How fortunate am I to live close to TWO locations of Greenleaf Gourmet ChopShop? When I first visited Greenleaf I was immediately in love. Chef Krisi blew me away with her amazing breakfast menu and I couldn’t wait to see what she had in store for this location.
Tucked away in the newly renovated SoCo market place area, Greenleaf has an ideal location across from OC Mart Mix that houses one of my favorite coffee places – Portola Coffee. Win/win. We were seated family style to sample various menu items.
The evening began with a light and refreshing House Squeezed Plum Lavender Soju Lemonade. I’m not much of a sweet drink person but I was surprised by how much I liked this seasonal drink and went back for refills several times. After settling in for the evening meal with a satiating drink, our first course arrived. The Grilled Deliciousness (grilled peach with peach puree, salted pecan-crusted burrata, micro-arugula, & crispy prosciutto salad with a drizzle of balsamic reduction) was a work of art on my plate. It was almost too good looking to eat but eventually the ripe juicy peach was calling my name. Paired up with the burrata, this dish sings beautifully on your palate.
As soon as I polished off my plate, we were served up a tray of delectable and juicy Turkey Sliders (mini turkey burgers with butter lettuce, roasted tomato, red onion marmalade, and pomegranate aioli on a sesame bun). I took one bite and knew I needed to quickly grab another. Luckily, I found one. Mmm.
Enjoying the happy hour feast so far and the crisp Summer breeze, our table was graced with a trio of “tortilla” pizzas: Romesco Sausage Pizza (crispy whole wheat tortilla topped with romesco sauce, turkey sausage, Parmesan cheese, arugula, and fennel), Burrata Pizza (crispy whole wheat tortilla topped with basil pesto, baby tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, and burrata drizzled with balsamic reduction), and Mushroom Truffle Pizza (crispy tortilla topped with goat cheese spread, sauteed mushroom, Parmesan cheese, arugula, and Pecorino drizzled with truffle oil). My favorite of the three was the sausage pizza that had a spice and kick that I loved. I wanted to take another slice but had to remind myself not to over indulge.
After a hearty course of sliders and pizzas, we ended our evening with an interesting assortment of salads. The salad course started with an unassuming Farro Salad (sofritto and vegetable stock finished with Feta). By looks alone, it doesn’t appear to be much but the hidden feta is where all the flavor and fun is at. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved this salad and couldn’t get enough. Be warned though: it is quite filling. The next salad was Kristi’s Quinoa (sofritto and green onion accented by balsamic vinegar). Quinoa is a lighter healthier grain and rolls smooth on your palate but the flavor combination here would pair wonderfully with any sandwich or slider. It isn’t as heavy and filling as the farro. Last but certainty not least is another favorite. I love a salad that has a variety of flavor that keeps me coming back for more and you’ll find that in the Antioxidant Orchard Salad (Scarborough Farms baby mixed greens, grapes, celery, walnuts, dried cranberries, apples, Bleu cheese, mint, red onion, cucumbers, strawberries, and blueberries with pomegranate whole grain vinaigrette). The mix of fruits and veggies in this salad is marvelous. The dressing is light and refreshing and not too overwhelming which make this salad a true winner in my book.
We ended our delightful meal at Greenleaf with the Almond Chicken Sandwich (served with tangy slaw and romesco sauce on a vegan harvest bun). I could do without the harvest bun here and maybe just have this with a lighter bread or as a salad. The sandwich filling itself is amazing. The bun seemed to take away from all the flavor components inside. I took it to work the next day and enjoyed it as a chopped salad immensely and was surprised at how well it held up for a hearty late afternoon lunch.
Many thanks to Chef Kristi and the staff at Greenleaf for having us and serving up quite a meal. I can’t wait to be back for more! Especially now that I’ve got TWO locations in my neighborhood.