Thursday, May 14, 2009

Shade of Green: Eco-Minded Dining Out

One way to show your green stripes is, when you do go out to eat, to support local restaurants who are going green. That could mean that it's vegan or vegetarian (learn more about the environmental effects of livestock farming, like that reducing meat consumption is like driving your car 8,000 fewer miles every year). It could also mean that a restaurant conserves water inside and out or that it serves local, organic ingredients (yum!).

Here are some eco-minded restaurants in Silver Lake, our neck of Los Angeles:

*Local. This relatively new restaurant near the Silversun intersection serves only fresh, local ingredients in its updated diner fare--think BBQ pork and eggs, grilled cheese on brioche, and tofu egg salad sandwiches. And when taking food to go, it offers only recycled or biodegradable packaging.  It has the locals talking.

*Gingergrass. So nice to have a go-to Vietnamese place that has the environment on its menu along with staples like lemongrass chicken and carmelized shrimp. A certified green eatery, Gingergrass composts food waste and is "determined to be... as environmentally-friendly as possible." It's on the SL Chamber's Green Committee to boot.

*Flore. This is a totally vegan, totally delicious cafe right at Sunset Junction.  I recommend The Wrap and the Cantaloupe Blueberry Gazpacho. Delish. I hear good things about the desserts as well.

*Elf. This elfin dinner place is tucked away in Echo Park on Sunset, so unassuming you could miss it. But if you happen to find it (map here), you'll be glad you did. The atmosphere is charming and the mediterranean-inspired vegetarian food is carefully crafted from beautiful, fresh, local, organic ingredients. 

That's just a taste of green dining in our neighborhood. Be sure to ask your server next time you're out what kind of eco-efforts are on the menu. 

And share in the comments any shade of green dining dive we missed here!

We'll raise a glass to that!

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