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Aug 9, 2006 11:48 PM

The Dressing Room - salads in Sherman Oaks (long)

Finally checked out The Dressing Room at La Reina plaza in Sherman Oaks. At lunchtime today it was crowded but not uncomfortably so. You can create your own salad, or have one of the pre-selected combinations which are also made to order. Order at the front, your salad is made for you, you pick it up in the middle, pay at the back. I think it's the space where Topz was, so it's long and narrow. Their system worked really well. There are some inside and outside tables but not a lot, and much of the business has got to be take-out.

My husband had "The Napa Delight" ($8.55) which is field greens, rotisserie chicken, goat cheese, toasted almonds, mango, jicama, cucumber and dried cranberries, with vinaigrette which he had on the side rather than mixed in.

I selected my own. The system is that you pay $5.95 and you can select one or more greens, up to 5 toppings from their enormous list (and if you want more than 5, extras are $.65 each), and one or more dressings. If you want a protein, it's extra (I'm listing them below by price). I had romaine, avocado, green beans, goat cheese, beets and garbanzo beans. I chose to add a protein - tofu. I had 2 dressings on the side - vinaigrette, and fat-free cucumber dill.

Husband was a bit put off that they don't offer any breads to accompany the salad, but I hadn't noticed until he mentioned it. Other than that, no complaints. All ingredients were very fresh.

Anyway, on the create your own salad, you choose from 6 types of greens, 64(!) toppings, 32 dressings including many diet-friendly options, and 16 types of protein if you want to add protein (actually counting from the create your own salad checklist that I brought home, I see 17 types of protein).

The $1.95 proteins are bbq chicken, blackened chicken, rotisserie chicken, chicken tenders, grilled chicken, lamb gyro, smoked turkey, tofu, and fat-free yogurt.

The $2.95 proteins are chicken salad, fresh tuna in olive oil, and tuna salad. For $3.95 you can get grilled steak. For $4.95 you can get ahi tuna, bbq shrimp, blackened salmon and grilled salmon.

There's a grill and a chef who was actually cooking the proteins that needed to be cooked. I saw him grilling shrimp and salmon and putting them directly onto the salads.

The toppings range from the usual salad bar fare (broccoli, carrots, cucumber, garbanzos, etc.) to fruit including coconut, raisins, grapes, pineapple, etc. to cheeses - blue, cheddar, feta, goat, jack, mozzarela, parmesan and jalapeno jack, to "crunchies" - cornbread croutons, bacon, various nuts and seeds, wonton strips, plantain chips.

Dressings: asian peanut sauce, asian sesame ginger, bacon, balsamic dijon vinaigrette, chipotle orange bbq, chipotle pepper, blue cheese, classic vinaigrette, creamy french, creamy italian, creole honey mustard, mayo, honey lime sauce, honey mustard, caesar, plum asian vinaigrette, ranch, raspberry vinaigrette, roasted red pepper, sherry peppercorn, 1000 island, tomato basil vinaigrette - whew, those are the non-diet ones.

The "diet-friendly" options are balsamic vinegar, fat-free cucumber dill, "bikini" dressing whatever that is, carb-free garlic/herb vinaigrette, fat-free creamy italian, fat-free raspberry vinaigrette, lemon juice, low-fat honey dijon, olive oil, reduced fat light ranch.

The pre-selected salads range from $5.95 to $10.90 (for ahi) and you can add various proteins to the salads for an additional charge.

Their website is and on it you can see the pre-selected salad combinations, their philosophy of supposedly using locally grown and harvested produce, etc.

We were very pleasantly surprised and will definitely be returning. The combinations are infinite. Our lunch was around $20 including our two salads and one fountain drink.

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  1. Sounds way tooooo confusing for a place when it gets busy and the line might snake out the door. Parking is never fun there in the first place and I sense many could get discouraged by the wait.
    Glad to hear the product was at least good, albeit fairly expensive based on your experience.
    That space has been the kiss of death for food so far, as has the former Togo space to the west.
    Baja Fresh, Pomodoro and Starbux all do well and thus create parking issues.

    2 Replies
    1. re: carter

      Really, this sounds GREAT to me, and as I recall, isn't their a huge parking lot behind this mall (with FREE parking), this reminds me of the amazing salad deli's that are abundant in NYC, it's about time someone figured out how to make it work in LA, we deserve this.

      1. re: Yukidog

        If I don't walk there from my place, I park in the garage behind AaaHHHs (sp?) for .25/30 mins ...also catty corner to Baja Fresh. Safe and plenty of parking. Easy in - Easy out.

    2. Oooo I really like this place. Went this afternoon for lunch, was introduced to the menu by the chef both co-worker and I decided to build our own salads. I had the mixed field greens and spinach, then added rotissere chicken, mushrooms, baby corn, beets, red onions and goat cheese. I went for the balsamic vinegar dressing. It was so fresh, completely diced and chopped and very well tossed, that was one of the best salads Ive had in a long time. Though I also wish there was bread to complete the meal with, I'll definetly go back. A 4 mile trip from the office, quick service, clean, healthy food and we were back in an hour. Though I thought it was a bit steep for a salad and a diet soda ($10.00 total???), I have to remember it is organic, fresh and good for you! That and I scarfed down the whole thing!

      P.S.--- Also love the decor, modern and minimal, bright enough spot to cheer up any gloomy day.

      We got there at about 2pm, the restaurant was half full and no issues with parking. It was a drama free experience.

      1. Your post makes me want to check out the restaurant today. What I would miss terribly is bread and butter with my salad. It's too bad that bread service is not offered. perhaps they will add it later.

        1. I went there today for lunch, I just got back to the office. It was a REALLY great salad... I am very impressed. I asked about bread, they warmed a sun-dried tomato flat bread for me, I guess that you have to ask.

          I had the napa delight, it was amazing how the tanginess of the dressing went so well with the mango's and (goat cheese)? it may have been some other soft cheese, but either way it went very well together. Great job!