Salads and Suds at Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop

Comments (0)


Mon, Feb 21, 2011 at 12:00 PM
click to enlarge Beer plus salad equals love - FLICKR/RUBEN I/SLICEOFCHIC
  • Flickr/ruben i/SliceOfChic
  • Beer plus salad equals love

When you think about it, salads and beer actually have a lot in common - both are made from plants; both can be described as "tastes great, less filling"; and both make you feel good when you consume them (albeit in different ways.)

Despite these sweeping similarities, we were still caught off guard when we noticed recently that Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop, the duo of healthful joints in Beverly Hills and Century City, has been pairing some of its leafy creations with suds.

click to enlarge GREENLEAF
  • Greenleaf

This unusual combination is the brainchild of chef and co-owner Jonathan Rollo, who says he was intrigued with defying preconceived notions about what goes well with greens. "It always seems more natural for salads to be paired with wine or something thought of as lighter weight," he told us. "But one thing that I've noticed about beer over the last few years is that a lot of brewers have come up with really interesting recipes. There are more options that are herbal or floral or savory or food friendly."

And so in addition to the menu's recommended wine pairings, he's started matching Greenleaf's salads with a rotating selection of draft and bottled beers.

The combo currently featured on the boards pairs the Buffalo Wangs salad with Stone Pale Ale (though Rollo says it would go equally well with the Green Lakes Ale that is also available on tap). The salad, which Rollo describes as "a gourmet homage to tailgating" is a smorgasbord of flavors and textures, including spicy crispy chicken in a citrus orange chipotle sauce, bleu cheese, herbal ranch dressing, and some bacon thrown in for good measure. The pale ale, says Rollo is a good clean beer with just enough bitterness to contrast with the bricolage of the relatively heavy salad. "It refreshes your mouth," he explains. "It cuts through all that conflict. It's like a flavor negotiator."

Rollo says that the brew pairing also aids in Greenleaf's goal of proving that salads aren't just for women. "One of our challenges originally was getting men to walk through the door," he says.

So they created what he calls "gateway salads" like the Buffalo Wangs. "We paired that one with beer to continue to make it more male friendly." Rollo recommends pairing the similarly carnivore friendly Steak Sandwich Salad with Abbey Ale (for oenophiles, he also likes it with Razor's Edge Syrah).

But lest you think beer can only go with meaty, caveman salads, Rollo also offers suggestions for Greenleaf's more virtuous creations like their Zorra the Great, a Greek-style salad served atop a bed of housemade hummus. Though the menu suggests an Alma Rosa Pinot Grigio, Rollo says the garlicky greens would also go great with an old-fashioned pint of Heineken Light.

Related Location

Related Content

Now Trending


  • Malibu Pier Restaurant and Bar
    Malibu Pier Restaurant and Bar, with chef Jason Fullilove at the helm, is in the two buildings at the pier’s entrance that used to be Beachcomber Cafe and Ruby’s Diner. Those buildings, which have been overhauled completely, reflect both the pier’s 109-year-old history and the cultural import of Malibu itself.
  • The Tasting Menu Trend
    In Los Angeles especially, but increasingly across the country, restaurants are either switching to tasting menus, putting a greater focus on a tasting-menu option (while offering à la carte items as well), or opening as tasting-menu operations from day one. The format that used to be the calling card of only the fanciest of restaurants is becoming ubiquitous, even at places where the waiter calls you “dude” and there isn’t a white tablecloth in sight.
  • Milo's Kitchen: A Treat Truck for Dogs
    Milo's Kitchen, a part of California-based Big Heart Pet Brands, is taking its homestyle dog treats on the road this summer with the "Treat Truck." The dogified food truck is making stops all over the country, ending up in New York early September. The truck stopped at Redondo Beach Dog Park Friday morning entertaining the pups with treats, a photo-booth and play zone. Milo's Kitchen Treat Truck offered samples of the line's six flavors, all with chicken or beef as the first ingredient, and all made in the U.S.A. with no artificial colors or preservatives. All photos by Nanette Gonzales.