When Lemonade opened up near us last year in Manhattan Beach, we were immediately drawn in by the vast array of brightly colored salads and entrees. There’s a salad for just about everyone, and the salad choices change seasonally, so there’s something new and tasty just about every time you go in.
But it wasn’t until we came in with the whole crew – grandparents, kids, and all – that we got to see the true brilliance of Lemonade for families. It’s a great way to show kids a rainbow of fruits and vegetables and open their minds to all sorts of healthy possibilities. There’s no specific kids’ menu, which is a good thing, because instead of ordering an old standby like hot dogs or pizza, kids are drawn in by the stunning visual display of the fresh foods lining the counters. “It’s a great place to take your kids if you want to introduce them to eating in a healthy way,” says Lemonade’s Chief Operating Officer Ian Olsen.
Let’s see…A brilliant yellow curried cauliflower, golden raisin, and almond salad? Check. A dark orange chili-roasted butternut squash salad? Check. A bright pink beet and pickled onion salad? Check. A deep green broccoli and ricotta salad? Check. There’s even an intriguing black Beluga lentil salad. As far as colors go, you’ve pretty much got the whole spectrum covered. Olsen adds that there are always two to five salads with protein; usually six salads are vegan; and 80 percent are vegetarian.
If you’re looking for something a little warmer and more comforting for a cold evening at the beach, you’ll find an array of hot pots simmering away. From red miso beef short rib to Moroccan chicken stew with dates, olives, and ginger (below), you can’t go wrong.
Oh, and the lemonade – Did we mention the lemonade? You can’t miss it. There’s always an intriguing variety of lemonades, from cucumber mint, to passion fruit pepper. Last time we were intrigued by – and then fell in love with – the pineapple coriander.
So what does a typical meal look like? Check out this plate with (clockwise from top): Broccoli and ricotta with Champagne vinaigrette; BBQ brisket; purple cabbage slaw; and pineapple chicken, green beans, coconut, and apple jerk dressing (Olsen’s personal favorite).
Salad prices range from $2.75 for a single portion to $12.50 for six portions (you can always ask for a sample before you order anything). Braises range from $6.00 for a half portion to $9.50 for a full portion. Other items include sandwiches for $9; lemonade for $3; and desserts ranging from $1 to $5. A typical family of four could most likely eat for around $45, even including lemonade.
Lemonade currently has nine locations in and around Los Angeles; a Studio City location and a Newport Beach location are opening in May. Not from Southern California, but just passing through? Look for Lemonade at LAX in Terminal 5 (Delta). Not anywhere near a Lemonade location? Never fear; a Lemonade cookbook is in the works for the fall.
Blogger disclosure: I did not receive compensation for this post, but Lemonade did treat me to a meal. I have been to the restaurant several times on my own; the opinions expressed are mine.