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

The California chicken salad at California Chicken Café

The sheer circumference and depth of California Chicken Café’s salad bowls really tell the whole story. California Chicken Café has outright owned the big-salad game for more than 20 years. While at its core it’s a rotisserie chicken quick-serve, its California chicken salad reigns as one of the biggest, heartiest, most satisfying salads in the city. This stack of fresh lettuce, broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, tomato and avocado, tossed with pita croutons, fusilli pasta and white meat chicken, should be ordered with a to-go box. Served with fresh, warm whole-wheat pita on the side, it’s the big salad all big salads wish they could be. 6805 Melrose Ave., West L.A.; (323) 525-1013,

Chinese chicken salad at Joan's on Third
Chinese chicken salad at Joan's on Third
Courtest Joan's on Third

The Chinese chicken salad at Joan's on Third

A big-salad list wouldn’t be complete without a proper Chinese chicken salad, and the family-owned Joan’s on Third does it right with a heap of iceberg lettuce, sliced chicken breast, toasted almonds, crispy wontons and rice sticks in a big, round bowl. Dressed with their signature Chinese chicken salad dressing, this salad is not only big but tastes and feels like your (really talented in the kitchen) mom made it just for you. For the past 18 years, Joan has consistently fed out-the-door lines with her signature salads, sandwiches and sweets, and she recently opened a second location in Studio City. 8350 West Third Street, West L.A.; (323) 655-2285,

The Mediterranean salad at CrimsonEXPAND
The Mediterranean salad at Crimson
Crimson Mediterranean Cookhouse

The Mediterranean salad at Crimson Mediterranean Cookhouse

The zest of a big, Mediterranean salad is a force to be reckoned with, and Crimson Mediterranean Cookhouse takes this challenge very seriously with its classic offering of the dish.  With romaine, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, Kalamata olives, garbanzo beans and feta cheese, the focus here is on the key ingredients that make a Mediterranean salad great. It can be graced with salmon or antibiotic- and hormone-free chicken for protein and is served with a large pita chip for scooping, dipping or just plain crunching. Though the Mediterranean is the star here, the menu offers six more big salads, along with wraps, kabobs and a slew of breakfast options. 2901 Ocean Park Blvd. #127, Santa Monica; (310) 396–2400,

The fresh corn grilled salad at Fresh Corn Grill
The fresh corn grilled salad at Fresh Corn Grill
Fresh Corn Grill

The fresh corn grilled salad at Fresh Corn Grill

Yes, the fresh corn grilled salad — the original dish of the two-location, California-style eatery — has grilled corn. It also has zucchini and asparagus mixed with a mound of fresh greens, tomatoes and avocado. Finish it off one of many protein offerings, including chicken, salmon, shrimp, skirt steak, tofu or rockfish, for a substantial meal that might feel more like a summer barbecue than a salad at a casual dining establishment. You can also choose from any of the other, more traditional salads on the menu, including a Caesar, Cobb and Greek. 8714 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood; (310) 855-9592. 1266 Westwood Blvd., Westwood; (310) 470-0414.

The 10 Best "Big Salads" in Los Angeles (9)

The antipasto salad at C&O Trattoria

Everything about C&O Trattoria in Marina del Rey is big. Between the restaurant's long tables and dining room–encompassing sing-alongs, a meal at C&O is an outsize experience in itself, and the family-style salads are no exception. While each of the salads is massive, the antipasto salad is highlighted here for its dense helpings of salami, turkey breast and mozzarella that sit atop a beautiful mess of roasted red peppers, Roma tomatoes, Kalamata olives, pepperoncini and chickpeas. Served along with bottomless garlic knots, this salad could easily fill two people to the brim. Though most dishes are meant to be shared at this feast-focused eatery, there’s no shame in ordering one of these large salads for yourself. And if big just isn't big enough, they offer a “gargantuan” size for an additional $4. 31 Washington Blvd., Marina del Rey; (310) 823-9491,

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