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Nov 29, 2007 09:22 PM

Low Cal Restaurants in L.A./Valley

Any recs for low cal restaurants, especially lunches? I'm especially looking for Valley places.

So far, I've discovered:
TOPZ (can get out easily for under 400 or 500 cal and be full)
KOO KOO ROOs in Woodland Hills

I'm unsure about:
California Chicken Cafe in WH, no nutrition values posted
Whole Foods food bar

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  1. whole foods salad bar is mostly healthy, assuming you avoid the mayonnaise-y prepared items or oil laden prepared stuff, and stick with the raw unadulterated stuff.

    salads galore has some healthy stuff.

    jinky's cafe will do a lot of things without oil and egg whites only, etc.


    uncle chen's, though disliked by some, will accommodate all health requests (no sugar, oil, cornstarch)

    sushi bars in general, but i order cut rolls without rice and sashimi, no tempura or stuff laden in sugary sauces... tama, iroha, yamato (not liked by everyone), and asanebo will all do riceless rolls, and yuta, the new place that has brown rice rolls

    california pita and grill does really lean chicken kebabs, or a great chicken salad

    california chicken cafe - the best options are white chicken and butternut squash, veggie soup, salad (sans croutons and dressing) - they also have fat free mayo if you so desire

    the dressing room is as healthy as you choose to make your salad

    gyu-kaku can be done healthfully if you order right (it's not the best or most authentic korean bbq, but what can i say?)

    yoshi's shabu shabu, again depending upon what you choose

    carnival has healthy choices... the chicken, tabbouleh, (hummus and babaghanoush, in moderation)

    i'm sure i'll think of more ideas later!

    1. How can you forget Follow Your Heart Cafe, Emme!

      Also try some of the food at Marmalade Cafe, Cafe Bizou, Gelson's salad bar, Stanley's, Yogurt Zone and Studio Yogurt, most sushi bars (only certain items, stick to sashimi and salads if you can!), Vegetrian Delight, Healthy Wok (not the best food).

      Some greek places have ligter options, such as Alexis and Great Greek, but it's hard to avoid the other stuff!

      If you're splurging cash wise, a trip up Topanga Canyon to Inn Of The Seventh Ray is worth it!

      2 Replies
      1. re: Diana

        Honestly, I don't much like Follow Your Heart... and it's definitely got a lot of high cal disguised as health food stuff... Maybe I'm ordering the wrong thing, but I've never been wowed.

        1. re: Emme

          With Follow your heart, simple usually means low cal. I like the vegetable plate. The salads are good, as are the soups and some of the sandwiches. You can also get a few low cal breakfast items there.

          Still, like any place, we must remember that "Helath Food" soesn not mean "Low Calorie". Something can be made up of healthy ingredients but not low calorie. Look at the wonderful avocado! The banana! Tofu (can have tons of calories) and more.

      2. i'm not familiar with the valley, but the best satiation/calorie ratio i've found near my house, is at Big Wok, the mongolian barbeque place in manhattan beach.
        they make a vegetable stir fry with no oil. i use tofu as the protein source which makes it much more easy to judge the calories involved.
        If you can find a mongolian barbecue place near you, i'd bet that you could replicate the satiation/calorie ratio.
        Big Wok, unlike some other mongolian barbecue places, does not require nor encourage you to pile up on pasta/rice; so i just skip the carbs entirely.

        1. There's a vegetarian Mexican restaurant in Studio City on Moorpark St. called Leonor's. Right across the street from the Oyster House near the corner of Moorpark & Whitsett. Everything is soy based, it's cheap, and the portions are huge. And their flax seed iced tea is so good. I recommend their pizzas, the beet salad, the California burger, nachos, Mike's quesadilla, Bolivian sandwich, and the chicken salad sandwich. Their chili is good, too.

          2 Replies
          1. re: search_for_the_holy_gruel

            Leonor's may be veggie, but it's far from low-cal!

            1. re: Diana

              It really depends on the diner and what they choose. I don't think their beet salad is high in calories. Their nachos I'm sure are because of all the tortilla chips and beans. It may not be all low-cal but you definitely have a wide choice between the items that are.

          2. One other place...I don't remember the name but there's a Greek/Middle Eastern place on Van Nuys Blvd, south of Ventura right next to the newsstand (I think it's called The Pita Kitchen). A hole in the wall but the food is so fresh, authentic & always delicious. Their eggplant salad is the best I've ever had. But they're usually crowded so it's hard to get a table and they only take cash. And parking's a b****.