Sunday, March 22, 2009

Tender Greens

For the second day of spring, yesterday seemed quite the opposite. It was overcast and cool all day. Perfect day to stay in and laze around in sweats, except for the fact that I wanted to go check out the new West Hollywood outpost of Tender Greens. After a brisk walk, I found myself at the restaurant which is located inside the Hancock Lofts (which are still being completed). I have been hearing about Tender Greens for a while since they have locations in Culver City and San Diego, but I am one of those Angelenos who does not travel outside her comfort zone (read, Beverly Hills-Los Feliz) very often. You won't find me west of Century City very often and it takes a very special occasion to get me to go north of Mullholland. This is why I have never visited the Culver City location of Tender Greens even though it is only a few miles away. Luckily there is now one open a stone's throw from me.

Tender Greens Tabbouleh

Tender Greens focuses on the food I love to eat and care deeply about. The focus is local, organic, and sustainable with even the beer and wine selection focusing on local brands. This particular branch was even built in an eco friendly way.

For my first lunch at Tender Greens, I decided to go with The Happy Vegan under their big salads menu. One of the things I noticed immediately is that there is something for every taste. Vegetarians, omnivores, vegans, and raw foodists will all be equally satisfied. My large plate of salad came with tabbouleh, green hummus, a farro salad, and a red quinoa salad and the whole plate was topped with "tender greens" and a large crouton.

Tender Greens Red Quinoa

The red quinoa salad was comprised of yellow tomatoes, chopped cucumbers, thinly sliced radishes and a tangy dill dressing. This was the first salad I devoured on my plate. The farro had toasted hazelnuts and dried cranberries and a sweet dressing. This was my favorite salad on the plate. The tabbouleh had tons of fresh parsley, shallots, and tomatoes and a nice, tart dressing that managed to be creamy despite being a vegan dish. I think it was parsley that made the green hummus green, but I do know that I could not get enough of it. My only complaint (is it a complaint?) was that I wish I had an extra crouton with which to eat the hummus. No matter, I just ate it on it's own once the bread was gobbled up.

Tender Greens Farro Salad

There were a bunch of tempting looking desserts, but I managed to restrain myself knowing I had samoas ice cream waiting for me at home. Even though the restaurant has only been open a few days, I think it's repuation certainly preceded itself. I am glad I got there when I did because I noticed after I sat down to eat, a long line had developed at the entrance. I definitely think the buzz of the other locations helped with the popularity. Seeing as this particular location is right in the heart of "boys town" there is ample people watching which meant I hardly needed my new BlackBerry to keep me occupied.

Tender Greens Green Hummus

At a little over eleven bucks for a salad and a glass of tap water, this can definitely be a pricier option for lunch, but if you think about what you're getting, I think it can be worth it. It is certainly far better than the sludge you get at normal "fast food" restaurants and it sure doesn't make you feel as guilty. For the cost and the fact that I can't roll out of bed onto the doorstep, this may not replace my other option for fast, healthy and fresh, but Tender Greens will certainly go into my regular rotation for a nice, healthy weekend lunch.

Tender Greens West Hollywood
8759 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood
(310) 385-1919

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Anonymous said...

Mmmm, thanks--I rarely go east of Century who knew? This looks great, and I look forward to giving it a try!

Alicia Foodycat said...

It looks good! I reckon they've added some fresh broad beans to that hummus.

Diana said...

Ummm this makes me want to say, "I'll have what she's having."

Looks sooo good! I didn't realize they had all those veggie friendly things on the menu! I really will have to check it out now that there's one on our side of town.

Esi said...

Unconfidential - you should probably check out the Culver City restaurant. Sounds like it's closer to you.

Foodycat, I'm not quite sure what broad beans are, but now that you say it, I bet some kind of beans or peas were in the hummus.

Diana, I think you will love it. Tons of options on the menu.

Pearl said...

i love quinoa. thanks for sharing!

Erica said...

ahhhhh, when I am going to come visit your way so I can check out the amazing restaurants and farmers markets! What a cool place

The Duo Dishes said...

Glad that you approve. We haven't checked this place out yet, but a good salad is a great thing to find.

Reeni said...

What a beautiful plate of food! Everything looks so fresh, vibrant and delicious!

TiffLaine said...

I'm not a vegan, but I tried this salad at the Tender Greens in Culver City, which is walking distance from my apartment. It is delicious and def worth trying.

Esi said...

Tiff, I'm not a vegan either, but I love this salad combo!