One of my favorite casual dining experiences, locally, is Tender Greens in downtown Culver City. Unpretentious, healthy and moderately-priced, a couple can have a great dinner and a glass of wine for around $40, and actually get full in the process.
The menu is simple and the produce is of a very high quality at Tender Greens. They offer “Simple Salads” all for around $6 in the small version, while the “big” version goes for around $11. If you like meat or fish, you can have a hot plate or add meat to your salad, including flank steak, herb brushed local albacore or salt and pepper chicken, which all are available in a “Hot Plate” version (Yukon gold mashed potatoes included for $10.50) or on a ciabatta roll, making a delicious sandwich (also $10.50)
Organic, Locally Grown Produce Equals Healthy Eating at Tender Greens
I had a glass of Poppy Pinot Noir, one of my favorites, which complemented my flank steak quite nicely. For another $5, I was able to add a red and green butter lettuce salad with tarragon dressing to my hot plate, and with the mashed potatoes, it was just enough food. The meat is grilled right in front of you, and while the cafeteria style ordering process isn’t the most elegant, it is efficient and unless you’re quite sensitive, doesn’t end up being that big of a deal.
Not too much indoor seating, so be prepared. In the winter, it can be a bit cold outside, as it was the other night, but there is ample seating outdoors and Tender Greens is well-equipped with heating lamps. Their menus are also printed on recycled paper, which is a nice touch. Wait staff is super helpful, both behind the counter and out in the dining area.
Restaurant Name: Tender Greens
Restaurant Location: 9523 Culver Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232
Link to Restaurant Site: Tender Greens
Restaurant Phone: 310.842.8300
Deliver, Sit-down, Takeout: Sit-down and Take Out
Description of Menu: Salads, chicken, steak and albacore; sandwich options; homemade soups
Description of Restaurant: Cafeteria Style line for ordering; limited indoor seating, moody lighting but not overly romantic; ample outdoor seating with heat lamps; Nice casual dress
Description of Service: Very nice people in the dining room. Young and friendly behind the counter.
Meal Ordered: Flank Steak Hot Plate, Red & Green Butter Lettuce salad on the side. Chinese Chicken Salad.
General Cost of Meal:$$$ – $$$1/2 / $$$$$
Hours of Operation: Sun-Thurs 11:30am-9pm; Fri-Sat 11:30am-10pm
Restaurant Mission Statement: “We believe there should be a conscious connection between the one who eats the food and the source of that sustenance. These days, people eat on the run. If we can’t slow you down, at least we can tell you a little bit about what you are eating. The majority of our produce comes from Scarborough Farms in Oxnard… When we have to buy things that Scarborough doesn’t plant, we choose from a handful of small, local farms… We use organic ingredients whenever we can.”
Restaurant Owner(s): David Dressler and…
Restaurant Chef(s): Chef-owners Matt Lyman and Erik Oberholtzer
House Specialty: Great salads — super fresh local ingredients, good-sized portions