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Finally went to Tender Greens

We went to Culver City Sunday early evening to eat and then go to the Cozy for some shuffleboard. We pulled in front of Sabor a Mexico and it was closed! Starting July 8th, they close at 3p on Sundays. Broken hearted, I pulled myself together and tried to think of another place to eat. I wasn't in an any Mexican food mood; I was in a Sabor mood. We passed Tender Greens and decided to give it a shot, as my second choice, Markie's, would've left us nearly physically incapable of continuing the night on our feet.
About Tender Greens: I liked the airy, flowy space and the large wall mounted menu offered some interesting choices. I opted for the flat iron steak sandwich with a caesar salad. My girlfriend ordered the large Mediterranean salad, their version of a Greek salad but with spinach.
I was slightly turned off by the assembly line, very measured in terms of portions, style of salad and sandwich preparation. It comes off cold and impersonal, kind of like a bartender measuring shots in a jigger to make a drink. Just like I want him to spill a little alcohol, I'd like the sandwich guy to give me enough steak to make a sandwich have steak in every bite.
The steak sandwich is four strips of steak, roasted red peppers, and mayonnaise on a lightly griddled ciabatta roll. If there were more steak and the steak itself had more character--char, beef flavour, juice--then the sandwich would have glowed in its simplicity. As it was, it was moderately enjoyable, inoffensive, and dainty. The side caesar had fresh, crisp lettuce, but the dressing was flavourless. It needed punch. it was punchless.
The large Mediterranean, priced the same at $10, was overpriced comparatively, having no meat and not enough of the greek ingredients. It was a spinach salad first; Greek second.
This is a good place to go if you want to be light on your feet after eating and you want an enjoyable spot to eat your food. This is not a soul satisfying great food experience type of restaurant that you'll make your friends try.

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  1. I agree. I've been twice and both times I had the cobb salad. While the ingredients were good, it lacked punch and I left not exactly hungry, but wanting something more.

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      1. i think your word, 'dainty,' well-describes the food there.
        imho, it would be ok for a ladies lunch, but even though i'm a lady, it wasn't enough for me for dinner.

        1. I've been there about ten times, and I have to say their dishes are VERY hit-and-miss, although each dish is pretty consistent with itself from visit to visit. So it took about 5 or 6 visits to really find the 2 or so great items that I always get now. But I certainly wouldn't encourage anyone to have to do that ... I just happen to work near there so it comes up as a lunch option very often.

          One thing I *never* order there anymore is anything with their chicken. Not a fan of their chicken at all.

          2 Replies
          1. re: QualityMart

            Would you mind sharing those 2 (or so) great items you have discovered?

            1. re: Servorg

              Well I don't think there's necessarily a single answer since there are countless ways to combine things on the menu, and everyone has particular tastes, but sure, I can tell you what I usually order:

              Basically, it's all about the hot plates. Their mashes potatoes are superb, and the "simple salads" (which come w/ the hot plate) are better, salad-wise, than most of the salad entrees, IMHO. So I usually get:

              - ahi tuna w/ arugula, balsamic, and tomato.
              - steak w/ ceasar salad

              Also, if I'm in the mood to overpay, I'll also get a side of the cauliflower ($5), which is reeeally good but incredibly buttery. Between that and the mashed potatoes it's easy to walk out of this salad joint with a pretty fattening lunch!

              There are a bunch of things on the menu I haven't tried yet, but I got tired of walking out unsatisfied that I've given up on experimenting.

          2. Hi, and thank you for providing an alternate take on Tender Greens, to those of us yet to sample therefrom. After a tremendous let down upon trying The Dressing Room (in the Valley), I was hoping that Tender Greens might be everything that The Dressing Room was not ( a quick aside: I really wanted to like The Dressing Room, but for almost $10, I received about $1 worth of salad/veggies and protein, all rather too finely diced to even discern particular ingredients; the death-stroke came when the cashier started filling out a 'salad order form' for a patron *right on the cutting board surface* where they dice the salad ingredients into pulp! )... I may yet try Tender Greens, based on some flattering photos of the chow as presented by previous posters. As forlorn as your above-described experience was, Tender Greens still sounds a least a notch above The Dressing Room ( did I mention that I really wanted to like The Dressing Room? :-(

            2 Replies
            1. re: silence9

              Odd, at the dressing room, I get a HUGE salad with tons of stuff. Then, I don't get a pre made, I make up my own.

              You can ask them not to dice it.

              I hate "dainty" salads and sandwiches

              1. re: Diana

                Hi... Perhaps our day at The Dressing Room was an off-night (early Sunday evening), and yes, I had one of the pre-selected salad options. Also odd (as a carb-lover): there was no bread to be had at all! They had a huge tray of just-baked bread, and when I asked to buy a piece of it, they told me it was not for sale, as they were going to turn the entire tray of baked bread into croutons... Lastly, I think I am jaded, as a secret Soup Plantation fan. If I don't get 5 pounds of salad foodstuff for my $8, I tend to feel underprivileged ;-). But back to Tender Greens: I'm still very curious as to whether the food matches the tasty photos (previously) posted...