August 5, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

California Monster Salads Sprouts Up In Downtown Santa Monica:

A bevy of salad shops has sprouted up around Los Angeles, such as Greens Up!, California Monster Salads, Mixt Greens, and Saladish. This new crop of salad shops quickly serves up big, healthy salads the way you like it, for around $10.

California Monster Salads in downtown Santa Monica is one salad shop that bloomed from a love story.

Owner Daniel Radell told The Mirror that opening a salad shop was the dream that he and his wife shared during a time when she was battling cancer.

To get more medical treatment, the couple had moved their family from Southern California to Palm Beach, Florida. There they found a build-your-own salad shop they liked, and talked about opening a similar shop back in California.

“When you get better, we’re going to open up a place like this,” Radell told his wife.

Radell’s wife has passed on, but the pair’s dream lives and grows at California Monster Salads, which opened in June on Santa Monica Boulevard near Fourth Street.

“On the day we opened the store, we had so many customers we ran out of food,” Radell said.

It’s the first restaurant venture for Radell, who previously worked at the Showtime Networks cable television company.

Radell had looked at many Westside locations for his salad shop but lost out to competition from established businesses and fast food companies.

“Every realtor wants someone who’s established,” he said.

He credits the city’s strict fast-food zoning rules for his success in claiming a location in busy downtown Santa Monica.

The small shop is bright and airy, and the service friendly.

Radell and business partner Stacy Mahaffa are usually at the shop, making salads, greeting customers and helping them navigate the menu.

There are outside tables and a few indoor seats, but many customers move in and out of the shop quickly, taking their salads home or back to their desks at lunchtime.

On the menu are ten big signature salads ($8.95 to $9.95) like the Avalon Beach (mixed baby greens, apples, gorgonzola cheese, candied pecans) or the Greek Bikini (mixed greens, cucumber, red bell peppers, red onion, feta cheese, kalamata olives with balsamic vinaigrette).

Or you can create your own salad ($8.75) by choosing your greens (mixed baby greens, romaine lettuce, arugula, spinach, or kale) and five toppings from a variety of veggies, fruits, dried fruit, nuts, and cheeses.

For $2 extra, you can add a protein topping such as roasted chicken, tuna salad, or wild-caught red salmon.

If you’re eating on the run, you can eat your salad out of a bread cone for the ultimate in sustainable portability – no packaging needed.

The thin bread is made in-house and comes in two flavors – sunrise sweet or sun-kissed savory.

Mahaffa creates the tasty salad dressings in-house without added salt or sugar. “The dressing makes the salad,” said Mahaffa, who plans to bottle the dressings and distribute them to retail stores.

The flavored lemonades ($3.50) are a refreshing way to drink your veggies. They’re juiced in-house daily and come in flavors like kale, cucumber mint, pineapple apple, and carrot tangerine.

Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom stopped by the shop for a belated opening ceremony on Oct. 10.

After cutting the ribbon, the mayor sampled a salad cone.

“It’s an interesting new concept. It tastes great,” Bloom said.

With three months under his belt, Radell is forging ahead with catering and home salad delivery service, and a reward program for frequent customers.

For every $100 a customer spends at the store, a $10-off certificate will automatically be rewarded if you’ve registered at the shop with your phone number.

Looking forward, Radell says he wants to expand California Monster Salads to other Westside areas.

“We want to open five shops in the next five years,” he said.

California Monster Salads is located at 411 Santa Monica Blvd. 310.587.2523, californiamonstersalads.com.

Follow The Mirror on Twitter: twitter.com/SMMirror

Like The Mirror on Facebook: facebook.com/SMMirror

Related Posts

SMhopes Brings Artists Together to Reimagine the Post Pandemic World

July 15, 2021

July 15, 2021

Artist Paula Goldman in collaboration with Santa Monica Art Recovery displays art and poetry by local artists throughout the city....

Marina Drive-In Movie Summer Series Underway

July 9, 2021

July 9, 2021

Gather with your family and friends to watch movies by the sea in Marina del Rey. Marina Drive-In Movie Nights,...

Iconic Aero Theatre on Montana Ave Has Reopened

July 1, 2021

July 1, 2021

American Cinematheque, the nonprofit cultural-arts and film-preservation group has reopened the doors of the Aero theatre on Montana Ave, learn...

Conscious Designs That Drive The Message Home

June 16, 2021

June 16, 2021

“Black Lives Matter” – The rallying cry that went from a hashtag to a global movement, and a designer that...

In-Person Events Are Back with Summer Swing Nights: Jazzy Vocals plus Live Big Band – Now with Tap Dance, Swing Lessons, Vendors to Benefit Museum

June 10, 2021

June 10, 2021

Live, in-person entertainment is bringing out happy fans of all ages for Summer Swing Nights: Drive-In Edition. The concert fundraiser features the...

Ben & Jerry’s Closes Santa Monica Shop

May 13, 2021

May 13, 2021

First West Coast Ben & Jerry’s closes up shop on Main Street  By Kerry Slater Ben & Jerry’s has closed...

Edify TV: A Look Into the Cold War-Era as Wende Museum Reopens

May 11, 2021

May 11, 2021

With relics of the Cold War-era on display, the Wende Museum in Culver City has reopened for in-person visits. Learn...

How to Heal the Soil and Why

May 11, 2021

May 11, 2021

By Andy Lopez We all know how important the vital role the soil plays in your plants’ health, trees, and...

Edify TV: Concert Capacity Rules Issue for Small Venues

May 4, 2021

May 4, 2021

Live music is back in LA County but the owner of a Westside jazz club says reopening will have to...

Santa Monica College Student Film to be Screened at Cannes

April 27, 2021

April 27, 2021

SMC student film “Broken Layers” accepted into The American Pavilion at Cannes By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica College (SMC) student...

Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument Committee’s Annual Commemoration

April 6, 2021

April 6, 2021

Annual event to be held virtually Thursday April 15 Submitted by the Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument Committee Standing at...

Film Review: Minari

March 31, 2021

March 31, 2021

MINARIRated PG-13115 MinutesReleased February 26th Amazon Prime, Google Play, DirecTV/ Virtual screening on A24films.comWon Golden Globe – Best Picture Foreign...

Video: Indoor Dining Close to Returning in LA County?

March 4, 2021

March 4, 2021

Indoor dining could return to LA County very soon. Learn more and hear what diners have to say in this...