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Tasty Salads in SM...?

CharlesKochel May 21, 2013 01:49 PM

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. d
    Dirtywextraolives May 21, 2013 04:31 PM

    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
      CharlesKochel May 21, 2013 05:55 PM

      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
        Dirtywextraolives May 21, 2013 06:18 PM

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

        1. re: CharlesKochel
          westsidegal May 22, 2013 09:20 AM

          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
            CharlesKochel May 22, 2013 09:24 AM

            @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
              westsidegal May 22, 2013 09:21 PM

              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
                Dommy May 27, 2013 08:30 PM

                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....


                1. re: Dommy
                  schrutefarms Jun 16, 2013 05:28 PM

                  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
                    spoonlicker Jun 16, 2013 07:13 PM

                    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
                      Dirtywextraolives Jun 16, 2013 09:08 PM

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

              2. re: CharlesKochel
                westsidegal May 30, 2013 09:42 PM

                i tried Greens Up today.
                good, but not nearly a 3 gallon salad.
                your post has me obsessing about this huge salad.

                1. re: westsidegal
                  CharlesKochel May 30, 2013 09:55 PM

                  California Monstet Salads
                  On SM blvd

                  1. re: CharlesKochel
                    westsidegal May 30, 2013 11:15 PM

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

              3. re: westsidegal
                chowseeker1999 May 28, 2013 04:00 PM

                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. b
            bulavinaka May 21, 2013 04:32 PM

            Thyme Cafe on Ocean Park

            21 Replies
            1. re: bulavinaka
              cujo May 22, 2013 06:17 AM

              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
                bulavinaka May 22, 2013 07:22 AM

                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
                  Servorg May 22, 2013 07:45 AM

                  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
                    bulavinaka May 22, 2013 07:50 AM

                    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
                      cujo May 22, 2013 08:42 AM

                      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
                        Servorg May 22, 2013 09:06 AM


                        1. re: cujo
                          bulavinaka May 22, 2013 09:37 AM

                          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
                            bulavinaka May 25, 2013 09:00 AM

                            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
                              cujo May 25, 2013 10:01 AM

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

                              1. re: bulavinaka
                                spoonlicker May 25, 2013 01:58 PM

                                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
                              spoonlicker May 25, 2013 08:15 AM

                              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
                                cujo May 25, 2013 09:56 AM

                                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
                                  spoonlicker May 25, 2013 01:59 PM

                                  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
                                    cujo May 25, 2013 08:25 PM

                                    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
                                      cujo May 26, 2013 06:58 PM

                                      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
                                        spoonlicker May 26, 2013 07:36 PM

                                        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
                                          cujo Jun 12, 2013 11:00 AM

                                          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
                                            spoonlicker Jun 16, 2013 01:15 PM

                                            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
                                              cujo Jun 16, 2013 01:30 PM

                                              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
                                                spoonlicker Jun 16, 2013 03:11 PM

                                                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
                              PeterCC May 22, 2013 02:19 PM

                              My wife loves Thyme. Better service than Huckleberry too.

                        2. aching May 21, 2013 04:33 PM

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

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: aching
                            Servorg May 21, 2013 04:38 PM

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

                            Perhaps, but then again, perhaps not...


                            1. re: Servorg
                              bulavinaka May 21, 2013 04:44 PM

                              Serf and turf

                              1. re: Servorg
                                Thor123 May 22, 2013 01:56 PM

                                If you really want to talk classic rabbit fud!


                            2. wienermobile May 21, 2013 04:52 PM

                              Very good salads at Stella Rosa Pizzeria on Main Street (some tasty pizza too).

                              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
                                aventinus May 26, 2013 07:23 PM

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

                              2. Servorg May 22, 2013 06:23 AM

                                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. PeterCC May 22, 2013 02:15 PM

                                  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. j
                                    Juji May 24, 2013 11:51 AM

                                    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. s
                                      spoonlicker May 25, 2013 08:07 AM

                                      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
                                        westsidegal May 30, 2013 09:44 PM

                                        <<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
                                          CharlesKochel May 30, 2013 10:33 PM

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

                                      2. a
                                        aventinus May 26, 2013 07:27 PM

                                        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. goodhealthgourmet May 26, 2013 07:56 PM

                                          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. m
                                            maudies5 May 31, 2013 11:45 AM

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

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