(Credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock)
(Credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock)
LA is a salad-loving town. From healthy restaurants to even BBQ restaurants and steakhouses, you can find full-portion salads everywhere. The list below, which doesn’t include any build-a-salad restaurants, includes the top kale salads that go beyond the standard kale and vinaigrette or kale Caesar salad and are both healthy and delicious. These salads all bring something special to the table, from different fresh veggies/fruit to cheese, nuts and more, and feature kale as the primary green.

(credit: Aliza Sokolow)

(credit: Aliza Sokolow)


aestus
507 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(424) 268-4433
www.aestusrestaurant.com

New Executive Chef Andrew “Dru” Betita’s twist on a kale salad with the kale salad with red cabbage, carrots, radish, and blood orange is fresh – by sourcing his ingredients from the Santa Monica Farmers Market – and bloody delicious with its ribbons of red cabbage, carrots, radish, and segments of blood orange that add a citrusy zing.

(credit: Bru's Wiffle)

(credit: Bru’s Wiffle)


Bru’s Wiffle
2408 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90403
(310) 453-2787
www.bruswiffle.com

The fresh kale cobb salad made with, kale, bacon, grilled chicken, goat cheese, avocado, eggs with olive oil & fresh lemon juice, is one the house’s favorite salads. It is perfect for any summer day to stay refreshed or even before a workout as it’s filling and at yet still light.

(credit: Elf Cafe)

(credit: Elf Cafe)


Elf Cafe
2135 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 484-6829
www.elfcafe.com

Chef Dave Martinez incorporates his kitchen theory of ‘Agro Dolce’ to this salad where it can be expressed most. From the seasoned heat of the Red Charmola to the pleasant, cooling breeze of an avocado mousse and a sweet citrus zest, this salad also includes an international romance between toasted pepitas and sumac feta, while not forgetting to toss in loads of love, of kale that is!

(credit: Fat Dog)

(credit: Fat Dog)


Fat Dog
801 N Fairfax Ave
West Hollywood, CA 90046
(323) 951-0030
www.thefatdogla.com

At The Fat Dog, located in North Hollywood and on Fairfax, chef John Gladish introduces his take on a fresh spring kale salad with his wheatberry and kale salad. The salad consists of kale, shaved fennel, grape tomatoes, cucumber and is tossed in a lemon vinaigrette. It’s light and crisp consisting fresh ingredients, with a mix of both a chewy and crunchy texture with the addition of the wheatberries and chopped walnuts. And the lemon vinaigrette adds some acidity to bring out the flavors of fresh vegetables.

(credit: Gracias Madre)

(credit: Gracias Madre)


Gracias Madre
8905 Melrose Ave.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(323) 978-2170
www.graciasmadreweho.com

West Hollywood’s mecca for plant-based Mexican fare has a new addition to the menu just in time for spring. For the strawberry & kale salad, chef Chandra Gilbert combines the hardiness of kale with a fresh, seasonal pop of flavor from strawberries, almonds, fennel, beet, and orange in this light and fresh salad.

(credit: The Hart and The Hunter)

(credit: The Hart and The Hunter)


The Hart and The Hunter
7950 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 424-3055
www.thehartandthehunter.com

The Hart and The Hunter’s kale salad is the right amount of spice, crunch and sweetens over a bed of kale. On top of the chiffonade kale is spiced pecans, sheep’s cheese, apple and dates with a walnut oil vinaigrette

(credit: Love & Salt)

(credit: Love & Salt)


Love & Salt
317 Manhattan Beach Blvd.
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 545-5252
www.loveandsaltla.com

In Manhattan Beach, Chef Michael Fiorelli puts a California twist on the traditional Italian chop, with the shaved black kale salad. The salad featuring ribbons of massaged black kale – which adds nutritional value and a satisfying texture to the salad that one might not find with other greens – tossed with soppressata, olives, pickled peppers, breadcrumbs, and ricotta salata.

(credit: Maradentro)

(credit: Maradentro)


Maradentro
1168 S Barrington Avenue #101
Los Angeles, CA 90049
(424) 273-1377
www.maradentrorestaurant.com

Both healthy as it is delicious, the kale and arugula salad will keep you satisfied without weighing you down. Featuring pears and strawberries, it will not only keep it light for spring dining, but also create a gorgeous plated visual. And, to add zest, the agave-lime vinaigrette pairs perfectly with the pumpkin seeds and queso fresco, which balances out perfectly with the candied pumpkin seeds and optional chicken.

(credit: Picnic LA)

(credit: Picnic LA)


Picnic LA
9900 Culver Blvd #1b
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 838-3388
www.picnic.v

The Tuscan black kale salad at Picnic LA is comprised of the freshest seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. The salad features kumquats from Garcia Farms, ricotta salata, toasted pistachios and a pomegranate vinaigrette that gives extra depth of flavor and sweetness to the salad without adding sugar. Picnic La uses Cavalo Nero kale, one of the oldest varieties, offering more texture and flavor than your typical kale.

(credit: Tara Punzone)

(credit: Tara Punzone)


Real Food Daily
414 N La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(310) 289-9910
www.realfood.com

The great cardini salad at Real Food Daily tips its culinary hat to the originator of the Caesar salad. An organic mix of Tuscan kale and romaine is tossed with garbanzo beans, red quinoa in a creamy almond shallot dressing with roasted yam croutons, spiced pumpkin seeds, macadamia parmesan and avocado.

(credit: Sausal)

(credit: Sausal)


Sausal
219 Main St.
El Segundo, CA 90245
(310) 322-2721
www.sausal.com

Chef Anne Conness celebrates traditional Hispanic ingredients reimagined through a California lens at Sausal in El Segundo. Though mostly known for hearty dishes like her popular red mole braised lamb, she lightens things up with her kale, quinoa & goat cheese salad, which features marinated Tuscan kale, quinoa, lentils, citrus, almonds, blackberries, goat cheese and a house vinaigrette.

(credit: SunCafe)

(credit: SunCafe)


SunCafe
10820 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 927-4100
www.suncafe.com

The Kale Colossus starts with kale massaged with sunflower ranch dressing then adds topping almost like a pizza: house made SunChorizo (a mix of Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, sundried tomatoes and spices), marinated mushrooms & red bell peppers, pico de gallo, Suncafe’s seed nacho cheese, cashew mayo, raisins & bananas. It’s raw, it’s gluten free, it’s big, it’s delicious.

Jarone Ashkenazi is a freelance writer who covers: restaurants, bars, dating, relationships, sports and other lifestyle topics. View more work at www.jaroneashkenazi.com. Connect with him on Twitter at @JaroneAsh.