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Great Salads

I'm looking for my next great Salad find! I've had one too many Chinese Chicken Salads from "Feast from the East" and Chopped Salads from "La Scala" (although they're both delicious!). Anyone have a favorite salad in the LA area? Anywhere from Santa Monica to downtown to the Valley ..... willing to travel for a great salad!

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  1. i happen to love andrea's favorite salad from bossa nova.

    2 Replies
    1. re: woofer

      I tried "Andrea's Favorite Salad" for lunch yesterday. LOVED it! I'd never been to Bossa Nova before, and they just opened one down the street from my work -- on Pico near Westwood Blvd. Great new place for lunch. Thanks for the recommendation!

      1. re: woofer

        I'm a fan of the salads at Bossa Nova as well, but my salad of choice there is the Bossa salad with chicken. I could eat that weekly and never get sick of it.

      2. I've never been myself, but I've read many raves on this board about Tender Greens in Culver City. I plan to lunch there next time I'm in the area, which may be a while because I live in Pasadena. :-)

        2 Replies
        1. re: onebite

          I personally hesitate to call the salads at Tender Greens great. But considering that they use fresh high quality ingredients, make your salads to order, and do it in a timely manner, I would liken them to a modern-day short order cafe that focuses on fresh salads, sandwiches, and soups with a strong emphasis on fresh ingredients. Unlike the stereotypical greasy spoon, there's nothing greasy-spoonish about Tender Greens - I think of them as classic California with an emphasis on lighter fare. But as good as their salads are, I feel they could use a little more personality.

          1. re: onebite

            It is nice to be able to make your own but I found the dressings left something to be desired. All in all you will get a better than average salad but I have to say the dressings I tried were just not up to par with the rest of their ingredients.

          2. Didn't someone else just pose the same query a few days ago?

            I'll say it again -- hands down the BEST salads to be found in LA are in NoHo -- at HealthyCA on Lankershim.

            Eat in, take out, delivery and custom catering – HealthyCA has it all covered.

            HealthyCA Foods
            4724 Lankershim Blvd
            North Hollywood, CA 91602

            Monday – Friday ONLY -- 10am-5pm
            delivery hours – 11am-3pm
            (818) 505-1035
            (818) 050-1037 fax


            2 Replies
            1. re: Maxmillion

              Thanks to the intermittent raves here, I just tried HealthyCA for lunch today. I had the "tofancho" with ancho chili marinated tofu, carrots, cucumber, avocado (half of a beautiful avocado), daikon sprouts, cilantro on mixed greens. It was very fresh and tasty. Many of the other salads look great as do some of the sandwiches, the people were really nice, I had no problem getting a table, street parking was easy. A winner.

              1. re: Maxmillion

                HealthyCA Foods awesome healthy salads!!


              2. Some of my personal faves...

                Make your own at The Dressing Room in Sherman Oaks
                Chopped Chicken Salad w/ Grilled Eggplant and Hearts of Palm added in at Sisley Italian Kitchen (no not the best restaurant, but great take-out salad w/ the grilled balsamic veggie appetizer)
                Newsroom Cafe... almost all of 'em
                Warm Spinach Salad and Shiitake Mushroom Salad (as well as others) at Home
                The Grilled Veggie at the Ivy (yes totally overpriced)
                Grilled Veggie w/ Shrimp at Cha Cha Cha
                Some good ones at CPK
                California Chicken Cafe design your own

                2 Replies
                1. re: Emme

                  i'm sure i'll probably catch a lot of flack for this one, but i have to agree with emme...

                  the grilled vegetable salad at the ivy.

                  i know, i know, the restaurant is overpriced and overrated...but that salad is the one reason to go there.

                  personally i think your best bet is to find a great salad bar [like the hollywood whole foods location at 3rd & fairfax] and build your own.

                  1. re: 1_healthnut

                    I too agree that while ridiculously overpriced, the grilled vegetable salad at The Ivy is the best entree salad I've ever had.

                2. I think Japanese inspired salads can be outstanding. Nagao in Santa Monica has 18 such salads, all under $10 I think. Unfortuenately, their menu isn't up on their website:


                  Check out the pictures of Mako's Tuna Tataki & Calamari (pictures 2 & 3) below:


                  Is that what you're looking for?

                  1. I was recently pleasantly surprised by the shrimp caesar at Delmonico's in Encino.

                    1. Zabie's on Ocean Park in SM has a nice variety.

                      1. If you're not feeling particularly fancy, CPK has a great collection of salads that act as an entire meal.

                        The grilled ahi salad at China Grill in Manhattan Beach (adjacent to the Manhattan Village Mall) is a favorite on the lighter side. A little Italian place in Marina del Rey called Antica Pizzeria has several very good salads.

                        All of these are non-fancy restaurants.

                        1. I really like the salads at Tender Greens in Culver City.

                          1. I like the Cobb salad at Daily Grill. They use shredded iceberg lettuce and big chunks of chicken & bleu cheese.

                            Spark Woodfire Grill has a great Chopped Green Salad (I add chicken) with bleu cheese and polenta croutons in a balsamic dressing.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: navystreet

                              Damon & Pythias - I recommend the Westwood and Calabasas Location - Santa Monica location has been spotty with service and food quality. Salad choices are great and portions are GINORMOUS! 1/2 Salad and 1/2 Sandwich combos are really filling. You can also make your own.


                              1. re: tatertots

                                Santa Monica location has already closed down :(

                            2. The ahi tuna salad with mango and avacado at Houston's is YUMM, although I hear they chnaged it at some locations.

                              Second the cobb at Daily Grill, it's a good one, not too much dressing.

                              The Amandine Chicken Salad at Mani's Bakery. Warm grilled chicken and greens with a dijon dressing that is FABULOUS.

                              Old stand by: BBQ chopped chicken salad from CPK. Often copied, never done quite as well.

                              Ivy crab salad with homemade 1000 island dressing. So insanely good. My sole reason for ever going there.

                              Grilled Mushroom salad from Beacon in Culver City. It has manchengo cheese and a lite vinagrette. Sounds weird, tastes great!

                              Tuna salad from Joan's on 3rd. Nice light tuna, NO MAYO!! (I detest mayonaisse). Still flavorful and not dry.

                              Can you tell I'm a salad fiend??

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: kellydeez

                                Wow! Thanks so much for sharing. I'll make it a point to sample all of your suggestions :-)

                              2. I really enjoy the vegan tofu salad at Buddha's Belly. It's got mixed greens, seaweed, tofu, sprouts, and some other veggies. I find it really refreshing.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: rds246

                                  Like the rest, I hate to admit that I'm a fan of the grilled veggie salad at the Ivy, but alas...I'm guilty.
                                  Cobb at Daily Grill is also good.
                                  I also really like the Chopped Salad at Sisley. It's incredibly fresh and light tasting!!

                                2. I am a big fan of the Nicoise Salad at McCormick & Schmick's and also at the Farm of BH. Nice mix of flavors, rare tuna, green beens, tomatoes, mixed greens, black olives, egg, small potatoes, sprouts, onion, etc.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: scrappydog

                                    Oh that reminds me, Broadway Deli at the south end of the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica does a really nice nicoise.

                                  2. For the past couple of months, I've been lunching at Dino's Pizza in Burbank. Their Spinach Salad with chicken is huge and always fresh. I've had a couple of their other salads and they're great too. Burbank Bl at Hollywood Way

                                    Steve Doggie-Dogg

                                    1. Make your own at Mrs. Winston's. They have the best salad bar I've ever seen. Or I really like the Angry Thai Steak salad at Houston's. 26 Beach also has a pretty extensive slad menu with lots of interesting choices.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: mollyomormon

                                        Mrs. Winston's is good for a vegetarian salad bar, but if you like chicken in your salad... forget it.

                                        I LOVE Whole Foods' salad bars, particularly the Wilshire and 23rd location, Barrington x San Vicente, the Woodland Hills, Fairfax x SM, and actually once found the Thousand Oaks to be the best location ever... shame I'm NEVER out there :(

                                        Ralph's salad bars are pretty darn good too, esp Bundy x Wilshire and Calabasas.

                                        1. re: Emme

                                          The Mrs Winstons in Century City has turkey and/or chicken on the salad bar now, as well as a sandwich bar which you can pull from...aside from the "proteins" they absolutely have the best salad bar...nothing beats the purple basil, arugula, fresh spicy salsa and endless other greens and sprouts. You could make a 10lb salad and still feel healthy!

                                      2. i love stanley's on ventura and woodman. you mentioned being tired of chinese chicken salads (i think theirs is one of the best) but they have a bunch of really good salads, big enough to share or they have halfers :)

                                        1. Stanley's in the Valley has a number of very tasty salads, two of my favorites are the grilled chicken Amy's grapefruit.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: anothernotch

                                            I'm partial to the Avocado/Spinach salad (w/garbanzo beans added) at Earth, Wind & Flour in Santa Monica.

                                            1. re: thericequeen

                                              I agree that's a tasty salad but it's a calorie bomb what with all the cheese, avocado and croutons.

                                          2. Have you tried Crocodile Cafe in Pas, on Lake just so. of Colorado, or the (don't laugh) Red Brick Pizza also has great variety of salads.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: letynjery

                                              Ah, but behind Crocodile Cafe, in a little alleyway, is Green Street restaurant. They have wonderful HUGE salads, particularly their Diane salad. It's so big I usually split it with a friend when I go. And they have great zucchini bread.

                                              So much better than Crocodile Cafe, which always disappoints me.

                                            2. Yes, I too love Whole Foods salad bars. Some locations have less choices than others though (no artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, etc.). I usually go to the one in Westwood b/c they have everything - even falafel balls - YUM. I usually spend about $10.

                                              Corner Bakery's Roasted Chicken Tuscan Salad ($7) is pretty good for the price. Greens, roasted chicken, apple slices, feta cheese, walnuts, and pita chips with balsamic vinaigrette dressing. CPK's Waldorf Chicken Salad ($9) is almost exactly the same but tastes a little bit better to me.

                                              I love California Chicken Cafe's California Chicken Salad ($9). Romaine, chicken, feta cheese, avocado, broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes, croutons, and pasta (with choice of dressing - I got balsamic vinaigrette). Brought a couple salads to a get-together and they were both gone in about 30 minutes.

                                              Tender Greens salads ($10-11) are OK. Like someone else said, they kind of lack personality but they're fresh. I usually get their Steak Salad. It's just 5-6 slices of beef atop soft, fresh, butter lettuce (I think) with a couple slices of watercress (I think). But with a drink, etc. I usually spend $15-16, which is not worth it for me especially b/c I'm usually still a bit hungry afterwards. Needless to say, I don't go there often.

                                              If you haven't tried Leaf Cuisine (http://www.leafcuisine.com/opening.html) I highly recommend it. I'm not vegan or particularly into health food so walked into their Culver City location on a whim. But I tried their 3-salads-in-one combo ($12) and was blown AWAY. : D Soooo good! I tried their ginger smoothie too ($5) which warmed me up and made me feel super healthy and energetic. The only downside with Leaf: I spent close to $20, was stuffed for about an hour, but was starving again soon after.

                                              I was actually craving salad this week but am away from LA (in Ohio) so had to try the local fast food restaurants. I tried both Wendy's Mandarin Chicken Salad and McDonald's Asian Chicken Salad (both $4.29). Wendy's was surprisingly REALLY good. So worth it. Mixed greens, cubes of fresh roasted chicken, sliced almonds, crunchy noodle thingies, and a sesame ginger dressing. McDonald's was GROSS. Chunks of iceberg lettuce, orange-colored chicken in huge misshapen pieces, and edamame also with sesame ginger dressing. Nasty. I only ate the whole thing b/c I paid for it. : D

                                              Anywho. Can't wait to get back to LA and try out some of those ones you all mentioned! Especially HealthyCA and the Ivy. : P

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: emmaramma

                                                WOW! Excellent Review! Thanks so much. You've given me a lot of great places to try. They all sound good, particularly the California Chicken Cafe Salad. I can't wait!

                                                1. re: emmaramma

                                                  agree, CCC offers a good selection of dressed greens, and if you're counting calories, you can request a low calorie version...all you want pita bread too, if you're dining in, mmm mmmm, delicious

                                                2. If you're ever up in Malibu, Taverna Tony's California Salad is wonderful (sundried tomatoes, walnuts, etc.)

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Cinnamon

                                                    I love the off-menu grilled shrimp salad at Toscana. It's perfect.

                                                  2. Here's a curve ball from Abbot's Pizza... Salad Pizza, or Salad on a Pizza. Basically a mixed salad with romaine, tomato, parm, and when in season - big buttery slices of avocado on top of a slice of pizza. If you like pizza and salad, this combo on a slice is for you...

                                                    9 Replies
                                                    1. re: bulavinaka

                                                      Oh yum! This sounds like a kind of pizza sold in Amherst, MA when I was there in college. I'll definitely have to try this!

                                                      1. re: mollyomormon

                                                        I don't know the origins of Abbot's version, but I'm imagining a replay of that old Reese's Peanut Buttercup commercial, where one person is walking down the street with a chocolate bar, another is walking toward him with a jar of PB, they crash into each other, and you know the rest of the story, except in Abbot's case it happened in their kitchen with a slice and a salad during the lunch hour rush...

                                                      2. re: bulavinaka

                                                        CPK has a tricolore salad pizza that's actually pretty damn good... That carmelized parmesan thin bubbly crust is really good, and actually, the secret option is that for a buck, you can add the crust beneath any of the salads, and it's worth it on the chicken or shrimp caesar!

                                                        1. re: Emme

                                                          Hey, that does sound great... There's a CPK in MdR - I'll have to give it a try... thanks!

                                                          1. re: bulavinaka

                                                            I worked there for like six months during a break in college, and learned lots of little tricks. I often took home an order of whole-wheat pita ($1), a tricolore crust ($1), a chicken breast or two ($3), and a veggie plate ($4.95) to fill out my 10 buck allowance for food :-) Ah, the secrets you learn as an employee.

                                                          2. re: Emme

                                                            I just took this suggestion and had the Grilled Veggie salad on top of the pizza crust at CPK. So good!!! But I can't figure out why the heck the parmesan is sweet. Is it literally only caramelized parmesan? Or are they adding sugar to make it sweet???

                                                            1. re: CookieEater

                                                              how could one caremelize cheese? Wouldn't it melt into the sugarDD

                                                          3. I've heard great things about the Alcove in Hollywood...

                                                            I've had some good ones at Coral Tree Cafe in Brentwood, their menu is really descriptive and gets your appetite up...

                                                            I had the BEST black bean salad at Auntie Em's in Eagle Rock, dressed with citrus and coriander. It was so light it didn't even taste like it had any oil in it. Maybe it didn't. Either way, enthusiastic thumbs up.

                                                            The only place in Pasadena I'd go for a salad is at Green Street Cafe. 50% for the salad, 50% for the zuchinni bread that comes with it.

                                                            1. Here's the CPK page with pics of their (wonderful) salads. For a chain, these are really really hard to beat, I think:

                                                              1. The best chopped salad in the city is Factor's Deli on Pico and Beverly Drive in BH. Two great different choices and the portions are huge. I get my "fix" at least once every 10 days.

                                                                1. Definitely agree about the California Chicken Cafe salad - with balsamic (ask for it, I think it comes with ranch). It's deelish.

                                                                  The Nordstrom Cafe in the Westside Pavilion has good, fresh salads. I especially like the Cilantro Lime Salad (comes with chicken, but I substitute avocado). They have a lovely Chinese chicken salad & a couple of others. Nice place for lunch, & unless they are swamped - it's pretty fast (you order & then sit down, food is brought to your table). And parking is easy & free.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: sherpa50

                                                                    I tried the California Chicken Cafe Salad (with Balsamic!) for lunch yesterday. LOVED it. Thanks for the tip!

                                                                  2. You would need to define "salad" pretty broadly to include this one, but it is fantastic - the Thai Steak Salad at Houston's (I think it has the word Evil the name somewhere). It's steak, avocado, mango, a bit of lettuce, and some other yummy stuff - I absolutely love it!

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: aching

                                                                      That is a very good salad. However, for PC reasons they have removed the "evil" from the name.

                                                                    2. I am a chopped salad fiend! My three favorites are:

                                                                      (1) the chopped salad from La Dolce Vita in Beverly Hills. It's similar to the Leon Salad from La Scala, except even better to my taste. Finely chopped, with garbanzos, bitter greens, cheese, cold cuts and the perfect tangy vinaigrette.

                                                                      (2) the chopped salad from Alejo's on Lincoln & Washington in MDR. This is a pretty classic italian chopped salad, with or without turkey. I miss it since I no longer live in that neighborhood.

                                                                      (3) the chopped salad from Jacopo's in Beverly Hills. I got this recommendation from chowhound when looking for a chopped salad near my work, and it is really good. I hadn't been to Jacopo's since high school, but now have been getting the salad to go around once a week. They have two variations -- one with italian cold cuts and one with chicken. Both come with lettuce, cheese, olives, pepperocinis, garbanzos and tomato, with a classic italian vinaigrette.

                                                                      1. TENDER GREENS.
                                                                        They're partnered with Scarborough Farms, and get fresh produce daily from them. Their free range chicken is very flavorful and juicy. The rest of their ingredients are high quality. They source locally, where they can.
                                                                        TENDER GREENS.


                                                                        1. The French Quarter, 7985 Santa Monica Blvd., W. Hollywood
                                                                          Delicious salads, all of them.
                                                                          Check the menu at www.frenchquarterwest.com

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Barbara Ladden

                                                                            You've already mentioned 3 of my favorites in the SGV for salad-Houstons, Green Street and CPK. Now add Marston's.

                                                                            1. re: Fru

                                                                              I seventh (seventh poster here) CPK's salads! It should be called CPS! I've tried several and they're all great! I always want to go there all the time but my husband like lots of variety, nightly. CPK's salads are even better than any of Green Street's salads, except for the Dianne, of course. I'm constantly salivating at the Waldorf with ranch dressing (the dressing is quite light) and the Thai Crunch Salad. By the way, their pizzas aren't that great, with the exception of one I just discovered--the Tandoori Chicken one...ummm.

                                                                          2. Hello again! Hope you've been eating well. : )

                                                                            Thought of you a couple days ago b/c there's a new Whole Foods in El Segundo (on Sepulveda) and they have an awesome salad bar! There's the traditional stuff (heart of palm, artichoke hearts, spinach salad, etc.), Middle Eastern stuff (falafel, hummus, etc.), Mexican stuff (burritos, enchiladas, Mexican rice, etc.) and a whole lot more for $7.49/lb.

                                                                            Was out of town for a couple months so was pleasantly surprised to find this beautiful new Whole Foods in the area. FYI (in case you didn't already know). : )

                                                                            1. The Farm of BH or the one at the Grove. I esp like the maple salmon salad. Also, IMO the chinese chicken salad at Chin-Chin is the best. There are several locations in LA.

                                                                              1. Great thread. Thanks for the recommendations so far from everyone! :)

                                                                                Any other recommendations for Great Salads in:

                                                                                * San Gabriel Valley
                                                                                * Orange County

                                                                                I love Green Street Cafe, but getting kinda tired going to only 1 place in the area. :)


                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: exilekiss

                                                                                  I'm doing this very quickly so I'm not reading over the previous posts but Marston's on Walnut at Raymond has great salads.

                                                                                2. I really like the salads at The Grill at Hollywood and HIghtland. The Daily Grill also has good salads. I like the Cobb at both.

                                                                                  1. One of my favorite salads in LA right now is from 3 square cafe and bakery - they have a few which are good but my favorite is the grilled veggie salad - i like how the veggies are cut up and not in huge pieces.
                                                                                    A few people have said that CPK has great salads and although they are a good stand by, I have to say that i think they lack any real personality.
                                                                                    If you are in Malibu try the salads at tradinoi restuarant or at John Garden for lunch. Johns makes a really good salad with a scoop of tuna a scoop of egg salad over really fresh lettuce.

                                                                                    1. I agree with the other posts, CPK has really tasty salads that are pretty consistent. I also like every salad that I have had at ...Claim Jumper! They give you HUGE portions and the produce is really fresh.

                                                                                      1. I know this will seem crazy but Barney's Beanery. The vegetable salad chopped is one of the best salads around. I've only had it in Santa Monica. And make sure it is chopped, because it's not nearly as good when it's not.

                                                                                        1. The only place I've experienced stellar gourmet whole-meal salads is CAFE' MIDI on La Brea in L.A. There are about 17 varities of salads with interesting pairings of meats, fruits, vegetables & exotic greens. Truly a great find!! --JET

                                                                                          1. 26 beach, imho, serves a number of great salads.
                                                                                            i have a special fondness for their tuscan salad.
                                                                                            sometimes i 'cheat' when i have guests and instead of cooking just make a salad buffet out of some of the 26 beach salads. everyone seems to love them.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                              for a meatless salad, native foods in westwood is sooo tasty! very flavorful, unusual options--my favorite is the aztec salad, with chopped tomato, jicama, currants, avocado, pumpkin seeds and mango-lime dressing...

                                                                                            2. A few thoughts:

                                                                                              1.) Miso Lemon Chicken Salad at The Sandwich Shop in Downtown- unbelievably light, but bursting with flavor! Organic baby greens, napa cabbage, roasted chicken, sesame seeds, toasted almonds, and cilantro with miso lemon vinaigrette. $7.50 Highly Recommended!

                                                                                              2.) Cobb Salad w/ Chicken at The Vermont Restaurant and Bar in Los Feliz- Probably the best traditional cobb i've ever had. Romaine, Bacon, Avocado, Gorgonzola, Chicken, and Diced Egg $13

                                                                                              3.) Chicken Salad at Ro Ro's Chicken in Hollywood. Not sure of the exact ingredients in this one, but its fairly simple from what I can tell. Greens, Onions, a load of fresh rotisserie chicken, and a sort of middle eastern ranch dressing that's hard to describe. about $5.50


                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: blique

                                                                                                Blique -- tell me more about RoRo's, never heard of it... (and where is it in Hollywood?).