Hot Spots for Healthy LA-dies (& Gents, of course)
Ever since I started writing my column for FabFitFun, Hot & Healthy L.A. Eats, I’ve been eating out a lot lately.
Usually this would be a recipe for disaster considering all of the sneaky ways restaurants try to fatten you up, but considering I’m armed with the info of how to avoid those hidden fat traps, it’s been really good. Reeeeeally good.
I only have one chance a month though to wow readers with healthy picks from L.A.’s best restaurants in my column, so I decided to use today’s What I Ate Wednesday to share more of my favorite spots in Los Angeles right now to get a healthy bite without busting your belt.
Some are old, some are new, all are LDLA-approved.
First up, Mauro Cafe.
This is definitely an oldie but a goodie.
The adorable little French cafe connected to Melrose’s uber-hip Fred Segal is always bustling at lunch hour with Hollywood somebodies. Now the restaurant has opened up their menu to include a weekly jazz night featuring all of the restaurant’s favorite dishes, and an impressive wine selection.
I popped in for a bite with my friend Farial recently who is vegan and we both managed to get delicious and diet-friendly dishes, the same one actually!
We each ordered the mixed vegetable medley cooked in tomato sauce, mine with added shrimp.
It was fantastic. The Sparkling Rosé we had to wash it down though was legendary. Seriously, the best I’ve had.
Their prices are really reasonable too. The medley was only $12, pretty much unheard of for an entree in L.A.
If you want to get the 5-star treatment though, they’re doing a special 3-course tasting menu from May 27th to the 31st with Chef Einat Admony of the popular NYC spot, Balaboosta. Tickets are $90 here.
Next on the list, Kabuki Sushi (Sunset & Vine).
Yes, I am referring to the chain sushi restaurant. While I usually wouldn’t be super-pumped about any mass-produced joint, Kabuki has always held a soft spot in my heart thanks to their low prices, willingness to make modifications, and abundance of brown rice.
Recently, Kabuki decided to make their menu even more diet-friendly by including options for vegetarians too.
Check out this fish-free Rainbow Roll. Pretty impressive right?
It’s made of tofu and brown rice, and has avocado and skinned peppers on top. Not only does it look awesome, it tastes pretty bomb too.
They’ve also added tofu crispy rice, a spicy tuna tower, and this delicious kale salad to the menu.
And of course there’s always my favorite staple, the Poke Tuna.
Tuna, avocado, greens, and ponzu sauce. It doesn’t get healthier than that.
Another long time favorite of mine is Beverly’s Italian hotspot, Terroni.
On any night of the week this place will be completely full, with hipsters spilling out the front door.
It’s walking distance from my house and they allow dogs on the patio, so it’s the perfect spot to wind down after a long day and enjoy a sunset Spritz.
While many of their options are not diet-friendly, they always have a few light bites to choose from. Recently I got a fabulous full Branzino with veggies and this awesome grilled Calamari salad.
Mr. Chow enjoyed a raw beetle.
Bring Terroni’s Italian flavor into your own kitchen with these healthy recipes: Whit’s Spritz & Pizza Frutti di Mare (Seafood Pizza) >>
My next spot is new, and wildly popular.
Faith & Flower in downtown Los Angeles was created by Coastal Luxury Group, aka the people behind the L.A. Food & Wine Festival and Pebble Beach Food & Wine, so I knew it was going to be top notch.
The decor is amazing, a big plus in my book. When you’re watching what you eat, great ambiance can make up for the fact that you begrudgingly passed up a three-story, ice cream-brownie tower.
Faith & Flower was designed by AvroKo, who created the gorgeous Beauty & Essex in NYC, and has hand-painted murals from street artist Robert Vargas. It’s quite eye-catching.
A great, healthy menu option is their Seared Branzino with marinated rock shrimp on top.
I also loved the Ceviche.
My favorite thing on the menu though was the Dungeness Crab Toast. I chose to forgo the bread on the bottom and pretended I didn’t read the word “aioli” (aka mayo), and decided it too was a wonderful light choice!
If you’re throwing caution completely to the wind, some other incredibly delicious dishes include, the Oxtail Agnolotti…
…and their rich, creamy Milk Chocolate Cremeux with peanut butter crumbles.
The key here to staying on track is to take a couple small bites of the more fattening dishes, enjoy the flavor… then let your dining companion finish them off. Wink, wink.
Next on the menu, Loteria Grill.
This place has been around forever but they have a new “La Flaca” menu, which means “skinny girl” in Spanish. This one actually did make it into my FFF column. Read all about it and score one of their recipe’s here: Loteria Grill’s Shrimp Ceviche.
Another tried and true favorite that I recently revisited is Culina at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills.
This upscale restaurant is the ultimate power-lunching spot and one of the most sure-fire places to see a celebrity. If you’re trying to seal a deal or impress a friend from out of town, this is place to do it.
And because they cater to Hollywood’s hottest, their menu reflects an A-list preference for healthy eats.
There are seriously too many amazing salad options on the menu to choose from, but somehow I settled on the Insalata RC, which included prawns, maine lobster, and crabmeat.
It was almost too beautiful to demolish.
If you’re feeling indulgent, I also recommend trying their new vegan ice cream from Stella’s Best, made from coconut milk and cashews.
This stuff tastes so decadent that I thought it was gelato. We got a mix of Oatmeal Raisin Cookie, Salted Caramel, and Chocolate Fudge Brownie.
I can’t even think about it without drooling on myself.
And last but not least, Burger Lounge.
Though it looks like a fast food spot, they have organic, grass-fed burgers, nitrate-free bacon, and vegetarian choices. You can get whole-grain, gluten-free buns, or wrap your meat in lettuce. They also have interesting options like Seared Albacore and Elk.
Watch our full video review here.