A few weeks ago I was invited to have lunch at Fresh East in West Hollywood. Their concept immediately caught my attention-- organic, sustainable, and healthy Asian cuisine is right down my alley. I must admit I was a bit weary because so many places are following the green(washing) trend, but their menu piqued my interest and I had to see if they were true to their eco-friendly claims. We ordered a sampling of dishes to try and while I enjoyed every one of them, I loved the salmon! I usually don't order fish (especially at a casual restaurant) because it is often overcooked, but this was made to perfection. The 5 spice glaze was flavorful without being overpowering and was just enough to enjoy with the brown rice as well. I've encountered many restaurants that drench their food in a sauce to cover up the lack of flavor/texture in the main dish but this was just the right amount. In addition to the salmon, I also tried their spicy garlic noodles and shanghai beef. Contrary to its name, the noodles were not over the top spicy and did not have an unpleasant raw garlic flavor but a deeper, richer taste. The shanghai beef was braised until tender, cut into thoughtful pieces, and paired with a medley of stir fried vegetables and brown rice. When it comes to cooking brown rice I get impatient and end up with undercooked little pebbles, but their rice was neither too hard nor mushy. It was like eating regular white rice but with the added fiber. I also ordered the fresheast juice, a combination of orange, lemon, apple, cucumber, spinach, kale, and red beets. I'm normally not a vegetables in juice sort of person but decided to try it anyway. There was a bit of texture and definite "there's vegetables in this thing" flavor, but oddly enough I kept wanting to drink more. It was refreshing to drink along with all the different spices I was tasting, and as cliche as it sounds, I felt a little healthier drinking it.
As for their environmental claims, the plates, cups, and flatware were all recyclable or compostable. Even better, if you bring your own containers, ride your bike, or drive a hybrid/electric car there, they'll give you 10% off. I was also happy to read that they source their produce locally and organic when possible. Eating healthy and sustainable food doesn't have to be bland, unexciting, or expensive, and I'm so happy to see a restaurant like Fresh East proving it.
And as a side note, parking was easy and free!
Fresh East Open everyday, 11am-10pm 8951 Santa Monica Blvd- Suite G1, West Hollywood, CA 90069