A few days ago I was fortunate enough to be up in LA with friends eating at Tender Greens.
The Tender Greens philosophy is simple :
“We believe there should be a conscious connection between the one who eats the food and the source of that sustenance.”
The majority of their produce comes fresh picked daily from Scarborough Farms in Oxnard, where it is grown naturally. If it doesn’t come form Scarborough they utilize a few small local farms. Their food is comprised from organic ingredients wherever possible
Their beef comes from grain-fed hormone/antibiotic free cows. The chicken comes to you from free-range farms, and fed grain without hormones.
Tender Greens looks for local boutique wineries, microbreweries and organic tea blenders to provide beverages that reflect the same values as their food sources.
Just right off the bat, how AWESOME is that?!?!? A restaurant that not only cares about where the food they prepare comes from, but they make that fully connect to the consumer as well.
And I should mention that this food is pretty darn good.
The soups are hearty, the meat flavorful, and the salads fresh and tasty. I think we’d all expect that a place like this would cost a lot too right? I mean we all see how much organic and free-range costs us at the grocery store. I was pleasantly surprised. The flat iron steak, simple spinach side salad and mashed potatoes cost me around $11.00.
This restaurant is a quick concept place – you order at the counter, and then as you move along the line to the register you see your meal put together. This kind of format does lend itself to the meat being a little dry (I’m not going to lie – mine was) but overall I really enjoyed it. Although dry, the beef was still really tender and the flavor was full bodied. My friend Mel got the chicken and hers unfortunately was dry as well, but still the flavor was impressive. At the end of the day I’d prefer dry beef to chicken but that’s just me. I assume that the meat (chicken or beef) wouldn’t be dry if you caught the cooking cycle just right.
The salads however were wonderful. I got the simple baby spinach salad it was dressed with goat cheese, hazelnuts (they were chopped) and a cabernet vinaigrette. I thought the vinaigrette might end up being heavy but it was really light and I could still taste the spinach. The goat cheese was creamy and mingled nicely with the chopped hazelnuts. The whole salad came together so well, I liked it very much and it will be hard to order something different next time.
The mashed potatoes were tasty, garlicky and rich, but as we moved down the line some roasted sweet potatoes caught my eye…something for next time I guess.
The salads can be ordered with or without meat, and they even have a vegan option that sounds quite hardy. It has farro wheat with cranberry and hazelnuts, quinoa with cucumber and beets, green hummus, tabbouleh, and tender greens. I will have to try it one of these days.
Mel’s roasted tomato bread soup with basil oil was yummy, and although I didn’t have a chance to try it, their daily soup which was butternut squash looked enticing as well.
I will have to go back soon so I can sample more menu items.
Tender Greens has several locations throughout LA, I recommend checking out their website for locations, and while you’re at it take a look at their new blog.
Another good place to eat for lunch. You can feel good that you’ve supported your local farmers, and eaten healthier by choosing organic hormone free food products.
Isn’t it nice to KNOW where your food comes from?
Website for Tender Greens: www.tendergreens.com (you’ll be able to access their blog from there too)
Follow them on Twitter for daily specials @TenderGreens