Saturday, November 12, 2011

California Monster Salad

Pinkberry meets The Farmer’s Market, at California Monster Salad you will feel like a kid in a candy store- a very mature, healthy, sugar free candy store. Fun none the less!Proprietor Daniel Radell has certainly created something special with the one and only California Monster Salad just east of the intersection of Santa Monica Blvd. and 4th Street. Essentially, California Monster Salad is a high-end, create your own salad place. They boast an array of unique as well as standard salad toppings, and also offer a collection of signature Monster Salads too. While it may seem commonplace to have a green eatery in the middle of the high food IQ city of Santa Monica, it is the details that separates the California Monster from your standard salad store.
From the eco-friendly paint down to the bio degradable forks and salad bowls, lettuce is not the only thing that is green at California Monster Salad.  Another nice touch is, as you enter, it is almost a guarantee you will be offered a sampling of one of their daily made juices. Some of their beverage mainstays are iced teas, kale lemonade, and my favorite, the cucumber mint lemonade. The California Monster Salad also offers a delivery service. So no more ordering salads from Domino’s Pizza, a better option has arrived in town. The restaurant also offers homemade breads, soups, and organic gluten-free desserts. Aside from fresh drinks, soups, and desserts the real meat and potatoes at this place are their salads. Offering ten or so signature salads with fun names like the Greek Bikini, Kalifornia Kale, and Mermaid Medley are all tempting options, but it is the create your own Monster Salad which is a customer favorite.  
The first step is to select one of five different greens, which are all stowed away in large salad style humidors. From the popular Romaine to the hearty Kale, you also have the option to mix and match your greenery. Step two is select up to five different toppings. With almost fifty toppers to choose from, this is your opportunity to really get nuts, literally. The third and final step is to select your dressing. Knowing that a dressing can make or break a salad, California Monster Salad puts a great deal of emphasis in making things right.
“You can make a beautiful salad and it can be ruined with a dressing. We make sure everyone taste the dressing so it is exactly what they want.” Explains owner Daniel Radell
With no added salt, sugar, mayonnaise, California Monster Salad whips up their dressings daily rather than using any bottled brands. Ironically enough, due to great popularity, the restaurant will be bottling their stuff in the near future.
With so many salads to choose from, in an ‘only in Santa Monica’ moment, I went with the salad in a bread cone option. Chef Stacey tossed up their signature Coastline Chicken salad, pouring it into a cone-rolled flatbread. In that moment holding my salad-cone, I was that 31 year old yoga practicing, documentary watching, bill paying kid in the health conscience, eco friendly, high fiber candy store. It was one of the best salads I have ever had and certainly the greatest salad cone I have ever eaten in my entire life. The California Monster Salad is truly a new gem here in Santa Monica.       

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