Salads go glam Have a healthy night on the town at Greenleaf

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As build-your-own salad places go, Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop (with locations in Beverly Hills and Century City) is consistently one of our favorites. The local and sustainably farmed produce, the clean, flame-grilled proteins and the epicurean preparations make us wish there was a Greenleaf on every corner of the city.

With the opening of their new Hollywood location, we’re on our way to wish fulfillment—and then some. Not only does the new outpost make their stellar salads more accessible to Eastsiders, but it also elevates the Greenleaf concept to night-on-the-town dining.

Whereas their Westside locations offer only breakfast and lunch service, the Hollywood location—located next to the Pantages Theatre—is positioned for nightlife. Open daily until midnight, the restaurant offers full dinner service, an indoor/outdoor bar serving craft cocktails made with organic juices and a buzzy patio decked out with market lights and a fire pit.

Ahi & farro salad at Greenleaf gourmet chopshop.

That means you can enjoy some festive pre-theater dining, grab pre-game drinks before hitting the clubs or sidestep the boulevard’s greasy pizza joints for a healthy late-night snack. Creating your own salad is always fun, but we’re also partial to the specialty salads ($8 to $16) like the Antioxidant Orchard (bursting with vitamin-packed berries and nuts) and Zorra The Great (an updated Greek salad). Sandwiches, burgers, thin-crust pizzas and hot entrée plates round out the menu.

And with the new brunch service (Friday through Sunday from 8:00am to 3:00pm) featuring egg dishes and smoothies, you can follow your nightlife with a healthy morning after.

Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop
6201 Hollywood Blvd., Ste. 120
323-380-5127
www.greenleafchopshop.com

Vegan cheese, please Indulge guiltlessly with these artisanal nut-milk cheeses

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Five years ago, chef Youssef Fakhouri decided to sequester himself in his West Hollywood home kitchen with a singular goal: to find the secret to making nut-milk cheese taste like the “real” thing.

Around the same time, chef Tal Ronnen began searching for a way to successfully apply traditional European cheese-making techniques to nut milk and even enlisted the help of a Stanford biochemist.

Clearly, the race to find a non-dairy cheese that doesn’t taste like sawdust has been an impassioned one. The result? L.A. is having a delicious artisanal vegan cheese moment, with Fakhouri’s new WeHo cheese shop Vromage and Ronnen’s Kite Hill line of cheeses.

Tal Ronnen and Youssef Fakhouri, L.A.’s premier vegan cheesemongers

Fakhouri won’t reveal the secret technique he stumbled upon to give his nut- and seed-milk cheeses a flavor to rival old-school fromage. But let’s just say that in a blind taste test, we’d be hard-pressed to distinguish his pepper jack from the real deal. So far he’s created 17 cheeses that mimic the flavors and textures of their dairy counterparts, ranging from soft manchego to hard asiago. The cheeses slice and melt just like the real deal; Vromage serves them in caprese salads, sandwiches and pizza.

Kite Hill’s lineup, crafted from their proprietary almond milk, includes a soft-ripened cheese with a fluffy rind reminiscent of brie or camembert, as well as creamy ricotta and spreadable fresh cheeses. And the new cream cheeses (plain and chive) are a dead ringer for their dairy counterparts. Ronnen serves the cheeses at his plant-based restaurant Crossroads; you can try the cream cheeses on a bagel with his smoked heirloom carrot “lox” and taste the ricotta, which cooks just like the real stuff, in pasta dishes. Kite Hill’s products are also the first vegan cheeses to be sold in the Whole Foods gourmet cheese section.

So long, sawdust.

Vromage
7988 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood
323-745-0157
www.vromage.com

Crossroads
8284 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles
323-782-9245
www.crossroadskitchen.com

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

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