Santa Monica has a brand-new healthy eatery, a place where the community has the options of drinking cold-pressed juices and devouring a healthy burger or salad.
Chomp Eatery & Juice Station, located at 1612 Santa Monica Boulevard, came about when Sean Tao found out that the space next door to DK’s Donuts was becoming vacant.
He wanted to do some type of food, and had an interest in a good tasting gourmet burger.
At the same time, Rolan Pongpuntara, who was a pharmacy technician, began getting into cold-pressed juices and their health benefits over conventional juicing.
As these ideas diverged, the pair decided to make the vacant space into a healthy eatery.
Pongpuntara said the community lacked a restaurant like this, so filling the void was only natural.
“The name Chomp was decided upon by Sean,” she said. “He believed the word embodied so many verbs and thoughts. ‘Chomping’ into something usually is associated with taking a large bite into something delicious or juicy.”
The store, which has been open since its soft opening April 1, will celebrate its grand opening today, April 25.
There will be a wheel that people can spin to win discounts and prizes. Between 11 am and 1 pm, the store will give away a free juice to the first 50 people during this time slot (one per person).
Pongpuntara said Chomp Eatery was deliciously unique.
“People always associate healthy food with being tasteless or not very delicious,” she said. “We believe that there’s a way to consume food and enjoy it and have it be good for you.”
The pair worked extensively with their executive chef Chris Aquino and his team of graduates or current students from Le Cordon Bleu to make everything on the plate from scratch.
She said they also take pride in offering organic, sustainable, gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan options so customers that have friends with dietary restraints can enjoy each other’s company in the same setting.
“We always try to reinvent ourselves and run different specials as culinary ideas come to mind,” she said. “At the moment our ‘Famous’ Chomp Burger is the best selling burger, mainly because of the way we prepare the meat and mesh it with the applewood bacon and caramelized onions. We also have a Pork Belly Banh-Mi Sandwich, a Vietnamese influenced dish infused with spicy mayo and daikon and carrots pickled on location.”
When it comes to the most unique beverge, Pongpuntara said they have concocted a Organic Maca-Cacao Almond milk, a creamy delight that offers plenty of protein and energy.
Before this venture, Tao graduated with a Bachelors of Science, Business Administration from San Diego State University in 2009.
Soon after, he took ownership of DK’s Donuts & Bakery in Santa Monica, home of a wide-array of donuts and the cronut-controversy pastry named the “Double Decker O-Nut.”
Pongpuntara is a licensed pharmacy technician who is currently studying to achieve her bachelors degree at Colorado State University. Her interest in nutrition and health has pushed her towards further research and development of cold-pressed juices.
Chomp Eatery is open seven days a week from 7 am to 7 pm.
For more information, call 424.238.3398 or visit chompeatery.com.