Friday, July 14, 2006

Rate-A-Restaurant, #108 in a series

Restaurant: Tender Greens

Location: 9523 Culver Blvd. (Culver City)

Type of restaurant: Salad/Sandwiches

We stipulated: It was a quick, last-minute business lunch, and none of us had much time to spare. Joe suggested Tender Greens -- and since I'm currently in a Culver City mood, I was game.

They stipulated: No table service. Order upfront, and bring your food to your table. (Yet once again, my pet peeve: There was still room on the credit card slip for a tip. Do I give one? Yet, I brought my food to my table. I dunno. I left $2.) The menu is simple: Ten varieties of salad, at $9 a pop, or four different kinds of meat (or veggies), which you can stick in a sandwich... or put on a hot plate. Not much difference, just one has bread, the other mashed potatoes.

Ahi tuna salad (I ordered the sandwich, but I couldn't find that photo online, and I forgot to bring my camera... so this is close enough.)

What we ordered: Line caught ahi tuna sandwich (with simple salad side of romain hearts, caesar dressing, shaved parmesan and garlic croutons (Mike; $9). Free range chicken hot plate with Yukon Gold mashed potatoes and side caesar salad ($10).

High point: It may not be the best ahi sandwich out there (still a tie between Breadbar and M Cafe de Chaya), but this is pretty good, and a relative bargain at $9. Food also was ready fast, meeting our objective; A fast lunch.

Low point: The chicken portion on Joe's plate was surprisingly small. Also, no croutons made it onto our salad! And the workers forgot to mention that beverages included a Watermelon juice. By the time we found out, it was too late -- the watermelon was gone.

Overall impression: These kind of places usually try too hard to become a trend... but instead fizzle. Tender Greens appears to be sensible in not offering too much, but still touting its mission as an inexepensive, healthy bistro.

Chance we will go back: There's a decent possibility... although, I have better places to score ahi sandwiches, and it's still much cheaper to buy a salad bag at Trader Joe's.

(For a full roster of Franklin Avenue's restaurant reviews, check out our companion Rate-A-Restaurant site.)

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