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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise
 Dining in Paradise

Editors' Note: On this page in our February, 1999, issue we published a review of Greens restaurant in Redondo Beach. We are sorry to report that this excellent restaurant has closed its doors. They will be missed.

Fortunately, all is not lost. Two employees of Green have persuaded the former owner to share his recipes in their new restaurant just around the corner from Greens' old location. For more information check our full review of Green Temple Restaurant in Redondo Beach.


Z: It was a blustery Sunday on the Riviera, not France, but Redondo Beach. Inside Greens the comfortable atmosphere and savory aromas warmed us immediately. We knew we were in a good place. Stephanie, our server, greeted the five of us warmly and was well informed about the items on the menu.

R: While we were ordering our dinners, we noticed that musicians were setting up their instruments in a corner of the room that had a slightly raised stage. Pretty soon the restaurant was filled with the sounds of The Swingin' Jazztones. The leader of the quartet is Maurice Beaudet who opened the restaurant just four years ago. The combination of piano, drums, bass, and sax provided a perfect backdrop to a tasty vegetarian dining experience. We noticed almost every table was occupied.

Z: I really appreciated the ambience with soft lighting and tables set with cloth napkins.. What really comes through, is that Maurice and his staff are proud of this well-run restaurant.

R: The food portions were so generous none of us could finish our meals. We left with ample doggie bags. Since we were with friends, we had the opportunity to see five platters piled high with fresh vegetables on top of whole grains or beans and smothered in different savory sauces.

Z: The huge portions were the first thing I noticed too. We started with soups and salads, and I must say this is a great place to order soup. I ordered a cup of Split Pea Soup which was hearty and thick and full of chunky vegetables. Reuben had the Potato Soup with large chunks of potatoes in a medium thick, lightly seasoned puree. Our friends ordered the salad with the mild tahini dressing. The dressing was a little too bland for my taste, but the salad was abundant with shredded carrots, beets, and romaine lettuce. This course was served with a big piece of homemade, moist, whole-grain bread that was to die for. When a restaurant recognizes the importance of a good, "healthy" bread, that's special.

R: Zel's entree was the Garden Corny made with cornbread, brown rice, pinto beans, and Mexican Sauce on the bottom. The top was a huge mound of colorfully arranged steamed vegetables. Naturally, I reached over and tasted some‹great eating. The leftovers were equally as good the next day.

Z: Reuben's entrée was the giant Chile Burrito, made with a whole wheat tortilla and filled with homemade chili, brown rice, tomatoes and lettuce. It came artfully topped with salsa and avocado. I tasted his, too. Naturally. His meal earned a yummy rating.

R: One friend ordered the Presto Pasta with the restaurant's special Savory Sauce. What a variety of vegetables! There were carrots, string beans, shredded cabbage, along with broccoli and cauliflower florets. Another friend ordered the Shepherd's Spud. Our third friend chose "the monster" Garden Burrito which was as hearty as the other entrees. You could tell that everything was homemade.

Z: One friend ventured into dessertland (I can't figure out how he had room!) with a homemade (what would you expect,) warm apple cobbler topped with two scoops of Rice Dream ice cream. He called it "old-fashioned comfort food and darned good, too." Reuben and I finished with a steaming cup of herbal tea to top off the evening.With the wholesome food and the jazz music just as tasty, we felt we truly were Vegetarians in Paradise. Overall, I would have to say the food was hearty, wholesome, delicately seasoned, and nicely presented. My taste buds crave a bit more seasoning, but then, I like really zesty flavors. The atmosphere has a tasty Southwest touch, nice indirect lighting, carpeted floor, and soft colors.

R: What I found outstanding was their careful attention to maintaining high standards with local organic produce, purified water, whole grains, honey from local hives, and everything made from scratch. This is a restaurant that takes pride in its offerings and its excellent service.

Z: You're probably wondering if we had to pay an arm and a leg for this special dinner. Actually, the prices are so reasonable you could make this restaurant a regular treat for lunch or dinner and still have money left for the parking meter--just kidding. Our meal for five included soup or salad, entree, only one dessert ordered, and two herbal teas for a total of $57.53 including tax. Amazing! Try it--you'll enjoy it too.

R: I have a particularly nice memory of the stroll we took along the main street, about a block away from Greens, where you had to go into every single shop. I have to admit I enjoyed it, too, especially one shop called Harmony Works at 1705 S. Catalina. The owner, Royce Morales, calls it a unique eco experience. Before you go to dinner, drop in and check out their nice collection of vegetarian cookbooks, gifts, and art objects made from recycled materials.

Greens at the Beach
247 Avenida del Norte, Redondo Beach
Open daily 11:00 a.m.to 10:00 p.m., Sundays 11:00 a.m.to 9:00 p.m.
Weekend Breakfasts from 9:00 a.m.

Reviewed February 1999

Click here for past Dining in Paradise reviews

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