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Tasty Salads in SM...?

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I never got into a "salad" but as I continue my daily lunch push through SM, it's hard not to notice this rabbit food is quite the "in thing to munch on" Today I noticed an octopus salad at Tender Greens and had a nice Tuna Nicoise last week. If you have any recommendation worth a try, I'm interested to find a "fun, tasty" salad that's a bit off the cuff.

Thanks, ck

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  1. I likeTender Greens also. I also like the one I had at Hostario del Piccolo, though I can't recall which one it was. I am often in SaMo, and wanting a good main dish salad, and have a hard time coming up with a place to go. I've wanted to try the place on either Santa Monica or Arizona and noticed that it advertises large salads but it's very close to the Promenade and makes me think it's either overpriced, not very good or both. And then there's the whole parking issue....

    You might want to look at True Food & Curious Palate, both in the Santa Monica Place mall.

    13 Replies
    1. re: Dirtywextraolives

      I saw the salad the other day, two people eating outside on the sidewalk. It's only the largest salad in the world.

      1. re: CharlesKochel

        Yes! That's the one!! I'm too scared to try them!

        1. re: CharlesKochel

          can you remember the name/location of the place?
          my beef with "normal" salad places is that their "normal-sized" portions are way too small to fill me up.
          this place sounds like the solution.

          1. re: westsidegal

            @westsidegal: it's a solution to fill up the entire block, It may be a 3 gallon salad weighing in at around four lbs.

            1. re: CharlesKochel

              sounds about right for me.
              when i go to cheesecake factory and order the full size caesar salad it takes TWO full size salads to fill me up.

              1. re: westsidegal

                If you like Caesar Salads, my current favorite is the one at Wildcraft in Culver City. I also could eat a salad all day long... but even their small size was quite filling because the dressing was so luscious... I can't imagine polishing off a full sized one....

                --Dommy!

                1. re: Dommy

                  Also try the chicken caesar at California Chicken Cafe. It's my favorite, they also give you pitas, which I like to fill up with salad, like little chicken caesar sandwiches. It's good sized, too.

                  1. re: schrutefarms

                    California Chicken Cafe is legit for salads -- good call.

                    Their really nice selection of self-serve condiments kicks it up a notch from other salad establishments.

                    And for those who drink, there is wine by the glass there.

                    1. re: spoonlicker

                      Ok, that's all I need to know that it's worth my time to visit, thanks!

              2. re: CharlesKochel

                ok
                i tried Greens Up today.
                good, but not nearly a 3 gallon salad.
                WHERE IS THE THREE GALLON SALAD?
                your post has me obsessing about this huge salad.

                1. re: westsidegal

                  California Monstet Salads
                  On SM blvd

                  1. re: CharlesKochel

                    i'll report back.
                    can't wait!
                    THANK YOU

              3. re: westsidegal

                agreed. :) Most places' "normal salads" are pretty small for a ideal healthy full portion (if that's your main meal). I remember trying a new eatery last week, where their "Salad" was literally 1 *tiny* Romaine heart split in half with 3 leaves. (>_<)

                It was a "small plate restaurant" but that was laughable; it would've been about right for 1 person to eat as a "tasting menu," but not even close for 2 or 3.

          2. Thyme Cafe on Ocean Park

            21 Replies
            1. re: bulavinaka

              Thyme has excellent salads. A few doors down is Bob's Market. They have well priced, delicious salads and outdoor tables for their customers. All of their fruit & vegetables are organic.

              1. re: cujo

                Thyme is practically an unknown quantity on this board - aside from my one or two mentions, I recall one or two others mentioning them as well. Their selection and quality reminds me of Huckleberry but without the crowds, noise and hassle.

                1. re: bulavinaka

                  Have you tried anything from their prepared and heat it at home choices? I almost pulled the trigger on their large lasagne once, but the price kept me from giving it a try ($45 IIRC?) because if it was a miss that would have been an expensive experiment.

                  1. re: Servorg

                    I usually get the salads and sandwiches from their cold case. The large dishes of lasagne would feed a lot of mouths (or one post-ride Servorg equiv.), but I've yet to try those. Will report back if I do. That would make for an easy meal at home for my family.

                    1. re: Servorg

                      I'm not sure if you are asking about Thyme or Bob's.
                      I buy items from Bob's prepared and heat at home department.
                      They are consistently very good. Their rye bread is from Bea's Bakery. And their Matzo Ball soup is a winner.
                      I have never tried Thyme's prepared & heat at home.

                      1. re: cujo

                        Thyme

                        1. re: cujo

                          I'll have to revisit Bob's as well. I used to stop by there back in my SMC days, but that was decades ago. The tables outside are always full with folks eating (what I'm assuming is) Bob's food.

                          1. re: bulavinaka

                            Dropped by Bob's for a quick visit yesterday. If one's ever been to Santa Cruz, there's a great neighborhood grocery store called, Shopper's Corner. Most of their departments run circles around most supermarkets. I got a similar sense at Bob's - maybe not as big or as thorough of a crafted selection, but very respectable. Bob's is a REAL neighborhood grocery store that locals should and do support. I went in for Bea's and got Bea's - four of their pastries. I instantly downed the black & white - nice contrast of black and white (oftentimes not found in other versions) and nice cake-like cookie. Tried their alligator and chocolate danish - both very good as well. I'll have to return for a stab at their deli.

                            1. re: bulavinaka

                              Glad you liked it. I have to try the black and white cookies. But I can't get past the alligators.

                              1. re: bulavinaka

                                Shopper's Corner! Now that is a blast from the past (former Kresge girl, here).

                                Re: Bob's: they also have a very legit booze section, esp. wine. If you happen to catch their wine guy cruising around, he's very helpful with suggestions.

                                And if you tie your dog up out front, the nice butcher guy may wander out with a bone for the pooch.

                            2. re: cujo

                              Bob's is so great. I love everything about that place. And what is UP with the perpetually chipper, singing deli guys? I want whatever they are on.

                              Of their prefab salads, the Southwestern Chicken is my favorite. I pick up a bottle of the La Martinique bleu cheese dressing and use that instead of the dressing it comes with.

                              And their chicken-and-fries lunch special (available all day) is a great deal.

                              1. re: spoonlicker

                                I love the personalized service. The deli guys are happy to sell me half a rye bread instead of the full loaf. Try that at Gelson's. No way.
                                Their chinese chicken salad and the garden salad are my two prefab favorites and enough for two meals.
                                This weekend I am trying the baby back ribs and the turkey chili. And I always get the chicken and tuna salads. I don't care for their egg salad....too bland for my palate.

                                1. re: cujo

                                  Please report back on those ribs and chili. I've eyeballed both, but have yet to try them.

                                  Their orange chicken from the deli is good comfort food.

                                  1. re: spoonlicker

                                    The baby back ribs had absolutely no fat. Fantastic butcher. Lots of good tender meat. The barbeque sauce was too sweet for my taste. So I wiped it off with a napkin. The residual sweetness worked well with the meat. Barbeque sauce is tricky. For me, a little goes a long way.
                                    I definitely recommend them. And I will buy the baby backs again and soon.
                                    Tomorrow I will report on the turkey chili.

                                    I try to stay away from fried food. Is the orange chicken fried?
                                    Their wine buyer knows his/her grapes and is probably an oenophile.. The selection is excellent.

                                    1. re: spoonlicker

                                      Spoonlicker-----The turkey chili was delicious. Lots of ground turkey in a tomato base with tomatoes, a few slices of onion & green pepper. There were a few beans total, which is how I like chili.
                                      I will be ordering this one a lot.

                                      1. re: cujo

                                        Excellent! I'm in the fewer-beans chili camp myself, so it sounds perfect.

                                        (And the orange chicken is indeed fried and ghoulishly unhealthy. I order a small container only to keep myself from gorging.)

                                        1. re: spoonlicker

                                          Spoonlicker - A summary of our conversation about Bob's was part of the weekly round up on the internet. I was surprised in a good way. And very happy that Bob's received the publicity.

                                          I have one more plus to add to the list. For the past two weeks I searched for poire william liquere at every wine shop on the westside, to no avail. On a long shot, knowing Bob's has an excellent wine & spirits section, I called them.
                                          Lo and behold, not only did they have it on their shelf, but they also had several brands to choose from. Love, love, love Bob's.

                                          1. re: cujo

                                            Wow, cujo, we are almost-famous now! That's a nice little write-up. And you are right -- Bob's deserves the love.

                                            Good score on the hootch. I no longer drink booze, but when I'm looking to pick up a gift of liquor for friends, I usually stop by Bob's. They have just enough interesting wine/hard stuff that I can find something nice, but not such an overwhelming selection that I run screaming out of the store in confusion.

                                            Another thing to love about Bob's: there seems to be very low employee turnover. I see the same familiar faces there week after week. I'm thinking (hoping) that this means they treat their employees well.

                                            ...Off to Bob's now. I need to stock up on Davids Jumbo Sunflower Seeds (found near the checkout stands). Those suckers are surprisingly hard to track down in "normal" stores. Leave it to Bob's to meet all your snacking needs.

                                            1. re: spoonlicker

                                              The last time I was there I saw Bob sitting at one of the outside tables and enjoying a piece of fruit. It reminded me so much of my own father, who is no longer alive.

                                              1. re: cujo

                                                That is a really lovely image, cujo.

                                                The last time I was there, I picked up a container of blueberries that turned out to be the most delicious ones I've ever had. I'll have to see today if they have more of the same. If they do, I'll sit outside on those benches and enjoy a few in honor of your dad.

                                                (They were truly spectacular berries!)

                            3. re: bulavinaka

                              My wife loves Thyme. Better service than Huckleberry too.

                        2. I like the Thai Steak and Noodle Salad at Hillstone - it's definitely NOT rabbit food!

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: aching

                            "I like the Thai Steak and Noodle Salad at Hillstone - it's definitely NOT rabbit food!"

                            Perhaps, but then again, perhaps not...

                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nvs5pq...

                            1. re: Servorg

                              Serf and turf

                              1. re: Servorg

                                If you really want to talk classic rabbit fud!

                                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PHAxp...

                            2. Very good salads at Stella Rosa Pizzeria on Main Street (some tasty pizza too).
                              http://stellarossapizzabar.com

                              FYI:I note from their web site that they have already changed their name to Stella Barra same as their new Hollywood location. Same menu same great food.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: wienermobile

                                I agree. I actually like the salads more than the pizzas.

                              2. Jack's on Montana (formerly 17th Street Cafe - but recently bought back by the old owner and rebranded with his first name) has a lot of salad choices, both small versions and entree sized ones: http://www.jacks-on-montana.com/lunch...

                                1. Milo and Olive had a great salad with shrimp once upon a time. Don't see it on the menu now, but their other salads may be good...

                                  1. The curried chicken salad at Upper West is delicious. And agree about the salads at Hostaria del Piccolo, I like the farro and the verde.

                                    1. For ridiculously large salads, you could try Greens Up. There's a branch on Montana Ave, and one SaMo-adjacent on Main St (near Marine).

                                      I always get mine to-go because it is simply too much food for one sitting, but it's amusing to see skinny little things sitting at the tables there, forking lettuce into their pie holes out of the huuuge stainless steel mixing bowls the dine-in salads are served in. It cracks me up every time.

                                      The ingredient quality is excellent, and the to-go packaging does a great job of keeping the salad crisp over time (assuming you get the dressing on the side).

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: spoonlicker

                                        <<it is simply too much food for one sitting>>
                                        i polished it off and considered going to Cheesecake Factory to get some more salad to complete the meal.

                                        1. re: westsidegal

                                          another ginormous salad is the former Jack n Jills on SM, now saltfish.

                                      2. My first choice would be the simple salads at Stella Rosa. I also suggest Ivy at the Shore's grilled vegetable salad. Also, Real Food Daily generally has creative salad specials.

                                        1. I haven't been there in a while, but I remember thinking the salads at California Chicken Cafe were pretty tasty & the portions were generous. Same goes for Veggie Grill.

                                          If you feel like splurging, you can't go wrong with the grilled vegetable salad or chopped salad at The Ivy. The portions are huge, so you really end up getting 2 meals for the [high] price.

                                          1. Grilled vegetable salad with chicken or shrimp at Ivy at the Shore