Although I adore Chinese food, I'm quite wary of going to Chinese restaurants *Note: in America*. Partly because my parents dragged me along to way too many as a kid and I feel as though I've fill my lifetime quota. But mostly, I'm not too fond of the queasiness I am left with after a meal. The copious amount of oil and MSG within each dish just wreaks havoc to my stomach.
So, when Ravine, the owner of Fresheast, invited me for a meal at his newly opened restaurant, I was cautious.
But I did some research and learned that Fresheast wasn't a Chinese restaurant, but rather an eatery dedicated to sustainable ingredients and showcased flavors from Asia. Interesting.
I called up my friend and off we went to explore Fresheast. Tucked away in an unsuspecting plaza with Pavilions and a Chase bank in Weho, the restaurant is easily overlooked with the exception of day-glo green vinyl patterning on their windows.
The interior houses an eclectic mix of modern furnishings and traditional decorations tied together by the theme of sustainability. There were recycled chairs made out of coke bottles, reclaimed wood floors, Japanese wood screens and vintage bird cages—interior-wise, they certainly do as they preach.
However, we're there for the food so we ordered a few of their offerings. The menu was easily navigable with your choice of protein and sides as well as a few specialties (a burger even!).
For drinks, we tried the melonade, a refreshing blend of watermelon, lemon and palm sugar, which can be liken to a milder aqua fresca, and the Fresheast juice. The latter was the standout star, which startles at first with beets and kale, but then finishes on a sweet note with orange and apple.
The Shanghai beef with brown rice and stir fried veggies came out first. The flavors was spot on for the beef, but the Harris Ranch grass fed beef unfortunately didn't have enough fat so it was too tough for my taste. I quickly abandoned it for the veggies, as they were crisp and had a kick coming from an abundance of grated ginger.
The grilled miso jidori chicken was my favorite. Perfectly grilled and lacquered with a no-too sweet miso glaze, it was a great pair with the quinoa. My friend and I fought over for the last piece!
By then, we were both full, but we couldn't resist ordering their sorbet of the day: comice pear. Unbelievably creamy, yet made without dairy (impossible!!) and full of pear goodness, it was a great end to a tasty meal.
Best part? As we walked out, I was not overcome with the urge to go to the ladies room or the need to sit through a food coma. Rather, I felt uncharacteristically good and filled with energy. Even though we were off to watch Tangled, I was ready to run or lift something. Crazy huh?
On that basis alone, I'll be back to Fresheast. I mean, of course it's a noble cause to support their goals of being sustainable and socially responsible—even their plates were made of recycled palm leaves. But it's rare to find a restaurant that's able to produce healthy dishes that actually taste good as well. Kudos!