A line outside a restaurant in downtown Culver City is nothing new these days. You could probably put a “Sunday Brunch” sign outside a shoe store on Culver Boulevard and see a queue begin to curl down the block. But the line outside Tender Greens, the new salad café opened by veterans of Shutters and Casa del Mar, is unusual in its velocity, the utter speed with which you find yourself facing down a counterperson who wants to know whether you want to trick out your big, stainless-steel bowl of organic Scarborough Farms greens as an ahi-tuna niçoise, a grilled-chicken Caesar, a mesquite-grilled flat-iron steak salad or a Mediterranean-style grilled Oxnard vegetable salad. Tender Greens is the Cold Stone Creamery of the Alice Waters revolution, but with a pleasant, umbrella-shaded patio, organic lemonade with mint and a decent microbrew selection. Tender Greens may be the very first place in Los Angeles where it is possible to get a delicious meal made with locally grown, sustainable, Earth-friendly ingredients with less hassle (and not much more expense) than it would take to pick up a double scoop with Heath Bar bits. Don’t miss the chocolate cupcake sprinkled with toffee. Tender Greens, 9523 Culver Blvd., Culver City, (310) 842-8300, www.tendergreensfood.com. Open daily 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Beer and wine. Takeout. City lot parking around corner. AE, MC, V. Main dishes $9-$10
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