Two Fast Healthy Dining Options on the Westside

Asian Box is a great fast food option. Photos: R. Bilow Photography.

By Kathy Leonardo


These days, everyone is in a rush…Finding healthy fast dining options is a necessity in this fast paced world. I recently had the chance to visit two counter service style restaurants that were both delicious, healthy, and affordable.

I had heard about Spire Works Modern Döner which recently opened in Westwood Village.

Although I was unsure as to what döner meant, my dining companion was excited to recount his experience with the phenomenon of döner in Paris. Apparently it’s all the rage in Europe. Döner means meat grilled on a stick…or as Spire works puts it – “vertically spit roasted meat.” Spire Works offers a choice of beef, chicken or vegetarian.

Basically, the customer can create his or her own meal. Sandwiches and bowls containing rice or salad with your choice of protein are all excellent choices. The homemade bread also comes as a side with the bowl. You can choose a base of all rice (wild or not) or half salad/half rice.

With all the bowls being $9.50, it’s an exceptional deal full of delicious flavor. My dining companion is a bit of a picky eater, so he decided to build his own bowl. He chose chicken as his protein with wild rice. Next he added the pickled red peppers and arugula along with Barbeque sauce drizzled over the chicken. Lastly he topped it off with sesame and sunflower seeds.

I wanted to try one of the top sellers, so I chose the Bangkok with half wild rice and half salad. It came with a curry Thai sauce, pickled peppers, and I decided to add some kale slaw. It was topped with crunchy coconut flakes. We ended up sharing both which were quite tasty. Another wonderful addition to the meal was an alcoholic root beer and a delicious syrah wine by Rim Rock Jelly Roll which I was told was only available at the restaurant.

Be sure to pop in to create your own bowl or plate. Spire Works, 1061 Broxton Ave., Westwood Village, CA 90024; 424.220.6299;

I stumbled upon another fabulous healthy dining find while shopping at 365 (owned by Whole Foods Market) on Cloverfield and Ocean Park in Santa Monica. Touted as a health conscious eatery, the chain restaurant, Asian Box advertises that it uses no fillers, additives or coloring, as well as no hormone additives, steroids, pesticides, or antibiotics.

My dining companion and I decided to share two dishes. Both were each priced under $10.00. The Chicken Curry had a creamy flavorful coconut curry sauce and incorporated potatoes and carrots, with jasmine rice on the side. For our second dish, we chose one of Asian Box’s most popular dishes (The Miss Jones) which offered tasty lemongrass pork, chilled noodles, and veggies in a zesty fish sauce. Two caramel eggs accompanied the dish and were surprisingly delectable.

Next time you go grocery shopping, take a break and enjoy a healthy exotic lunch at Asian Box located at 2121 Cloverfield Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90404; 424.280.4607;

A healthy Spire Works plate.
Asian Box is a great fast food option.
Photos: R. Bilow Photography.