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I have to lose some pounds what's a foodie to do?

Hi there,

Yeah we have all done this before ( well at least I have ) put on a few too many pounds. What is a foodie to do? Would like to hear your selections for food that is very calorie and fat friendly. I am doing my part in the work out department. Can you provide some tasty morsels that will work in the food department. I have been eating Pho, grilled fish, rosted veggies and I am getting board.. Spike it up please! Southbay and Westside recs are most appreciated.. Thanks in advance..

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  1. at MARISCOS CHENTE order any of the coctels and the pz. tell them not even to put the chips on the table. if you need some carbs tell them to bring you ONLY ONE tortilla. sometimes if i'm really hungry i order two coctels for one meal.

    at DINAH'S order the chile relleno omelet made with egg whites only easy on the cheese with one piece of whole wheat toast dry.

    at THE SPOT order the super burrito and only eat half, take the other half home for another meal. bear in mind, the red sauce they use on this dish is nonfat or very low fat, so you get a good amount of eating pleasure for few calories.

    at AYARA THAI order the prik king or the thai garden with a double order of tofu as the protein source and tell them easy on the oil. order brown rice to go with.

    at MUSHA any of the sashimi dishes or the homemade tofu dishes will do the trick.

    at 26 BEACH order the tuscan salad with double order of grilled tofu on top and with dressing on the side.

    whenever i've got to get my weight down quickly, i've been able to do it by rotating between these restaurants eating this dishes only.

    imho, the key to losing weight while eating out is to sure that the protein/calorie ratio is high.

    3 Replies
      1. re: Foodandwine

        you're very welcome.
        glad to help any way i can.

      2. re: westsidegal

        these are good suggestions and tasty as hell, yeah, never allow them even to put those chips and salsa on the table.

      3. Folks-

        Please do chime in with the names of restaurants and suggested dishes at the restaurants that meet Foodandwine's criteria, but general diet advice is out of scope for this board and is being removed.

        1. Eat more entree Salads - Salad heaven for some is Nagao (sushi & salad) in Santa Monica. They have 19 salads under $10.50 + specials with many that will "spike it up" from the usual suspects:



          P.S. - Their menu has never made onto their website.

          17 Replies
          1. re: JBC

            Thanks for the tip! I have a restaurant.com certificate for Nagao but still haven't made it in.

            As far as foodandwine's request, Huckleberry has a fantastic prepared salads case where you can pick up a trio of salads for $13 that is actually a large enough serving that I can easily make two meals of it. The tuna salad is not mayo based and it's a delicious source of lean protein along with two of the veggie salads. The trick is getting out of there without also ordering a pastry ;)

            1. re: mollyomormon

              Havenot been to hucklberrys pastries are a big weakness. give me a zip code and I will direct you to the best.. The Salad recs sound good.. Thanks..

              1. re: mollyomormon

                that's impossible, molly. you cannot enter huckleberry with out ordering at least one pastry. its a law!

                1. re: josh L

                  when that happens, i convince myself that the whole wheat fruit bars there are "healthy." ;)

                  1. re: mollyomormon

                    hey they use organic eggs and butter and the doughnuts are fried in unsaturated oil so its gotta be healthy, right?

                    they opened a hucleberry clone in my neck of the woods in santa monica called Thyme Café & Market which sadly is not nearly as good but at least I wont be tempted...

                    1. re: josh L

                      I still haven't made it in to check out Thyme (I guess you could say that I haven't had Thyme...). Is there anything worth eating there or am I better off going to Huckleberry?

                      1. re: mollyomormon

                        You're better off... I wasn't too impressed with their salad or sandwich offerings. Huckleberry at least you get your $$$$ worth...


                        1. re: Dommy

                          That's a bummer. That part of Ocean Park could totally use something like that if they stepped up their game.

                          1. re: mollyomormon

                            Yeah we were so excited since we do Yoga a few doors down and visit Bob's often. It's not bad, just not quite up to the par to even Curious Palate in Mar Vista. It's worth a try if you are in the neighborhood, but otherwise, keep on driving to Huckleberry...


                            1. re: Dommy

                              I've been to Thyme Market a bunch of times. It's not as expensive as Huckleberry and their food is yummy, a great place to have in the neighborhood. Not as large menu as H. The servings are small at TM but seem larger if you get the food to-go. But after finishing the plate I feel perfect, not overfed and ill. They have a salad I like, a grilled salmon salad with celery, capers, herbs, etc., served with greens, grape tomatoes and green beans. Healthy and $8.50 I think.

                              The Curious Palette on Venice Blvd. has their Curious Salad. Greens, giant xmas lima beans, beets, artichoke hearts, roasted peppers, those shriveled salty black olives, a scattering of feta. Get it with an add-on of chicken breast. Their small salad with chicken added fills me up for lunch and is also under $9.

                            2. re: mollyomormon

                              i agree with you molly and i was super excited when they opened as i live nearby. the food, however is pretty uninspired and prices that match huckleberry. too bad!!!

                2. re: JBC

                  Agree on the salads. Love California Chicken Cafe's chinese chicken salad (hold the pasta if you are trying to do low carb). I hate salads but I can eat this all day long. Portions are big so you can eat half and save the rest for later.

                  1. re: JBC

                    entree salads can only be good diet food if you can control the calories derived from the dressing.
                    can one get the dressing on the side at nagao? can one get the dressing on the side at huckleberrry?
                    if not, entree salads, in general, are a caloric wild card. the dressings can be a stealthy caloric equal to a piece of cheesecake.

                    at california chicken cafe, you definitely CAN get the dressing on the side--big plus.

                    1. re: westsidegal

                      The huckleberry salads aren't dressing based. They typically included stewed chickpeas with spicy tomatoes, tuna salad that's not dressed, but mixed with pickled red onions and capers, typically some sort of braised kale, and usually a couple different kinds of roasted veggies. It's usually fairly easy to tell when a substantial amount of fat has been added in the preparation (Clementine, I'm looking at you), because once refrigerated, the fat will start to solidify. That's not the case with the prepared salads at Huckleberry. Can't speak to Nagao, although I'm planning to try it this weekend so I'll let you know.

                      o PO, If getting the california chicken cafe salad, see if they'll hold the pasta and add extra veggies and also hold the fried crunchy things. You'll lose weight a LOT faster.

                      1. re: westsidegal

                        I agree that salad dressings can be a stealth calorie control problem; however, at Nagao I've never asked for it on the side there but everywhere else I have done in my life, they've always been agreeable.

                        1. re: westsidegal

                          Nagao will accommodate your request- you can order the salad with dressing or the "special sauce" on the side.

                        2. re: JBC

                          Nagao is quite yummy, the salads being filled with burdock, different types of seaweed, spicy tuna, sauces, some with greens. I wish I could get a restaurant.com coupon for it, I don't see it on there.

                          You might also try some of the grilled chicken bun at Le Saigon, there are not that many of those rice noodles and I'm sure they could add more lettuce instead if you asked

                        3. Ceviches are always a satisfying healthy meal. Also, I've found that a lunch of oysters is surprisingly satisfying and will hold you down until dinner.

                          So, La Isla Bonita, Mariscos Chente and Blue Plate Oysterette are all worthy options.

                          Mariscos Chente
                          4532 S Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066

                          1. Thanks for posting this thread... I too am working on getting back into shape and appreciate all of the recommendations.

                            I remember Wahoo's on Wilshire Blvd in Brentwood having some healthy stuff on their menu if you look closely.

                            1. Thanks to all that have replied. It seems that this is a difficult task. Salads with dressing on the side it is a good point ( but heck the diet gurus tell you that ) I like seasoned rice vinegar and mist olive oil or leave it out. Sushi is a great choice and sashmi even better. We all know that too. I am seeking somekind of foodie thougts. The soon tofu was great and the panchan is low cal too.. Perhaps Indian? Mariscos Chente is great but the chips will kill you ( westside gal said not to even get close to the. ) so besides the obvious any other thoughts.. This is a hard one humm. I off for some cevechie...

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Foodandwine

                                "Perhaps Indian? "
                                Indian menus are a calorie-counting minefield because so many of the items (especially curries) contain a lot of ghee, cream, or coconut milk. plus, you have to try and resist the naan ;) but tandoori dishes are a relatively safe bet. i'm pretty sure Pradeep's in Santa Monica is known for offering a wider variety of health-conscious options.

                                for the record, my favorite salad on the westside is the grilled vegetable salad at the Ivy. order it with grilled chicken or shrimp, light on the avocado. i always ask them to leave off the dressing entirely and bring me lemon wedges and balsamic vinegar instead - a sprinkle of both and i'm set. the portion is *enormous* so ask for a to-go container when they first bring it to you, and box up half immediately to save for another meal.

                              2. I've had good luck eating light-ish at URTH caffe, esp. when I stick to the vegetarian dishes. I'm not sure what they do to make their veggies so tasty (like in vegetarian lasagna), because when I make that sort of thing it turns out so bland, but I'm always a little lighter after eating vegetarian a few days. That is, eating vegetarian like Urth cooks. If I were to try to go vegetarian at home, I'd be making Fettuccine Alfredo for breakfast and I'd be completely spherical.
                                And, as someone else suggested, my go-to food for slimming down is sushi. I just always feel *good* after eating sushi, anyway. Just stay away from the tempura and fried rolls, go for the actual raw fish and bonito/seaweed/miso broth soups. Tsukemono is nice too but don't eat too much or you'll retain water. Soba noodles in small portions are a good choice, too. My regular place is Sushi Gen but westside I don't really have a favourite.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: khh1138

                                  I think every person has their choice. When I want to lose weight I try to avoid temptation, and go for lighter fare. In the South Bay, that entails:

                                  Santouka for Ramen
                                  I-Naba for Soba
                                  Baja Fresh for their salads (yes, I was that desperate)
                                  Cho-Dang Tofu for Bi-Bim Bop (yay for lots of small side dishes)
                                  Pho-Hana for their Bun/Pho/Rolls
                                  Shin for their Yaki (ordering a handful of little things)

                                  1. re: westsidegal

                                    Hey guys because of you I had a nice lunch of fish over rice. Tuna, Albacore, Salmon, Snapper, and about 3 others with dry seaweed, fish row ( the large ones ) over sushi rice. I know its not the best ( they did not have brown rice ) but to me its all about choices, I could of had a rib eye.. The Sushi bowl, with miso soup, green salad no dressing ( well a dash of soy and wasabi ) and orange slices and 3 glasses of water. I was stuffed and happy... Thanks for the sushi tip..

                                    1. re: Foodandwine

                                      so where did you get this dish? how was it? was the fish fresh? how much did they charge?
                                      enquiring minds want to know!

                                    2. re: spicy_tofu

                                      I'm not sure I'd call Santouka ramen "light." That broth is salty, fatty, high-calorie deliciousness.

                                  2. lots of others have given you great suggestions thus far... i'll just throw in a few of my favorite items around town.

                                    i eat a lot of egg white omelettes -- Nate'n'Al's, Barney Greengrass (they always have one on special), Ed's Coffee Shop, Cafe Fiore, Kate Mantilini, etc.

                                    when i'm craving a good salad, aside from the grilled veggie salad at The Ivy, suggested by goodhealthgourmet, i also enjoy Green Leaf Chop Shop, where i can decide my own ingredietns (and they offer hard boiled egg whites and seared ahi as protein options - yay them!)

                                    if you're out and like the sound of a pasta dish (assuming it's not a cream based, cheesy caloric monstrosity to begin with), try asking the restaurant to substitute steamed vegetables for the pasta. great way to taste the sauce/preparation... pasta is just a vehicle (to me) for sauce, so veggies are more nutrient dense, and do the same.

                                    lobster dinner - the Palm or Ruth's Chris - steamed lobster (no butter thank you), an iceberg wedge salad, and a head of steamed broccoli (well done please), and i'm set.

                                    Newsroom Cafe - herbs de provence grilled tomatoes; quesadillas (w/ or w/o crab, low fat cheese, whole wheat tortilla, etc); Egg Steamers (no butter, no fat, just steamed with herbs de provence); hummus; grilled veggie salad

                                    Eat Well - Buddha Bowl - i order with egg whites rather than tofu; the use of a small amount of curry makes it really tasty

                                    many have recommended sushi/sashimi already... i find little more satisfying (or i did when i could still eat it :( ) than albacore sashimi with ponzu sauce.

                                    mexican food can be okay if you go with fajitas and ask them to go light on the oil; or as suggested, mariscos chente for ceviche!

                                    on the ceviche front, consider: los balcones de peru, el siete mares, mario's peruvian, mo chia, puro sabor.

                                    ...the list could go on and on...

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: Emme

                                      "...the list could go on and on..."
                                      and of course it would include Hugo's! ;)

                                      1. re: Emme

                                        that is a magnificent list!
                                        thank you so much for posting it.

                                        1. re: diningdivala

                                          in many cases, i don't think it hurts to ask. the worst a restaurant can say is no. many are very accommodating, especially for someone like me that has major allergies (i know a diet is *not* the same thing, and i don't advocated substituting "i'm allergic to" for "i don't want to eat"). that said, FRITTO MISTO offers the option on their menu of substituting veggies for the pasta. so go there to indulge with a clear conscience.

                                        2. Oh, just thought of another. Sauce on Hampton has great, healthy choices. I see the owner all the time at the Wednesday farmer's market and he's incredibly dedicated to providing healthy, sustainable food at an affordable price. All the entree dishes come with two sides and those reange from things like quinoa veggie salad to braised kale to garlic sauteed rapini. It doesn't get a lot of buzz here, but I can't say enough good things about this place:


                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: mollyomormon

                                            Thanks for the Sauce On Hampton recommendation. Never heard of it and their menu looks delicious. Definitely on my list to try this weekend.

                                            1. re: mollyomormon

                                              thank you molloyomormon for mentioning Sauce on Hampton.
                                              i just went there for lunch on your recommendation. had their RED WHITE AND BLUE burger for lunch.
                                              good, good, good.

                                              probably pretty high calorie, though.
                                              this dish, at any rate, could not, at all be considered diet food even though i had the side salad and no potatoes.

                                              1. re: westsidegal

                                                I'm glad you liked it! That does sound good. Definitely not what I would eat while dieting, but as you probably saw, they have many, many healthy options,

                                                1. re: mollyomormon

                                                  i just looked at their menu...why oh why wasn't it there when i lived in LA? boo. adding it to my list of spots to hit when i'm in SM for a visit.

                                                  oh, and @westsidegal, though burgers aren't typically a local choice, at least they grill theirs and use grass-fed beef!

                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                    i got a veggie burger, so it mattered not to me whether their beef is grass fed. . ..
                                                    the whole thing was too big and satisfying to be low-cal.
                                                    i much liked the warm whole wheat bun too.

                                                    VERY enjoyable!

                                                    i'm telling myself that i'll skimp on dinner.. . . .

                                                    next time i'll try some of their egg-white preparations.

                                                    1. re: westsidegal

                                                      The salmon dishes are all tasty too and the veggie sides are delicious. I think it's such agreat addition to the neighborhood!

                                            2. Having formerly been very overweight and having lost 100+ lbs...I have always been looking for the holy grail. Here are some of my favorites not mentioned:

                                              Tender Greens - Lean protein (steak, chicken or tuna) + 2 sides which I generally ask for just all roasted veggies - $10.50

                                              8oz. Burger Bar - All their burgers (turkey especially), can be served on lettuce instead of buns.

                                              Cheebo - wide variety of options, great salads, vegan soups (no cream), but a bit pricey.

                                              Coral Tree Cafe - Their tuna salad has no mayo.

                                              Melrose Bar & Grill - fantastic nicoise salad and steamed/chilled asparagus

                                              Thai food in general - chicken larb appetizer is generally made without oil and just lime juice.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: mikelewinsky

                                                fwiw, all the burgers and the chicken breast served at the Counter also can be request as part of their lettuce bowl, it's a standard choice of theirs, on the menu and everything.

                                                1. re: westsidegal

                                                  You can get a burger on salad at the Arsenal, too. With a dry vodka martini, it's a fairly low-calorie meal. That's what I tell myself, anyway.

                                              2. i try to go to places that serve fresh wholesome food and only eat 1/2 the portion (take the rest home for tomorrows lunch)
                                                Seed in Venice - really healthy, huge portions, a lot flavor belies the fact that it's all pretty low in calories.
                                                Chaya M Cafe - not exactly diet food - but healthy and most dishes are low in fat
                                                Real Food Daily - not one of my personal favorites but know lots of people people who adore it
                                                and no matter where you go --- tell them not to put the bread basket on your table --- no matter how wonderful it looks.... you can always ask them to leave you a slice and take the rest away.

                                                1. Try Crew in Silver Lake or Reel Food Daily in Santa Monica..

                                                  1. M Cafe macrobiotic is a great lunch place at Melrose and LaBrea or at the end of the Washington Blvd. restaurant strip in Culver City (kitty corner from Trader Joe's) Went there for lunch today and had their awesome Big Macro veggie burger with a side of to die kale peanut salad. But a lot of times I go for the salad plate where you can get 2-4 of their deli salads, the aforementioned kale, grilled veggies, they have a celery root remoulade (sp?) for wintertime, lentil salad, soba noodles, the list goes on. Also sushi rolls, brown rice bowls. All fresh, delish in airy surroundings (esp. Culver City, Melrose can get a bit hectic at prime lunch hours) Also a great idea for healthy Hollywood bowl eating! Great post, thanks!

                                                    M Cafe De Chaya
                                                    7119 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: PinotPlease

                                                      Sounds delish!! The kale peanut salad sounds murderously good.