The 10 Best "Big Salads" in Los Angeles

The California chicken salad at California Chicken Café
The California chicken salad at California Chicken Café
Kurt Graver

It can be argued that Los Angeles is the country's salad capital. And when it’s lunchtime, sometimes you just need a great big salad.

Many restaurants in the city offer terrific salads, but — in the words of Seinfeld's Elaine — are they big salads? Do they tower above their plates? Contain tomatoes like volleyballs? Would you expect full meal credit for buying someone that salad?

The integrity of a big salad lies not only in its size but its intrigue and originality. Salads with these specs can be found at any number of the new salad places appearing on every corner these days. But here are 10 Los Angeles restaurants that have truly mastered the big salad.

The Cobb salad at AlcoveEXPAND
The Cobb salad at Alcove
Alcove Cafe' & Bakery

The classic Cobb at Alcove Café & Bakery

Los Feliz's much-loved garden bistro Alcove Café & Bakery serves a classic Cobb that could cure a hunger headache upon first bite. Topped with half an avocado, a whole egg, a generous helping of thick, applewood-smoked bacon and a fresh-baked pretzel roll, this meal is packed with protein while its base of romaine and iceberg maintains a respectable level of crunch. And though the Cobb is notable for its superbly filling ingredients, several of Alcove’s other salads also work as hearty meals, including the Mediterranean steak salad with portobello mushroom and feta. 1929 Hillhurst Ave., Los Feliz; (323) 644–0100,

The organic kale salad at Follow Your HeartEXPAND
The organic kale salad at Follow Your Heart
Follow Your Heart

The organic kale salad at Follow Your Heart

On the corner of Sherman Way and Topanga in the West San Fernando Valley is Follow Your Heart, a vegetarian market and café that’s been serving gigantic salads since the 1970s. Follow Your Heart’s vintage glass bowls are brimming with super greens and dense, vegetarian proteins. The most substantial of the bunch is the organic kale salad, piled with tomato, avocado, carrots, whole raw cashews, bok choy and your choice of cottage cheese or cottage-style tofu. Top it with one (or two) of FYH's homemade vegan dressings, including tofu tahini dill, creamy garlic and organic miso ginger, or with one of the usual suspects: vegan bleu cheese, ranch or Caesar.  21825 Sherman Way, Canoga Park; (818) 348-3240,

The Cheebo Chop at CheeboEXPAND
The Cheebo Chop at Cheebo
Danielle Bernabe

The Cheebo Chop at Cheebo

Here is a salad that appears light and refreshing yet is so filling it often can’t be finished in one round. The Cheebo Chop is an organic, mountainous helping of chicken, mixed greens, mozzarella, provolone, Genoa salami, garbanzo beans, tomato and olives, chopped and tossed with such precision that all flavors and textures are presented by the forkful. Dressed with light balsamic vinaigrette, it’s the Italian antipasto’s svelte cousin but packs the same  punch. Enjoy it with Cheebo's complimentary breadbasket and box of crayons, and you’re all set. 7533 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; (323) 850–7070,

The Tri-Salad at Langer's DeliEXPAND
The Tri-Salad at Langer's Deli
Langer's Deli

The Tri-Salad at Langer's Deli

This salad is so big, it has salads on salads on salads — literally. Everyone knows delis serve hefty helpings of the items on their bible-length menus, and the salads are no exception. Here we have a perfect specimen of a deli-big salad. While a salad in itself, it also includes chicken, egg and tuna salads on a bed of tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots for crunch. Rounded out with a mound of olives, sweet pickles and peaches with cottage cheese, this is a salad for the person who has to have a big salad but can’t quite decide on one direction. 704 S. Alvarado St., Westlake; (213) 483-8050,

The kale Caesar at MitxtoEXPAND
The kale Caesar at Mitxto
Rebecca Pardess

The Kale Caesar at Mixto

Though a taco stand might not scream “big salad” to most people, Silver Lake’s Mixto Comida Latina, a new-wave Mexican-American walkup, offers a simple yet sizable kale Caesar for when you’re all taco'd out. A paper plate is piled generously with kale and dressed with pecorino Romano, croutons and a light, tart lemon vinaigrette. Top it with chicken or carne asada for protein, and enjoy it on the streetside patio with everyone and their dog. 2827 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake; (323) 668–1818,

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