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Health and fitness Nut – A pastel palate on a Manhattan Beach front menu

There is a joke about Mexican food stuff that it is a cuisine of hundreds of dishes created from 10 components. Mexicans have in fact identified means to deliver an arsenal of tactics to a somewhat limited variety of food items staples, and develop variety of flavors, and textures that make it one particular of the world’s wonderful cuisines.

That’s something that cooks in most of the world have accomplished, some by requirement because it’s all they had, other people out of sensible economic system. Restaurant chefs who have confined storage room, and an eye on the base line consider cautiously in advance of introducing a new ingredient to the menu. If it is a perishable merchandise used in only just one dish, and will be squandered if nobody orders it, it will be less likely to make the minimize than 1 that can be used in a number of preparations.

The not too long ago opened Well being Nut took about the former Jamba Juice place in downtown Manhattan Seaside. Photo by Kevin Cody

Health Nut is a compact chain of eating places serving accurately what you’d count on from the identify – calorie and diet-acutely aware salads, sandwiches, and noodle bowls. Though they opened in the former Jamba Juice spot, they do not make smoothies, but do have a couple of uncomplicated beverages like lemonade, and fruit tea. The menu has a rather lengthy list of merchandise, but when I appeared at it closely, I discovered it is the cost-effective chef’s aspiration, with numerous of the identical components used in every dish.

Which is a moreover with this kind of restaurant due to the fact when all the things on the menu focuses on the flavors of clean greens, there is the possible for a lot of wastage because of to the limited shelf life. At the similar time, the people today who style and design these recipes require to be very creative to keep almost everything from tasting alike. It is a balancing act, and though they do some factors very very well below, they really don’t often hit the mark.

On our initial pay a visit to we purchased the spring roll, and the Health Nut noodle soup, which a single of the counter team certain me was 1 of the most popular dishes. It’s really very good, with a fragile ginger taste that provides curiosity to the delicate vegetarian herb inventory. Diners get their selection of tuna, rooster or tofu as a protein, and the soup is served with noodles on the side that you add to style. Neither noodles, tofu, or skinless chicken breast incorporate a large amount of taste, but they do lend some distinct textures. About the only point I would improve is the really large chunks of potato, which need to have been slice smaller sized to make spooning them up a lot easier.

The spring roll and noodle soup at Well being Nut. Photograph by Richard Foss.

The spring roll is a salad of carrots, cucumbers, and bean and alfalfa sprouts stuffed into a a bit chewy rice flour wrap, and minimize into 8 items. It is a riff on the Vietnamese basic, which is often known as a summer months roll to distinguish it from a fried roll. The conventional model usually involves basil, cilantro, mint, or other sharply flavored herbs, moreover a dash of tangy fish sauce or vinegar. Well being Nut’s version is an undressed salad in a flavorless wrap right up until you add the protein and some of their spicy Asian dressing. I ought to say it’s a fantastic dressing with sesame oil and a peppery kick. You get your preference of protein, and I picked the salmon poke, which has a moderate marinade enlivened with sesame seeds. I would like they hadn’t reduce up the roll simply because though the planning is fairly, it is not effortless to consume neatly due to the fact it falls aside immediately after the 1st chunk. However, if you like purely natural flavors subtly enhanced, this is a nice entrée, and the part is generous.

We favored it more than enough to go again, and when deciding what to get discovered the restrictions of the menu. Most of the merchandise listed here are the same couple elements combined with incredibly slight variations – sprouts, carrots, and cucumber are in practically each and every merchandise. We tried a Chinese rooster salad, turkey-avocado melt, and a tuna salad panini to get as vast a selection as possible.

The Chinese chicken salad is lettuce, carrots, dry chow mein noodles, pickled ginger, and sesame dressing. Pickled ginger is not component of the regular recipe, but it is silly to be a purist about anything invented in a Beverly Hills restaurant in the 1960s. The classic edition also normally has almonds or peanuts and cabbage, which increase texture and complexity of taste. The pickled ginger was a good idea and additional some zip to the flavors, and the sesame dressing was extremely excellent, but I want the classic version.

Both sandwiches had been disappointments, for diverse good reasons. The turkey-avocado melt was oddly salty, the tuna salad the dullest I can remember acquiring. Tuna salad can be mouth watering when properly manufactured, but all you flavor here is tuna and mayonnaise. There are all types of points that can make tuna salad fulfilling – a little bit of chopped celery or onion, sweet pickle relish, dill, and total grain mustard occur to head. They were all missing right here, and sorely skipped.

At the suggestion of a employees member, I also experimented with a “mango greentini,” iced environmentally friendly tea with mango juice, honey, and sugar. Way also a great deal sugar, in my view, mainly because mango is sweet all by itself, and just a sprint of honey would have been plenty.

There’s a consistent aesthetic at the rear of the food items at Well being Nut, concentrated on the natural flavors of new substances with nominal spicing and variation. Individuals refreshing ingredients are at a rate – the lunch I initially explained of soup, spring rolls, and two lemonades ran $42, which is large for counter assistance of very simple food. Balanced meals can be remarkable and varied, but although the food listed here is healthful, it falls limited on individuals actions. I’d go back for their soup, for the reason that it is the very best expression of what they do, but will possibly give the rest of their choices a pass.

Wellness Nut is at 332 Manhattan Beach Boulevard in Manhattan Seashore. Mon. — Sat. 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Street parking. Wheelchair obtain Ok. No liquor, compact patio and a handful of indoor tables. (310) 943-1060. ER