Barneys gets fresh Savor the veggie-driven fare at the new Freds at Barneys New York

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We love a good power lunch as much as anyone. But the tradition of brokering deals over a gargantuan steak, basket of bread and a midday martini? That’s not how we roll.

So we’re thrilled that one of Beverly Hills’s most beloved power lunch spots, the restaurant at Barneys New York, has hit the “refresh” button on lunchtime luxury. Formerly Barney Greengrass, it’s been reimagined as Freds, and the decadent, deli-style menu of caviar blinis and pastrami reubens has given way to farmers’ market salads and pressed juices.

The chef responsible for the transformation is Mark Strausman, a New Yorker with a farm-to-table philosophy and Italian background who oversees Barneys restaurants nationally. He’s having a field day sourcing organic produce from local family farms.

Freds serves up lunch with a view.

Salads promise a wealth of fruits and vegetables, including a kale salad ($22) loaded with raw celery, carrots, fennel, beets and zucchini in blood orange and mustard dressing. The penne (gluten-free upon request) with vegan “bolognese” ($24) boasts a dozen vegetables slowly simmered in tomato sauce.

For heartier appetites, there’s a grass-fed beef burger ($22.50), an organic omelette of the day ($21) and a heavenly citrus-rosemary chicken breast ($24) served with a tangle of arugula. “Estelle’s chicken soup” ($12), a recipe passed down from Strausman’s grandmother, has a rich bone broth base infused with onions and herbs—a cure-all for whatever’s ailing you.

And—despite the Tinseltown crowd—if you hear someone at the next table talking about “Orange is the New Black,” it’s probably the orange-carrot juice with ginger and turmeric.

Freds at Barneys New York
9570 Wilshire Boulevard, 5th Floor, Beverly Hills
310-777-5877

This produce pops Sample the spoils from small-scale farms at Pop Produce

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We love a good power lunch as much as anyone. But the tradition of brokering deals over a gargantuan steak, basket of bread and a midday martini? That’s not how we roll.

So we’re thrilled that one of Beverly Hills’s most beloved power lunch spots, the restaurant at Barneys New York, has hit the “refresh” button on lunchtime luxury. Formerly Barney Greengrass, it’s been reimagined as Freds, and the decadent, deli-style menu of caviar blinis and pastrami reubens has given way to farmers’ market salads and pressed juices.

The chef responsible for the transformation is Mark Strausman, a New Yorker with a farm-to-table philosophy and Italian background who oversees Barneys restaurants nationally. He’s having a field day sourcing organic produce from local family farms.

This stand is not your average pop-up shop.

Though the produce selection is ever-changing, you’ll likely find staples like kale, Swiss chard, Haas avocados and Fuji apples. Romney and Bowman also make a point to feature more obscure varietals (when in season) like finger limes, chilacayote, mirabelle plums and watermelon radishes. Local food products including granola, nut butter and jam are also in the mix.

And if you spot Eureka lemons from “Edgemont Farms,” just know that it’s a fancy name for Romney’s own East Hollywood backyard.

POP Produce at Arroyo General
5028 York Blvd., Los Angeles
www.popproducela.com

Counter Chic Grab a coveted seat at veggie-driven Le Comptoir

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There are only 10 seats at chef Gary Menes’s new Le Comptoir—a former pop-up that’s now found a permanent home at Koreatown’s Hotel Normandie—and 10 reasons why you should snag one of them immediately.

1. The divine vegetables: The six-course prix-fixe menu is comprised almost entirely of vegetables: think lofty French-inflected dishes like Japanese yam velouté, mushroom fricassé and a tranche of butternut squash with preserved cherries.

2. The seed-to-table sourcing: The majority of the produce is sourced from the chef’s certified-organic Gladys Ave Urban Farm in Long Beach, where he personally works daily.

3. The tasty supplements: You can supplement your plant-driven prix-fixe with delish grain or protein dishes like Japanese scallop with tomato reduction and broccoli leaves.

4. The sustainability practices: Menes composts fruit and vegetable peels and coffee grounds to fertilize the farm’s soil.

5. The clean meats: The restaurant uses consciously sourced seafood and beef from grass-fed, humanely raised animals.

Get up close with the man himself, chef Gary Menes.

6. The chef’s skills: Menes cut his teeth at The French Laundry and Mélisse—need we say more?

7. The small scale: The diminutive counter allows Menes to maintain the close farm-to-plate connection. “If I have one perfect cauliflower in my garden,” he says, “then that’s the one I’m going to use. That can only feed 10 people.”

8. The entertainment factor: The open kitchen and close proximity of the chef allow for interactive culinary theater.

9. The single-origin coffee: Coffee geeks, this one’s for you.

10. The reasonable tab: At $67 per person for six courses (with supplements running $14 to $35), dinner at Le Comptoir won’t leave you empty-pocketed.

On a scale of 1 to 10? We give it a 10.

Le Comptoir
3606 West 6th Street, Los Angeles
www.lecomptoirla.com

 

(Photo credit: Sam Hernandez)

Hyper Local Get hip to Malibu's rustic revolution with the Malibu Farm Cookbook

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Hold onto your surfboard: Malibu is emerging as L.A.’s modern agricultural oasis. Vineyards are covering more and more of the rolling seaside foothills, fruit orchards are cropping up in expansive backyards and beekeeping suits are becoming as common as wetsuits.

Helene Henderson’s new Malibu Farm Cookbook—a collection of recipes served at her Malibu Farm café at the tip of the Malibu Pier—reads like a love letter to the burgeoning pastoral gifts of the ‘Bu, where she’s been a farm-to-table pioneer.

After moving there in 2008, Henderson began cooking farm dinners and teaching cooking classes on her two-acre property, where she raises chickens and goats and grows fruits and vegetables. The venture grew into a pop-up restaurant and the permanent café in 2013.

Eat the real thing or don’t eat it at all. — Helene henderson Photo credit: Marie Buck

In keeping with the café’s commitment to local purveyors, the book is organized by ingredient source. You’ll find chapters on egg dishes “from the coop,” honey-kissed dishes “from the hive” (like this delicious preparation for kabocha squash, below) and fish dishes “from the sea,” as well as tips on where to source your own local ingredients.

Henderson’s recipes emphasize abundant seasonal produce and minimalist preparations that favor olive oil, herbs and lemon over heavy sauces and seasonings. She is keen on employing ingredients in their most-natural, least-processed state. “Eat the real thing,” she says, “or don’t eat it at all.”

Now that’s a wave we definitely want to ride.

Makes 4 servings

1 whole kabocha squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup black lentils, cooked per package instructions
Optional:
Arugula
Crumbled feta cheese

Honey lemon dressing:

3 tablespoons raw honey
¼ cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil

1. Place the whole squash in a large pasta pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain and cut into wedges, thin or thick. Leave the green skin on or remove it.
2. Drizzle a sheet pan with olive oil and lay the cut wedges on it. Bake in a preheated 400° oven for 20 minutes, turning once half way through. Season the cooked squash wedges with salt.
3. Whisk together the honey lemon dressing. Toss the squash with the dressing and cooked lentils. If desired, garnish with arugula and crumbled feta cheese.

Malibu Farm
23000 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu
310-456-1112
www.malibu-farm.com

A good wrap Try this healthy new take on burritos at Kye's

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Jeanne Chang isn’t your typical restaurateur. She’s got a degree in molecular biology and has been a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine and spiritual psychology.

So what’s she doing hawking burritos?

Her recently opened counter-service restaurant Kye’s serves what she calls “kyeritos,” a twist on the burrito that uses romaine leaves, collard green leaves and nori (toasted seaweed) as tortilla alternatives. The gluten-free, dairy-free kyerito ($9 to $14) is stuffed with wholesome fillings, including clean proteins (grass-fed beef, wild salmon and organic chicken), healthy grains, organic veggies and a variety of from-scratch sauces. Vegan and Paleo options are also available.

Jeanne Chang and her son Kye. (Photo credit: Marie Buck)

“Every chance we get,” says Chang, “we infuse extra nutrition.” The local free-range eggs in the breakfast kyeritos are blended with spinach, the ground beef in the nori burger is mixed with chard and the shakes all have Chinese yam. Foods recognized as health promoting in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine—like goji berries, amla berries and lotus root—also find their way into many of the dishes.

The ultra-portable kyerito (eat in or take ‘em to go) are as tasty as they are nutritious, and that’s by design. Chang has grounded the restaurant’s philosophy in the Chinese principle of yin-yang. The yin is the nourishing aspect of the food, while the yang is “for the joy of it, for the pleasure, the happiness.” We’re beaming.

Kye’s
1518 Montana Ave., Santa Monica
310-395-5937
www.kyesmontana.com

Healthy Camaraderie Eat, juice, detox and gather at The Springs

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So you want to eat raw, drink juice, practice yoga and visit a wellness practitioner, all in one day? Chances are you’ll spend more time getting aggravated in traffic between venues than zen-ing out from your healthy choices.

Unless, that is, you visit recent Arts District arrival The Springs, which brings all of these activities under one skylight-laden roof.

It’s the brainchild of co-founders and partners Jared Stein and Kimberly Helms, whose vision of offering organic raw vegan fare within a wellness context (as well as their instinct about the burgeoning Arts District) lured them away from careers working on Broadway shows in New York City.

The Springs is a place where you pull up in the morning and juice, go straight to yoga, get a massage, have lunch, do some work, meet a friend,” says Stein. He and Helms aim to make healthy living a “social event.”

The Springs has created a wellness oasis where you can hangout, eat, juice and stretch to your hearts content.

To that end, the bar offers sharable nut-cheese plates and biodynamic, sustainable wine and beer, while the kitchen—helmed by chef Michael Falso—turns out raw vegan fare that’s tempting enough to entice carnivores. Signature dishes include enormous salads like the seaweed Caesar with nori ($16) and a raw take on spaghetti carbonara ($21), with kelp and zucchini noodles, black pepper cashew cream sauce and house-made coconut bacon. Wash it all down with fresh juices, smoothies and nut milks—we swooned over the matcha milk ($9).

And consider checking out The Springs for dineL.A.’s Restaurant Week, running January 19 through February 1. They’re offering a three-course meal for $50/person, which includes sweet corn polenta, mushroom “scallops” and carrot cake.

Maybe stick around for a massage, too? Just call it meatless multitasking.

The Springs
608 Mateo St., Los Angeles
213-223-6226
www.thespringsla.com

New year, new cleanse Sip these hot and cold soups to reboot your system

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We love organic, cold-pressed juice as much as anyone. But juice cleanses? Hmm. We’re not crazy about indulging in multiple bottles of the stuff per day, given all that fruit sugar with little fiber or protein to mitigate the sugar’s impact or nourish the body. Eek.

This year, we’re warming up to a new cleanse trend that incorporates whole fruits and vegetables: souping. Blended soups keep fiber and protein intact, so they promise a more filling and nutrient-dense way to give the system a rest from solid foods and toxins, while bone broths offer a collagen- and mineral-rich warm-up.

Los Angeles-based soup delivery company Soupure is leading the local soup charge with a collection of all-organic warm vegetables soups, chilled fruit-and-nut soups, healing bone broths and fruit-infused alkaline waters. Co-founders Angela Blatteis and Vivienne Vella consulted with nutritionists and doctors to develop one- ($79), three- ($235) and five-day ($375) cleanses that deliver complete daily nutrition, including 20 grams of protein and 60 essential nutrients per day.

(L-R) Soupure founders Vivienne Vella and Angela Blatteis.

You might start the morning with refreshing pear yuzu alkaline water, have a warm morning chaser of chicken miso bone broth or vegetable broth and tuck into a velvety bowl of hot zucchini basil soup at lunch. The “Superhero” blend of nuts, seeds, dates and reishi eases post-workout recovery, while warm, ginger-laced Japanese sweet potato soup makes for a hearty dinner. The deeply flavorful soups are low in natural sugars and free of dairy, gluten, corn, MSG, preservatives, fillers and GMOs.

Soupure delivers to most zip codes in Los Angeles for a $10 fee, or you can pick up cleanse packages or soups a la carte at Cardio Barre Studio City or at Soupure’s new kiosk in the Brentwood Town Center, set to open next week.

Juicing, you’re so 2014.

Soupure Brentwood Town Center Kiosk
13050 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles
1-844-SOUPURE
soupure.com

Spit-tacular Savor healthy rotisserie food at these new hotspots

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Still mourning the shuttering of Koo Koo Roo?

Wipe your tears: A new crop of artisanal rotisseries (try saying that three times fast) has arrived with antibiotic- and hormone-free meats, gourmet preparations and fresh vegetable sides.

At Stir Market, the new Fairfax-district food hall from Jet Tila, the European rotisserie is the heart of the operation. Free-range chickens—seasoned Provençal style with preserved lemon, garlic and herbs—emerge from the spit with burnished skin and juicy meat. The porchetta—pork tenderloin brined in a wet rub of fennel, rosemary, lavender and lemon zest—boasts succulent meat and a crispy exterior.

Executive chef Chris Barnett notes that rotisserie cooking is “a healthier way of cooking versus the oven.” Meat done on the spit is “self-basting,” he says, “so there are no added oils or butter needed to keep the meat moist.” Plus, excess fat drips away, leaving leaner protein.

Status Kuo’s tender, golden rotisserie chicken.

Rotisserie plates ($18 to $19) are served with roasted seasonal vegetables sourced organically and locally whenever possible. Whole porchetta ($110) and chickens ($22) can be purchased to go, and a special orange and soy-glazed rotisserie duck will be available for the holidays.

Across town in Mar Vista, chef David Kuo has just opened Status Kuo, his ode to rotisserie meats. The spit-roasted selection currently includes tender, golden half chicken served with persimmon and pomegranate salad ($15) and rosy slices of tri-tip served with root vegetables ($18). The produce is sourced primarily from the Mar Vista Farmers’ Market, which sets up right outside the restaurant on Sundays.

Kuo will soon add baby lamb and organic suckling pig to the offerings; you’ll be able to pick up an entire roasted pig for a family meal. Now that’s what we call going whole hog for the rotisserie trend.

Stir Market

7475 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles

323-879-8283

www.stirmarket.com

Status Kuo

3809 Grand View Blvd., Los Angeles

310-574-7610

www.eatstatuskuo.com

Buy a rotisserie oven for your home

Healthy Swag Grab these gifts for clean-eating lovers

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The joyous holiday season can be even merrier when you give gifts that promote health and sustainability. Frosted yule logs and dulcet fruitcakes have got nothing on these selections: we’ve found something for everyone in your clean-eating clan.

1. Kale Sweatshirt ($48): Who needs Yale when you’ve got … Kale? Lovers of super greens will appreciate this ironic take on college gear from Sub_urban RIOT. (Even Beyoncé’s giving kale a shout-out; she wore the unisex raglan pullover in her recent video for “7/11″.)

Where to find it: Sub_urban RIOT’s online store or their Fashion District store.

2. Sky Planter ($25): Know a home cook who loves fresh herbs but doesn’t have space for herb pots in the kitchen—let alone a plot for an herb garden? These suspended planters hold soil and plants as if by magic and boast an innovative reservoir system that conserves water.

Where to find it: Poketo’s online store or their Arts District store.

3. Matcha Starter Set ($110): Who doesn’t love a healthy caffeine buzz? With organic, unsweetened matcha and all the necessary accoutrements (glazed matcha bowl, bamboo whisk and scoop), this set will get any tea (or even coffee) lover started on a love affair with amino acid- and antioxidant-packed whole-leaf green tea.Where to find it: American Tea Room’s online store or their Beverly Hills store.

4. Affirmation Bottles ($15): Heading to a holiday gathering? These swing-top glass bottles etched with sayings like “Joy,” “Love & Gratitude” and “Abundance” make lovely hostess gifts, and they’re an eco-conscious way to serve water at the holiday table (or any day of the year). Plus, they’ll cue you to eat and drink mindfully.

Where to find it: Spoken Glass’s online store and at the following retailers: Café Gratitude (Larchmont), Presence (Sherman Oaks), Kingfisher Road (Woodland Hills), Brentwood General Store (Santa Monica), Beyond O2 (Santa Monica).

5. Holiday Vegan Cashew Torte ($35-$55): Sweets are a popular gift at the holidays, but who wants to sign off on all that processed, sugary stuff? All-organic Buttercelli Bakeshop whips up tasty vegan tortes sweetened only with xylitol. The nutty crust is filled with a coconut-cashew mixture and topped with festive orange-cranberry compote.

Where to find it: Call to pre-order from Buttercelli Bakeshop.

6. Abeego Variety Pack ($18): Holiday meals often mean abundant leftovers, so anyone on your gift list will appreciate these all-natural food wraps that extend the life of fresh foods and are environmentally conscious to boot. Each washable, reusable wrap is made of hemp and organic cotton fabric coated with beeswax, jojoba oil and tree resin.

Where to find it: Abeego’s online store.

7. M Café’s “Tis the Seaweed” Gift Bag ($50): Want to get macrobiotic under the mistletoe? Pick up a sampler of seaweed treats—including organic nori snacks (nori paper, sesame seeds and brown rice syrup) and kelp noodles—along with M Café’s organic salt scrub for hands (in flavors like cinnamon-spearmint and vanilla-cardamom), all in a reusable jute tote.

Where to find it: All three M Café locations (Melrose, Beverly Hills, Brentwood).

8. ExtraVEGANza Gift Basket ($100): Most holiday gift baskets are loaded with meat and dairy (salami, cheese and milk chocolates, anyone?), but not this vegan collection from Fancifull. Among the vegan, gluten-free delicacies are Grace & I Fruit and Nut press, Belvoir Elderflower Pressé, Gary & Kit’s nuts, and Amella caramels.

Where to find it: Fancifull’s online store or Melrose shop.

Still looking for more options? Check out our National Gift Guide.

Minus the meat Fine dining-worthy vegetables from a carnivore chef

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If you’ve been to Beverly Hills’s Scratch Bar, you know that chef Phillip Frankland Lee is an unabashed carnivore, to the tune of 40-ounce rib-eyes and roasted bone marrow.

So why has the young restaurateur made a sharp left turn into animal-free dining at his new Studio City venture, The Gadarene Swine?

Two years ago, Lee, 27, discovered he had a tumor inside his right ear. Though it was benign, he risked losing his hearing from the surgery required to remove it.

In the eight weeks leading up to the surgery, his wife—pastry chef Margarita Lee, a raw vegan at the time—put him on a strict plant-based diet. Amazingly, the pre-op CT scan showed the tumor had shrunk by 50 percent. The doctor was able to use a less invasive procedure, and Lee’s hearing was spared. “Obviously that made a very big impact in my life,” Lee says. “I immediately started looking at nutrition.”

“I’m not saying ‘don’t eat meat,’ … I’m saying go with your 40-ounce rib-eye tonight, but tomorrow come and eat vegetables.” Chef Phillip Frankland Lee of The Gadarene Swine

His inquiry into vegetable-driven cooking led him to open The Gadarene Swine (named for a logical fallacy), where no animal products (aside from honey) are used. Cozy and cottage-like, it’s a fine-dining spot where vegans can have an elevated experience and meat eaters can feel comfortable giving plant-based dining a whirl… without a whiff of patchouli.

Lee creates elegant dishes like roasted maitake mushrooms over sweet potato mousse ($16); blackened multicolored cauliflower over cauliflower puree ($12); and asparagus, tomatoes and shimeji mushrooms in a potato “box” ($17). There’s also a 12-course chef’s tasting menu available at the counter seats ($85).

Despite his flair for cooking vegetables, Lee remains a carnivore—in moderation. “I’m not saying ‘don’t eat meat,’” he notes. “I’m saying go with your 40-ounce rib-eye tonight, but tomorrow come and eat vegetables.”

The Gadarene Swine
11266 Ventura Blvd., Studio City
818-508-5500
www.thegadareneswine.com