Best Spring Salads In OC

April 16, 2014 6:00 AM

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(credit: Andrei's Conscious Cuisine and Cocktails)

(credit: Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine and Cocktails)

(credit: istockphoto)

(credit: istockphoto)


As the weather gets warmer and we get closer to that time of year when we spend a lot of time in swimsuits, a lot of us turn toward lighter salads. After all, you not only want to look good in your swimsuit of choice, you also want to avoid being weighed down by food when the weather warms up. Here are the best places in the county to satisfy your cravings to eat healthy and light.

(credit: Kevin Hatanaka)

(credit: Kevin Hatanaka)


Healthy Junk
201 Center St. Promenade Unit B
Anaheim, CA 92805
(714) 772-JUNK
www.thehealthyjunk.com

It’s not surprising that a vegan place – with the word healthy in the name – has a good selection of salads. Even the Chinese chick salad would be pretty light for a spring day. However, this place has two salads in particular that are great as the weather starts to warm up. One is the mango tango with quinoa and jicama. The other is a kale salad that is tossed with olive oil and lemon juice. Both are enough to satisfy without weighing you down.

Related: Best Vegan-Friendly Restaurants in Orange County

(credit: W.L./Yelp)

(credit: W.L./Yelp)


Cafe Mimosa
243 Avenida del Mar
San Clemente, CA 92672
(949) 481-6780
www.cafemimosasc.com

Cafe Mimosa advertises itself as a classic French bistro. It’s not surprising then that the place has some light menu options. After all, while French food is often rich, it is usually served in small portions. The house salad here contains berries, dried fruit and almonds, and it is topped with a balsamic vinaigrette. Another salad here contains baby greens and dried fruit – a perfect dish when you just want something light. Mimosa also carries a seasonal fresh-fruit plate (big enough to share) with cinnamon and honey yogurt.

(credit: Cucina Enoteca)

(credit: Cucina Enoteca)


CUCINA Enoteca
31 Fortune Drive, Suite #306
Irvine, CA 92618
(949) 861-2222
www.cucinaenoteca.com

Cucina Enoteca is a place that prides itself in having fresh and sustainable ingredients. This means that you’ll be able to get good salads no matter the season. One of the best salads for spring is the kale salad that contains heirloom tomatoes, onions, walnuts and hearts of palm. One of our favorites is the Kale Caesar with shaved brussel sprouts, oange cognac soaked raisins, parmesan frico and meyer lemon anchovy emulsion. Another salad is about as simple a salad as you’ll find with arugula, heirloom tomatoes, Parmesan and balsamic vinegar. In addition to the salad, you’ll also be able to enjoy the spring weather in Enoteca’s outside dining area as well as the restaurant’s impressive selection of wines.

(credit: Volkan S./Yelp)

(credit: Volkan S./Yelp)


Christakis
13011 Newport Ave.
Tustin, CA 92780
(714) 731-6600
www.christakisgreekcuisine.com

Greek food generally goes pretty heavy on meat so it’s not considered the lightest kind of cuisine. However, if you go to Christakis for a salad, you’ll certainly find some good options for spring. The villager’s salad contains tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese and olives. It is a very light and refreshing meal. The Greek salad is another great option for spring with mixed greens, tomatoes and cucumbers. Also, while it’s not really a salad, you can enjoy the always-refreshing tzatziki here.

Related: Best Greek Food in Orange County

(credit: Andrei's Conscious Cuisine and Cocktails)

(credit: Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine and Cocktails)


Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine and Cocktails
2607 Main St.
Irvine, CA 92614
(949) 387-8887
www.andreisrestaurant.com

Andrei’s is a place that does a great job of of procuring fresh ingredients no matter the time of year. A couple of the starter salads are especially good as the weather starts to warm up. One salad features mixed greens, cranberries and apple chips topped with a walnut vinaigrette. This is a perfect salad when you want to eat light. Another one is the kale salad with cheddar and croutons. It’s simple, and it’s the kind of salad you want to recreate at home.

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Gary Schwind is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

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