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May 21, 2007 09:13 PM

The Dressing Room (Sherman Oaks)

Whenever I’m looking for something healthy at a new restaurant, the first part of the menu I scan are the salads. It’s one of the few items where you can totally control what goes into your meal, and I’m all about customization. With this in mind I was happy to discover “The Dressing Room” in Sherman Oaks; a restaurant that puts a gourmet spin on the salad bar.

Entering you’re presented with two options: order one of their specialty salads where all the decisions are made for you, or take one of their salad checklists and select from all the possible ingredients. For $6.95 you choose a base lettuce, five toppings (each additional for .65 cents), a dressing from a very extensive list, and for an additional nominal fee any meat or seafood you can imagine. The price varies depending on what you choose. In the end you can decide on the bowl or if you want it wrapped. After exhausting all of your decision making capabilities, take your creation to the counter and away they go before you can say “crouton.”

For my salad I selected the mixed greens, avocado, mushroom buttons, broccoli, red and yellow bell peppers (this counts as one), and chopped tomatoes. The dressing was their low-fat honey mustard which I requested on the side, and I added blackened chicken for $1.95. If you like chicken you also have the option of rotisserie or grilled.

The salad master goes down the salad bar, putting all of their incredibly fresh looking ingredients into a bowl. Meanwhile, over at the visible grill another person tosses on a hearty piece of chicken. At the end of the salad line the contents of your bowl are dumped out onto a chopping block, and the salad master chops away with a mezzaluna (a large curved chopping blade). The colorful goodness goes back into a bowl, mixed with your dressing, topped with your piping hot protein, and served.

The salad tastes as fresh as it looks. Lettuce is no where near limp or wilted, each added ingredient has exactly the right consistency, and the blackened chicken has a bit of spice. Overall perfect and exactly what I wanted. The dressing only enhances things further, adding a honey mustard sweetness to the already great tasting salad.

“The Dressing Room” is where you go if you’re looking for a nutritious lunch for less then $10 in the valley. With everything made to order, and the tons of healthy options, it’s hard to go wrong. If you do, you only have yourself to blame.


The Dressing Room
14622 Ventura Blvd #103
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
(818) 788-4882

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  1. Nice review. Glad people are supporting and enjoying it, as it's one of my favorite "fast food" places, and I don't want to see it disappear... I certainly wish and hope one will open on the westside too!

    3 Replies
    1. re: Emme

      Excellent salads and the soups are even better.

      My store is across the street and it took a coupon in one of those throwaway ad books to clue me in that it was a restaurant and not a clothes store.

      Imagine the line out the door if it was called The Dressing Room Cafe

      I love the play on words, but I think it's word of mouth and coupons that will let people know of it's existance.

      Did I mention I love the place?

      1. re: mar52

        I didn't even consider the soups. Good to know for next time!

        1. re: ReelMike84

          love this place..met owner..nice cat.


    2. I love the Dressing Room. What I really love, beyond the fresh greens, is that they have seperate chopping boards and knives for nut allergic people like me!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Diana

        Another good thing to know. I love the little touches for the customers.

      2. Okay, let's see how this goes over...but am I the only one who felt a little ripped off for what I got?

        Don't get me wrong, the service was very friendly, and the salad was relatively tasty, but I've paid 10 bucks for salads at other places with plenty left over for another meal AND had sitdown service to go with it. I found the salad to be a little small for the price, and the toppings to be a little lacking.

        My salad (one of their specialty salads) was mostly lettuce, with the tiniest bit of extras tossed in (actually, they were sunk to the bottom). When I picked up my salad from the counter, I thought there was mistake because I couldn't even see any of the toppings in there at all! I think I had one bite of avocado, and maybe one bite of goat cheese.

        That being said, I did think it was a good salad (and maybe better sized for lunch than dinner), though I'd be much happier (and much more likely to return) if the cost-to-size and lettuce-to-toppings ratios were a little better proportioned.

        5 Replies
        1. re: ITurnedOutTV

          That's not typical at all..My salads are always chock full of stuff

          1. re: ITurnedOutTV

            This was my third visit and I've yet to have a problem with extras. I've never had one of the specialty salads, but I'm assuming that wouldn't make a difference.

            1. re: ITurnedOutTV

              I'm a big fan but my husband doesn't like it so much. He's only been twice, both times ordering a specialty salad, and both times he felt it was skimpy. I only get the "make your own" and I'm always satisfied with the amount of goodies in mine. I've probably been there close to 20 times. I often get avocado and/or goat cheese and while they don't give the largest amount of either, I think it's sufficient. Every time I've written about The Dressing Room I've stated that some might feel it's a bit on the expensive side for what it is.

              1. re: Debbie W

                I think Americans have come to expext huge protions of thingsd like cheese, and other ooey gooey stuff. I imagine the portions at the Dressing Room are actually closer to what the recognized "serving" is. Many are just so used to stuffing themselves silly, normal portions seem skimpy.

                For me, the salads are perfect, but for say, my brother in law, who likes nothing better than a mega plate a Houston's or one of those disgusting KFC bowl things with a burrito or two, the Dressing room isn't even considered a meal.

                And I guess, when dining out and spending money, maybe my bro in law should be happy. I just wish he were healthier.

                1. re: Diana

                  I'd be fine with the portions if I weren't paying so much for it. You're a big fan of Gelson's, so you know you can get twice as much salad with good-quality ingredients at their salad bar for what you pay at the Dressing Room.

            2. Thanks so much for the review- I have never even heard of this joint but will try to stop by. The concept reminds me of Damon and Pythus. Those of us vegetarians trying to add to our little black book of healthy joints can scribble this place down.