Celebrating its first year in business, Better Bowls has become my go-to downtown lunch spot. High-quality, freshly and meticulously prepared ingredients are assembled into flavorful bowls that really hit the spot, especially on days when I need to refuel after a hard morning workout. The American is a stick-to-your-ribs combination of brown rice, roasted sweet potatoes, red onions, spiced chili chickpeas, fresh spinach and avocado with tasty roasted red bell pepper hummus sauce on the side. For something a bit lighter, try the Thai features red quinoa, fresh bean sprouts, shredded carrots and red cabbage, chopped scallions and fried tofu with creamy peanut sauce. They also offer freshly made desserts, including chocolate chip cookies, chia seed pudding (my favorite) and muffins, scones and cobbler on a rotating basis – all vegan and gluten-free.
– Glenn Hammett, art director
BETTER BOWLS, 1818 G St., 661-742-1228
This new Italian-style restaurant did not disappoint. For downtown dining options, it’s right up there in atmosphere and great food. My companion had the porcini saccetti, ricotta and porcini-stuffed pasta with a brown butter, garlic and sage sauce. I had Sofia’s salad, a mixed green salad with candied walnuts and pecans, gorgonzola cheese and balsamic vinaigrette; both of them were four star. Our waiter was very attentive and made our dining experience pleasurable and memorable.
– Holly Bikakis, art & marketing manager
MOMMA MIA, 1804 Chester Ave., 661-493-0433
As a meat eater, it’s easy to be skeptical toward vegan cuisine. But it’s hard to deny that the entrees cooked up at Vida Vegan are absolutely delicious! Packed with flavor and extremely filling, Vida Vegan’s entrees are creative, tasty and can convert even the most devout carnivores. A storefront on 4350 Stine Road will open soon and we can’t wait!
– Mark Nessia, assistant managing editor
HAGGIN OAKS FARMERS MARKET, On Sundays