BEST SALADS - 2005
Grass Restaurant & Lounge
www.grasslounge.com The name of the restaurant, Grass, seems just right for eating salad. The tropical trappings reinforce the mood with French West Indian accents, Indonesian colonial slate floors, tiki hut booths, low-slung tables with flower petals strewn across them, and Buddha Bar and Stereo Sushi-like aural effects. The open-air venue, vaguely sheltered by a thatch roof, sometimes lets in a gentle rain. The organic surroundings practically scream for light, chic dining, but it's the menu descriptions of Chef Pedro Duarte's Pacific Rim salad compositions that will ultimately make you succumb to the lettuce. Try smoked salmon with diced avocados, teardrop tomatoes, crisp wontons, roasted almonds, frisée greens, and shoyu vinaigrette. Or maybe softly poached chicken with Fuji apples, carrots, delicate rice noodles, iceberg lettuce, and sesame dressing. Or the best of the best: a mismaloya salad of mesclun greens, red oak leaves, mango, nectarines, Korean pears, avocado, pine nuts, and vanilla-infused white balsamic vinaigrette. Tantalizing textures, flamboyant flavors, and portions big enough for two make the greens greener at Grass.