Category Archives: salads

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Pono Burger

dessert - restaurant - salads

Pono Burger has been on my radar since it opened last year; I was invited for a hosted lunch, to see what Chef Makani Gerardi (of Hawaii’s Ultimate Burger) did with the Santa Monica Space…

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…housed in a Quanset Hut from World War II.

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They’ve got a Wood-Fire Grill…

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…where all their burgers are cooked.

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The Paniolo – English Smoked Cheddar, Niman Ranch Bacon, Coffee/Bourbon/BBQ Sauce, topped with Buttermilk Beer-Battered Onion Rings…

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…The Piku “Fig” Burger – Fermier Brie, Niman Ranch Bacon, Crushed Hazelnuts, Arugula, Balsamic Vinaigrette, and Drunken Caramelized Fig Jam…

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…and The Kuawa Crunch – Hook’s 1 Year Cheddar, Housemade Potato Chips, Lettuce, Coleslaw, and Guava Rum Sauce.

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My favorite was the fig, though each one was quite juicy, flavorful, and unique.  All of the above were made with Organic Beef; they also have a free-range, antibiotic-free Turkey Patty and a Portobello Mushroom Option.
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Another vegetarian item – a Seasonal Salad with a Beet’s “Nest,” Chèvre, and pistachios, tossed in Balsamic Vinaigrette…

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…and of course, the fries.

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Last, but not least – dessert – there are several milkshakes on the menu, made from Straus Family Organic Ice Cream.  We sipped on the Seasonal Special – a Pumpkin S’more, complete with hot fudge, whipped cream, crushed Graham Crackers, and Toasted Marshmallows.

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Great food, great ethics, great space – kid friendly (with sliders on the menu) and if you want to bring your pooch, they’ve got a patio too!

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The Springs

beauty - restaurant - salads - vegan

Can’t remember the last time I’ve been this excited to blog about a new discovery.  That’s probably because there’s never been a place like The Springs before.

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Housed in a former paper factory in downtown LA, the space is wide open and swimming in natural light.

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When you first walk in, you’ll immediately notice their (all organic) juice/coffee/wine bar…

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…which also spills into a pop-up shop.  Currently, the goods are from Atomic Garden in Oakland.

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Hang out during the day, enjoy live music at night (the owners – partners in business/life – both come from a Broadway background)…

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…followed by a visit to the Wellness Center for a massage, acupuncture, Reiki, or Infrared Sauna.

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Of course, I was particularly interested in the food part.  The entire menu is raw and vegan!

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Joy and I sipped on the “Bug Bite” – strawberry, apple, orange, and lemon juice…

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…and noshed on chips and guacamole.

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(These take 3 Days to make.)

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We were both pretty blown away – the culinary team did a tremendous job.  Sometimes raw food leaves me a little bit weirded out, intimidated (and still hungry) but these options were impressive and definitely filling.

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Nacho and Tea Leaf Salads – hearty bowls packed with flavor.

DSCN7261Last but not least – dessert…
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…Black Sesame, Wasabi Pea, Beer, and Smoked Avocado Cilantro Ice Cream – kinda mind-blowing.  I’m currently writing an ice cream article for an outside publication and did not expect me to be wowed the way I was.

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In fact, I had rather high expectations coming in visit The Springs, and they were exceeded.  Expect to see me back often – for my monthly massage, a yoga class, and to try this dinner menu!

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This meal was hosted.  Follow The Springs on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook.

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Springs on Urbanspoon

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Dockside at Playa Provisions

restaurant - salads

Playa Provisions is like my favorite Barbie of all time – Day-to-Night.  A totally different experience once the sun sets.

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(My mentioning Barbie has nothing to do with the stunning blonde who was my date.)

DSCN6508 Kailey is a longtime blog friend (we both started our sites around the same time) and she now works for the PR company that reps Playa Provisions.  Dockside is their high-end restaurant open for happy hour, dinner, and weekend brunch.
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We started off with Salt Cod Clam Chowder, with braised bacon in a Sourdough Bread Bowl…

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…and Ceviche (Albacore, Shrimp, Avocado, Coconut, Jalapeño, Lime, Passion Fruit, Radish, Salmon Roe) with Chips.

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Next up…

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…perfect Brown Sugar Roasted Acorn Squash…

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…with fried sage, maple brown butter and toasted pepitas…

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…Cheesy Stone Ground Grits, Vinegar Cooked Collard Greens, Crispy Onions, Runny Soft Cooked Egg…

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…and two salads – Grilled Baby Romaine with Marinated Cippolini Onions, Radishes, Breadcrumbs, Creamy Garlic Dressing…

DSCN6532 …plus a Seafood Louie with Bay Shrimp, Crab, Lobster, Quinoa, Avocado and Papaya.
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DSCN6546Once we wrapped up on Chefs Nick Roberts/Brooke Williamson’s genius, we ended with Kristin Feuer’s perfect chocolate chip cookies (<—click for the recipe)…
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…warm n gooey…

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…served with Bourbon Milk.

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A perfect place for a dinner date – especially a blind blogger one.

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Playa Provisions on Urbanspoon