Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Best Thing I Ate Today: Sweetsalt, April 1st, 2010

As a Jew, this week isn't the best to try out new restaurants since the majority of what I love to eat involves bread, the leavening process and some sort of grain. But even my inability to indulge in carbs, an especially the sinfully delicious looking Red Velvet Cookie by the register, did little to mute the joy of my lunch at Sweetsalt, the newly opened Toluca Lake "food shop" that seems to be gunning for the title of The Valley's Joan's on Third.
My lunch began with vegan Carrot Coconut soup which had a sweet, mild earthiness punctuated by a subtle hint of roasted red pepper. Warming and satisfying, I didn't even mind that I was without a biscuit to sop up any leftovers. I left that to my eager fingers.
Next came a mixed green salad topped with roasted fennel, baby carrots, and red and yellow beets, al dente haricot verts and goat cheese rounds rolled in fresh herb, all tossed in a bright lemon vinaigrette. Thank God someone decided to do something else with goat cheese rather than those fried rounds that scream 1998.
Walking back into the breezy cool of a sunny Spring day, I felt light, happy and fresh, just like my meal. That being said, once my religious duties are over, I'm dashing back to Sweetsalt for the Spicy Buffalo Chicken Ciabatta and Chocolate Caramel Bread Pudding. Dining behind enemy lines (aka: the other side of Mulholland Drive) just stepped up quite a few notches.

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