In my attempt to make better choices when I eat out, I have found myself at Tender Greens a few times. I am generally opposed to restaurants that serve “lifestyle drinks”, mainly because I don’t know what that is, and my belief that everyone else in L.A. knows makes me embarrassed to ask.
The philosophy behind Tender Greens is “We believe in good food, whole food, real food.” (Translation: sustainably raised ingredients that are kind to the environment, served at a fair price).
The options and choices to be made are dizzying. Perhaps this is because there is usually a short line forming out the door because you have to stand and order off the giant chalkboard before walking the length of their food prep counter. It is nice to see the food being prepared, but to me, this is just one step above a cafeteria, with the price of a restaurant without any service. Guests pay for their meal, carry their trays of food to a table picking up silverware and napkins along the way.
No sodas are served here (Sacrilege for a restaurant with a philosophy) but you are welcome to purchase a glass of “Day Drinker” beer, Synergy Kombucha or Mint lemonade to compliment your meal.
When you go to order, your choices are either to pick a “Big Plate” or a “Big Salad” (both 11.50)
For the plate you get to pick one of six proteins, and decide if it will be served as a plate, or sandwich. The plate comes with mashed potatoes and a choice of simple salad.
The sandwich comes with toasted artisanal bread, roasted red peppers, aioli and choice of simple salad.
Protein options: 3 types of Chicken- Salt & Pepper, Chipotle Barbeque or Fried. Herb brushed albacore (.50 more), Backyard marinated steak (add .50) or Falafel.
There are 6 simple salads to choose from as well.
If you are into “Big Salads” you have 11 to choose from, the grilled chicken Cobb looked amazing.
Three “comfort soups” are offered- Roasted Tomato, Rustic Chicken and a daily special.
There are also delicious “Plant based sides” the roasted veggies or green hummus are great choices. You can’t go wrong with their mashed potatoes, so good you don’t even need butter or gravy. (Yukon potatoes with sea salt, creme and butter)
I have a love-hate relationship with Tender Greens. It’s good, healthy food, in a hipster setting at a yuppie price.
Just like mom used to make, if she was into kale, fingerling potatoes, and little gem lettuce.
Tender Greens 21247 Hawthorne Blvd. Torrance, CA 90503 424-488-0639
Also in Orange County, San Diego and SF Bay Area