There's certainly no shortage of restaurants on Montana, and as of last Saturday Greens Up! adds a fast casual salad option to the mix. At first glance this small cafe might appear quite similar to the rest of the bunch, say, The Salad Bowl or even Freshii, but that's not quite the case. First off, owner Robert Yamarone started as a food stylist in NYC (he created the Greens Up! logo), but living and eating in Santa Monica, he yearned for a quick and healthy salad spot, and rather than waiting for someone else to introduce the concept to Montana, he took it upon himself.
Greens Up! does offer that whole mix and match salads situation (generally costing between $8-$11), in addition to some pre-designed salads, however where most such restaurants offer uninteresting salads dressings, Yamarone makes his from scratch like the tangy and sweet apple vinaigrette and the tropical ginger vinaigrette that tastes similar to a typical Japanese carrot ginger dressing, but lighter and fresher with an added zip.
Then, there's the juice bar. Or rather, muddling bar. Start off with organic iced tea or lemonade (made from California lemons) as a base, then Yamarone will mudding in your choice of blueberries, basil, mint, strawberries, and/or cucumbers. Ingredients are sourced locally from farmers markets and change seasonally, "It's whatever I find at the farmers market," Yamarone explains.
And what's that playing in the background? "We're really into music...we only play unsigned artists," and a chalkboard on the wall gives props to the daily featured players. While the whole fast casual salad concept appears to be the newest LA trend, Greens Up! stands out from the bunch. [EaterWire]