Pono Burger. I love taking dudes here. Their food is stellar and their Santa Monica space (in an old World War II Bunker) is unique. Plus, it's the only place where they do burgers/fries AND salads/vegetarian food equally well. When my brother Morgan came to town, the first place we went is for a hosted lunch at their West Hollywood location.
There's wood everywhere, and a gorgeous outdoor patio that's perfect for warm weather. It's not so nice out when we went, so we opted to sit inside, by the bar, near a window with good light. Chef Makani is there and I love listening to her talk. The woman is so passionate about local, organic ingredients and taking care of her customers.
Plus holy mackerel her food is bad-ass yummy.
Tempura Blue Lake Green Beans. These are just as addictive as french fries. I think I may actually like them more, because the vegetables have a freshness/crispness to them.
Baby Kale and Farro Salad. Also in there - dried cherries, walnuts, chèvre, and an apple cider vinaigrette. Super fresh.
Fried chicken sandwich. A Shoyu buttermilk organic battered breast, with shiitake mushroom gravy. The thing is massive, on a brioche bun, with a bunch of purple potato chips on the side. We eat half of it there, half of it cold two days later (and it's just as good).
Ancient Grain and Collard Green Wrap. I did not expect something arriving in a leaf to taste as good as it does. The whole thing is messy (especially left over) but super flavorful. It has red quinoa, channeling beans, sweet potato mash and nest, coleslaw, cucumber, and tzatziki sauce. I want the recipe!