Going out to dinner and sticking to healthy diet can sometimes be a challenge, but here in Los Angeles, there are lots of choices. As a pescetarian who enjoys a good date night and dining al fresco, CAST Restaurant at the Viceroy in Santa Monica was a perfect choice.
Executive Chef Larry Monaco just recreated the menu to include more local, sustainable dishes that he is clearly proud of and for good reason. He says the majority of their produce is from the local Farmer’s Market and all their proteins — whether it be beef, chicken, fish or seafood — are humanely and ethically raised. “There are no antibiotics, no steroids, nothing like that at all,” he told me with pride in the kitchen after dinner.
From the appetizers like the lightly fried smelt with black garlic ranch made with vegan mayo, to the beet salad with smoked king oyster mushrooms and tiger prawns over corn succotash… everything was tasty and cooked to perfection.
Since I mainly eat a plant based and low-carb diet, I tend to order fish when I’m dining out at a restaurant. Between the flaky and buttery salmon with carrots cooked four different ways to the white fish served over a bed of fresh chick peas, green and yellow split peas and olives, my date and I finished off our plates feeling fully satisfied, but not stuffed.
While we could have skipped dessert, instead, we decided to splurge and share the chocolate queimado. The top layer was burned like a brûlée and it turns out, if you’re vegan… you can eat it! That’s because it’s made with pureed tofu, brown sugar, vanilla bean and dark chocolate. While I’m not vegan, I didn’t miss the dairy and I would have never known tofu was a key ingredient.
#lightandhealthy #sustainable #veganfriendly #dinneralfresco