California Monster Salads
411 Santa Monica Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Category: Lunch, Picnic, Dinner
Company: Anyone craving a huge salad. And/or your vegetarian friends/pet rabbit
Quickie: Think Subway meets Whole Foods salad bar - basically, a "watch your salad get made" counter with the quality and price of a gourmet food store.
OTC Tip: Don't be shy. Ask questions, taste every dressing, and speak up if they try to over charge you.
In typical fashion, I dragged my entire office to this place for one reason: I wanted to test the rumors that you can get your salad "in a cone." However, once I got there I was so distracted by trying out every dressing and crafting my custom salad without holding up the lunch line that I forgot about the cone. I apologize. Luckily, I think I redeemed myself by snapping a picture of the MENU - something I have yet to find anywhere else aside from in-store.
This place is great. You can choose a salad that's been tried and posted on the menu on the wall, or you can create your own. The pro about this is that you can swap toppings - they are all priced evenly - so if you want bacon bits instead of corn, sure. However, you must pay for protein, so the salads that are priced at just under $9 tend to come out closer to $12.
I like that you get two huge dressings per salad (without asking) which is more than you will need. I found it curious that there weren't any croutons - but no matter, the salads are HUGE (aka enough lettuce, etc, to fill my boss who is 6'3'' and 220) and served as lunch and dinner for me which was fantastic.
The containers are big and serve as a "salad shaker," which made me think that this would be a great place to stop en route to the Hollywood Bowl or the beach or maybe one of the concerts on the pier...