Tag Archives: sweet potato

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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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More LA Eats <—click!
Pono Burger on Urbanspoon

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Grain Lab

lunch - restaurant - salads - sandwich

In my experience, there’s two types of Burbanks – the retro/funky kind with restaurants like The Tallyrand and fun thrift shopping, and the massive strip malls that feel like Anytown, USA.  I visited the latter, and was surprised to find this gem amongst the giant chain stores.

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Grain Lab Deli/Kitchen has been open for 2 years – when they invited me in for lunch even Rachelle (the Queen of Ventura Boulevard eateries) had never heard of it.

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We glanced at the periodic table-inspired menu, then took a seat…

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…sipped on fresh lemonade and soda…

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…and enjoyed a few lunch options.

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In addition to The Queen, her little Princess came to help, as well as Anna.

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My favorite were the sandwiches – this was a Turkey Pretzel Sandwich, with gruyere and cheddar cheese…

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…and a Chicken Pesto with Avocado and Oven-Roasted Tomato.

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We were also impressed with the bowls – Seared Ahi Tuna with Brown Rice/Veggies…

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…and a Steak Protein Bowl mixed with grilled eggplant/zucchini/carrots/squash.

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On the side – killer sweet potato fries with avocado pesto…

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…and Beets with Yams – tossed with goat cheese, cucumber, candied walnuts, and lemon vinaigrette.

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They’ve got green salads as well – this is the Kale Citrus Salad…

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…and a Cindy’s Special – sans feta and added chicken – taken to go!

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Next time you’re doing some marathon mall shopping, stop by – it really is yummy!

Grain Lab Deli & Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes

crockpot recipe - recipe - sandwich - trader joe's - vegetarian

I usually bake my sweet potatoes in large batches, but in the summertime, I choose to ignore the oven.

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Crockpot, who knew you were my year-round buddy?  Scrub the potatoes clean, pierce them with a fork, wrap in foil, and slow cook on low for 6-8 hours.

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Eat with maple butter

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…or mash it up!  I used Trader Joe’s Boxed Carrot Ginger Soup to thin some out…

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…then spread on toasted bread with Vegenaise

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…baby spinach…

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…and TJ’s Balsamic Glaze.

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I wouldn’t really call this a crockpot “recipe” (<—click for past blog posts) but I’m definitely using this method to make sweet potatoes from now on.