Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Eat Well Week in SM: Restaurants Offer Healthy Meals


December 30, 2013

This typically isn't the time of year most head out for a restaurant meal, but the city of Santa Monica wants to change that.

"It's really important for us at the Convention and Visitors Bureau to make sure we're keeping our restaurants busy during off-peak season," said Kelly Nagle, a spokesperson at the Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Warm temperatures and the Rose Bowl helped fill local hotels, but Nagle says generally the hospitality industry sees a drop off the first of the year, so Santa Monica created Eat Well Week.

Eat Well Week runs Jan. 5 through Jan. 12 with more than a dozen restaurants cooking up new menu items, hoping that "good for you" can also taste great.

"Our restaurants have created discounted pre-fix menus for diners. So not only is it going to save you money, but you'll also be reducing your waistline," said Nagle.

Pre-fix menus range from $20 to $30, depending on the type of restaurant.

Some, like Al Mare on the Santa Monica Pier, is offering new healthy options at breakfast and lunch as well.

"It's still fresh, it's still homemade, very simple, very light," said Al Mare Chef Marco Manca.

Manca serves homemade pasta. He makes a zucchini ravioli with a tomato sauce and tops it with fresh basil and a pinch of parmesan. They get an "A" for proper portions.

Across from the pier, Del Frisco's Grille keeps it light in a different way.

"We have the fish tacos that are grilled slightly with corn jicama slaw. We also have the kale and Brussels sprout salad," said Jeffrey Harrelson, general manager at Del Frisco's Grille. The grilled artichoke is a great appetizer to start with as well.

A bit further down the street, Chef Adrian Padilla of CAST at the Viceroy Santa Monica created a special salmon dish.

"I have a miso glazed salmon that just came out of the broiler," said Padilla. "It's simple, quick, fresh, healthy -- organic mushrooms, market asparagus and organic brown rice."

Eat Well Week is celebrating its second year. Visit to view the menus and participating restaurants.


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