Monday, October 15, 2012

Favorite {Healthy} Local Haunt: Greenleaf Chopshop

I wouldn't say I'm a health nut, but I can certainly appreciate a good-for-you meal. Serve up that good-for-you meal in a place that feels pretty good to be in and you might just make a health conscious convert out of me.

This evening, I'm popping in to share one of my favorite (and healthy) local haunts- Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop in Costa Mesa.

This is a restaurant I frequent as much for the inspiring food as for the innovative design. You are subtly introduced to their brand at every turn. It's there from the re-purposed, industrial seating and fixtures throughout (think metal garden boxes turned shandies and reclaimed wood tables), to oversized windows that look right out onto raised garden beds teeming with organic produce. You might as well be in the house of your dreams. Then they go and give you the list of ingredients and let you customize your own meal. And when they finally put that oversized bowl down in front of you, filled with everything but the kitchen sink and it tastes so damn good, it's as if they are saying, "my job here is done." Those crafty artisan chefs really make it all seem possible. I don't think there is a single patron who doesn't walk out of there daydreaming about how they can make all of that happen in their own home.

And luckily Greenleaf exists when you want to step out for bite and some ambience. A small wine bar right in the middle of the communal dining room even helps make this food-focused, eco-friendly, healthy haven a happy-hour hotspot. There's also an adjoining marketplace where you can pick up a fresh-pressed juice or coffee to go. Health conscious happy hour? Whodathunkit.

But one of the things that keeps me pulling up curbside is the landscape design out front. It's a sustainable California garden at it's best- architectural succulents, free-flowing grasses and mass plantings of colorful succulents mixed in with aromatic, cuttable herbs like rosemary and lavender.

Citrus, lavender, rosemary and senecio line the walkway to the door

Kalanchoe Beharense- a favorite to be planted in our own garden

Colorful 'Perle Von Nernburg' Echeveria and Senecio blanket the ground below a Draco.
The comfortable back courtyard with pea gravel flooring.

I'm still searching for the landscape designer responsible for overhauling this once nearly invisible corner lot. Nothing about it is invisible now. If the smells from the kitchen don't lure me in, on any given day the the eye-candy out front certainly will.



Kristen said...

OMG I totally blogged about this place too! Isn't it so good? LOVE their salads and the flatbread pizza's look delish. Check out my post on it as well.

Erin | Holtwood Hipster said...

It's sooo good! I actually had to go grab a bite there tonight. Evening is awfully pretty in there with candlelight.

Anonymous said...

I live right down the street from here and I've never gone in. I drive 17th Street everyday and pass right by it. It's on my bucket-list of things to do. I'll have to convince the hubs...he usually hates places like this.

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