Top 10 Places To Work on Your New Year's Food Resolutions: (Healthy) Dishes That Won't Kill You
Come January, after the caloric blow-out of the holidays, everybody decides they need to start eating healthier. It doesn't really last, since most people equate healthy with things like undressed salads and unmarinated tofu. But it doesn't have to be like that. Eating healthy can mean lots of Indian and Middle Eastern sauces, whole grains, Vietnamese specialties, local vegetables, and Japanese food galore. Tons of fun: low fat, no sugar. Take a look at some of L.A.'s best spots, in no particular order, for enjoying your culinary resolutions.
10. Square One: Before we get to the near-legendary breakfasts, let's put in a good word for the lunch stuff, too: the veggie club is almost pure rabbit food - sprouts, frisee, etc., with just a bit of cheese - that will do a most alluring dance of the herbivore on your tongue. Breakfast fans should try one of the inventive omelets: shiitake, oyster mushroom and feta, or perhaps grilled asparagus, squash, basil, and goat cheese. 4854 Fountain Ave.; Los Angeles; (323) 661-1109.
9. Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa: The way Vietnamese food is served makes it pretty much up to the customer how healthy it's gonna be. This cult favorite's specialties (bun bo hue, beef noodle soup, and nem nuong, grilled pork patties) come with side plates of herbs and lettuces - one could make the meat the garnish. Plus, broth and noodles are excellent stomach fillers. And try a Vietnamese dessert, too. Not low-fat, but way lower in sugar than western desserts. 1700 W Valley Blvd., Alhambra; (626) 943-7645.
8. Carousel: Hummus and moussaka and most of all muhammara, the heavenly dip made of walnuts, peppers and pomegranate. Don't fight it, just eat a bucket of it. Revel in walnut's status as a good fat. And all the meats on sticks are broiled, which is a fairly healthy preparation.304 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale; (818) 246-7775.
7. Tender Greens: They made salad cool again. Something like a chicken Cobb can't be called healthy, but there are other huge plates, like the grilled vegetable salad and the flatiron steak with beets and radishes over greens, that are relatively low-cal and fill out the color wheel. Plus Tender Greens is all about the local and sustainable, so conscientious omnivores can get their protein fix here.9523 Culver Blvd., Culver City; (310) 842-8300.
6. Samosa House: This Indian grocery and steam plate place is vegetarian, which to many is shorthand for healthy. (...It's not, but that's a divisive discussion for another day.) Still, vegetables are always good - maybe less so if you get 'em fried in the popular namesake samosas, but still. This is also a good place to try jackfruit in savory preparations. It's a popular way of adding heft to veggie dishes in Southeast Asia, it kind of tastes like a root vegetable (but mostly like whatever suce it's served in) and it's fat-free. 11510 Washington Blvd., Los Angeles; (310) 398-6766.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Los Angeles dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.