc.

Nowadays I always get the Dianne salad (chicken, shredded lettuce, 'crispy Asian noodles', toasted almonds and sesame seed, with their famous Dianne dressing) - pictured below is only half of the portion since I split it w/ a friend:
Sounds like a chinese chicken salad? Well it pretty much is, but it's the best chinese chicken salad ever. The dressing is excellent and it is always tossed perfectly. The dressing flavor is never overbearing, the chicken moist and tender even though it's white meat :P
I also like how everything is already shredded, it makes eating it so much easier, and hence, better.
The portion is huge, I was sharing with a friend for lunch and we were both stuffed at the end. This salad is delicious and always makes me feel good (healthier)!

The desserts here change seasonally, but for the most part you can get it with Dr. Bob's ice cream from Pomona (flavors also change seasonally). Adding the ice cream costs a pretty penny though. The desserts are always well-done, simple, comfort food. This time around we got the apple crisp with vanilla ice cream. Nice crust, nice filling. Again, it's simple, but quite delicious.

Offering solid comfort food (I can't say much about their steak/entrees, but their salads are definitely getting my thumbs up), Green Street is a good place to check out if you're in the area and looking for a place to eat.

Green Street Restaurant

146 Shoppers Ln
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 577-7170
Green Street on Urbanspoon

Gourmet Pigs   © 2008. Template Recipes by Emporium Digital