Given that I eat kale nearly every single day of my life (my Twitter bio says "Fashion Writer and Kale Eater" for a reason!), I'm pretty well-versed on LA's many salads containing this delicious leafy vegetable. Not all kale salads are created equal, which is why I've put together a list of the six best salads I've had around town. The ones that keep me coming back for more. The ones that make a vegan and gluten-free girl feel truly satiated. The ones that even manage to impress my omnivore husband.
1. Glow Bio's Oil-Free Kale Salad (7473 Melrose Ave): I've sung the praises of this salad before, so it's no surprise that it's at the top of my list. In addition to being rich in protein, calcium and Vitamins B, C and K, it's bursting with flavor. Avocado is generously massaged into leafy greens, and crisp cucumbers are perfectly placed atop the goods. It's the ideal grab-and-go salad for lunch.
2. Margeaux & Linda's Hail to Kale Salad (Erewhon Market, 7660 Beverly Blvd): Brought to you by the mother and daughter team who founded the late and great Cru restaurant in Silver Lake (R.I.P.), Margeaux & Linda's Vegan Kitchen is a brilliant brand that offers tons of mouthwatering packaged meals. This salad is particularly boss, featuring massaged kale with a tasty dressing, thinly sliced white figs and spicy dehydrated pumpkin seeds. If you can't make it to Erewhon, they also carry this salad at Naturewell 2 on Melrose and Earth Bar on Santa Monica Blvd. (Whole Foods needs to get on it!)
3. Cafe Gratitude's I Am Pure (639 N Larchmont Blvd): This is my go-to order at one of my absolute favorite restaurants. The marinated kale features a mix of sesame-wasabi and garlic-tahini dressing, along with sea palm, nori, cucumbers, carrots, cilantro, basil and teriyaki almonds. You can get kimchi on top, too, which is a great touch. I always ask for extra sea palm on the side.
4. SunCafe's Kale Salad (3711 Cahuenga Blvd): What this salad lacks in a creative name, it gains it incredible flavor. My husband even likes it! I love the creamy basil dressing, the pecan pieces and the fresh cut tomato bits. I like to top it with slices of portobello mushroom and a side of the secret sauce that normally comes with the Sun Burger. Too good.
5. Real Food Daily's Pro Kale (414 N La Cienega Blvd): This was one of the first restaurants I discovered in LA years ago when I first decided to become a vegan. This 100% raw salad features curly green kale massaged with tahini ginger dressing, as well as live sauerkraut, cucumber, dulse, sesame seeds and avocado. It's a heaping bowl of goodness that I can have at any time of day.
6. Veggie Grill's All Hail Kale (8000 Sunset Blvd): I couldn't end this list without mentioning this foolproof dish, which I often order when I'm in a pinch for time since it's super close to my house. Although it's probably perfectly delish if you order it as-is, I can't resist making a laundry list of substitutions to it. The awesome staff has memorized my custom order by now, but until it makes its way on the menu, here's my version: Substitute marinated kale with steamed kale, add portobello mushroom, no dressing, ginger miso dressing on the side, no agave walnuts, raw walnuts on the side.
LMK if you try any of these spots!