Chefs are more and more experimental when creating salads that appeal to both the eye and the appetite. Ingredients are being pooled together in creative and innovative ways. Chefs utilize fruits and grains, nuts and various proteins to complement a wonderful bouquet of leafy vegetables and lettuces such as kale, arugula, herbs, spinach, cabbage and frisee, to name a few. OC locals who seek lighter fare or a fulfilling salad entrée can start planning their next meal as they embark upon the best restaurants in the area for a salad.
2441 East Coast Highway
Corona Del Mar, CA 92625
While the Bungalow’s menu specializes in prime steaks and fresh seafood entrees, guests also enjoy a Bungalow salad. Both healthful and satisfying, a Bungalow salad for lunch is a local favorite. Its hoison glazed shrimp & mango salad is a striking combination of ingredients that excite the taste buds. Made with grilled jumbo prawns and mango, the salad features fresh avocado, Roma tomatoes, white onion, jalapeno and cilantro. Lunch guests may also opt for the signature Cobb salad, grilled lime chicken salad or the delicious Manhattan steak and baby spinach.
951 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
The perfect balance of making a healthy lunch decision and choosing deliciousness, CUCINA enoteca’s nut+grain+seed salad is one of the most nourishing salads. The Italian kitchen and wine shop comprises the salad of fresh ingredients including endive, spinach and frisee lettuces and grains — farro and quinoa as the bases. Apples, squash, currants and pecans are mixed in with CUCINA’s house-made mustard leek vinaigrette. Add a side of chicken for lean protein. It’s truly a customer favorite and offered on both the lunch and brunch CUCINA menus.
Selanne Steak Tavern
1464 S. Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Selanne Steak Tavern, which is co-owned by Anaheim Ducks hockey legend Teemu Selanne, is an upscale restaurant and steak house. Located in a historic 1934 cottage on PCH, Selanne Steak Tavern is open for dinner starting at 5 p.m. Guests find the scarlet beet ravioli salad an amazing first course. Executive Chef Joshua Severson, who along with the restaurant supports local farms for produce, creates this ravioli filled with fresh beets and tosses the Italian dumplings with artisanal goat cheese and hazelnuts amid a warm golden beet vinaigrette. The restaurant also features a well-stocked herb garden, and the kitchen definitely makes good use of it which parsley, thyme, lavender, rosemary, chives and more.
Three Seventy Common Kitchen + Drink
370 Glenneyre St.
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Owner and Chef Ryan Adams welcomes guests to his Three Seventy Common restaurant for American cuisine, OC community and good times. Chef Adams prefers to work closely with local growers and purveyors to source the best quality meats, produce and seafood for recipes. Chef Adams presents a Hanger steak salad that is inspired by farm to table. This outstanding salad is made of arugula, chili, shallot, hanger steak and chimichurri, pecorino cheese, house-made croutons and incorporated with a lime vinaigrette. This salad is an easy choice as an entrée. The kale and persimmon salad or mushroom and frisee salad are perfect starters.
19100 Von Karman Ave.
Irvine, CA 92612
The al fresco dining area (heat lamps are available) of Bistango is quite reflective of the restaurant’s menu featuring contemporary cuisine encompassing a sizable selection of salads. Large salads at Bistango are entrée size (at entrée prices) ranging from the favorite Black Tiger Shrimp salad made with wild arugula, tomatoes, red onion, shiitake mushrooms and tossed in a spicy hoisin vinaigrette to the Flat Iron steak salad created with baby kale, pickled red onion and shiitake, gorgonzola and balsamic vinaigrette and the green papaya and lobster salad.