This Week in Roughage
A faithful reader recently pointed out I use "roughage" too much. I protested and then looked through the Weeklyonline archives. She's right: of the 19 times "roughage" has appeared in the Weeklythe past seven years, 17 of those occurred in my articles. Damn eagle eyes! My apologies to ustedes—as penance, here are some salad palaces where you can load up on roughage.
Bloomingdale's West Coast café is sunnier and sassier than its New York counterpart. You'll like the 59th Street sampler, a salad combo that features fresh mozzarella and baked goat cheese on field greens with lemon vinaigrette. 701NewportCenterDr.,NewportBeach,(949)729-6600.$$
Sandwiches such as the tuna, egg salad and Valley avocado are excellent. Get the salad with honey-sesame dressing as the side order, and wash it all down with a strawberry-banana smoothie. 30262CrownValleyPkwy.,Ste.A,LagunaNiguel,(949)495-3250.$
This music venue's food emphasizes fresh salads and semihealthy fare. The Blue Café salad—featuring grilled chicken, mango chunks, pepitas, blue cheese crumbles and apple slices—makes a meal that is fresh, filling and packed with your recommended daily allowance of something or other. 210N.Promenade,LongBeach,(562)983-7111.$$
Deciding what to eat at Bodhi Tree–there are more than 100 mock-meat choices–involves the same deliberation needed for a koan. The tofu-drop soup, bobbing with meaty chunks of bean curd, bamboo shoots and cilantro, is free. Not free but worth the somewhat pricey $3.50 is the chicken-satay baguette sandwich full of faux fowl, tomatoes and so many julienned carrots it could be classified under the salad portion of the menu and mislead no one. 501MainSt.,Ste.E,HuntingtonBeach,(714)969-9500.$
COUNTRY INN GARDEN CAFE
The Edenic sense of isolation you get visiting here is due not only to the soothing waterfall and atrium-like patio but also to owner Kim Simpson's pleasing menu. She uses only the freshest ingredients and a home-style flair in her delicious (and reasonably priced) food. You gotta try her scones. And cobb salad. And don't think of leaving without some peach cobbler. 130E.17thSt.,CostaMesa,(949)722-1177.$$
Eva's occupies the same simple cottage that the dearly missed Drew's Caribbean Kitchen rented for many years. The best remnant from the Drew's days is an open kitchen that continues to flambé and sauté a cruise-ship tour of Caribbean cuisine, with stops for moist Bahamian conch fritters, a sweet St. Martin-style salad and enough varieties of rum to give Captain Morgan cirrhosis. 31732 S. Pacific Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 499-6311; www.evascaribbeankitchen.com. $$
Gauranga's has outdoor, ocean-view seating where you can enjoy a large salad bar, spicy yellow-lentil soup and cauliflower fritters. Sweet hibiscus tea is Krishna hooch, and cardamom-scented rice pudding is tasty too. 285LegionSt.,LagunaBeach,(949)494-7029.$
At the Green Parrot, they know how to dish up hospitality instead of an endless bread basket and a maitre d's neglect. A prix frixe four-course tasting menu is affordable and comes with a not-teeny blood-orange salad with blue cheese and walnuts, and even a nicely crusted crème brûlée. Eat it outside in the twinkly lighted patio or inside their beautiful dining hall. 2035 N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 550-6040; www.greenparrotcafe.net. $$
Groups eager to party will dig the décor of blacklight scenes of Peru's landscape. A good introductory dish to Inka's menu is the casa—a rotisserie chicken, featuring one-quarter of the bird, white rice, brown beans and salad, plus an Inka soda to wash it all down. 400S.EuclidSt.,Anaheim,(714)772-2263.$
The place has a voluminous menu that spans matzo to mud pie, spinach salad to skyscraper sandwiches, knish to kippers—not to mention a full bakery that houses fresh rolls and bagels. Their Denver omelet is terrific. 4470KatellaAve.,LosAlamitos,(562)594-8611.¢
Topped with berry-infused butter, the ginger and lemon-perfumed ricotta pancakes are creamy and moist. Also try the Shanghai chicken salad; it's a towering bed of gourmet greens, shredded carrots, rice, noodles, won tons and chicken. 320N.CoastHwy.,LagunaBeach,(949)494-0137.$
Whether tucked between two bread slices or served alongside rondures of rice and macaroni salad, the beef at Matiki Island Barbeque is among the most memorably delicious pieces of cow you'll ever chew: ruddy, soft, not burnt at all, a veritable luau on your palate. That beef and other entrées are the sole enticers here—no need for Polynesian bric-a-brac when the food is a slice of the island alongside two scoops of rice and one of macaroni salad. 3070W.LincolnAve.,Anaheim,(714)821-5228.$
Located in Long Beach's biggest sitting duck (otherwise known as the Queen Mary), Sir Winston's is the LBC's focus for fancy food. Their lobster just reeks of garlic—delicious. But before that, order the boursin cheese salad. It's made with real boursin cheese—not the fake kind so many restaurants use—and has lots of tomatoes and cucumbers. 1126QueensHighwayDr.,LongBeach,(562)499-1657.$$$
TABLE TEN CALIFORNIA GRILL
Table Ten is a place where you can eat tacos filled with glossy maple-tinged corned beef in a sleek strip-mall boîte. The delectable caesar salad features hand-torn greens jacketed with a caesar vinaigrette. 124W.Commonwealth,Fullerton,(714)526-3210.$
Cruise this ramshackle roadhouse with a creek purling behind it, where inside you'll find the best dry-aged, corn-fed, hand-trimmed, mesquite-grilled beef in OC. It's all served with fried or baked potatoes, beans, garlic bread and a house salad. 20782 Trabuco Oaks Dr., Trabuco Canyon, (949) 586-0722; www.trabucooaksteakhouse.com. $$
Owner Jerry Phung is nothing if not a people pleaser. "I want to be an embassy for vegetarian cooking," he says. Well, there is no better ambassador than his faux orange chicken, which is crispy and sweet and spicy and delicious. The menu is varied and wide-ranging, from pot stickers to Vietnamese soy chicken salad to 1,000-layer tofu to hot-braised string beans. 3505E.Chapman,Orange,(714)744-0008.$
You probably won't go to Win Thai for its cheesy Asian pop background music, but you should go for the deep sweat its notoriously spicy dishes stimulate. Win Thai offers more than 100 items, ranging from traditional rice dishes to more exotic fare such as the spicy green mussel salad. 1151N.EuclidSt.,Anaheim,(714)778-0940.$
View our complete dining guide at www.ocweekly.com/food.
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