Greenleaf Chopshop provides a healthier, casual alternative to dining on Abbot Kinney in Venice. A nice outdoor patio and large bar offer great opportunities for an affordable bite or drink.
Another day, another new restaurant on Abbot Kinney in Venice. Luckily there wasn't a lot of love lost when Feed Body & Soul closed earlier this year to make way for the opening of Greenleaf Chop Shop. After just one visit, I'd say that Greenleaf already appears to have a better shot at success on this popular strip of shops and restaurants.
Greenleaf isn't trying to compete with the Tasting Kitchen and Gjelina's of the world. This isn't a high-end dining experience, designed for a special, romantic evening. It does have a nice atmosphere with a large rectangular bar holding court in the middle of the restaurant. There's also still a lovely tiled outdoor patio in the back, which might make it appropriate for a first date.
A large menu greets you as soon as you walk-in. You can order your food to-go or to take on the back patio. Or if you'd like full-service, belly up to the bar and you'll be taken care of by a server. There's also a full bar menu where you can sip up specialty cocktails, beer or wine while taking in a game on the TV in the corner.
The food leans healthier with options for most diets. In fact, there are options galore from specialty salads and entrees to build your own salads and plates where you choose a protein and two sides. I chose the baked "spaghetti" which was actually gluten free spaghetti squash in an herbed tomato sauce. I was able to swap the mozzarella for vegan cheese and did take them up on their suggestion of adding turkey meatballs. The spiced green beans and shallots were another nice addition.
The stir fry is a healthy portion of fresh veggies like red and yellow peppers, carrots, bok choy, green beans, steamed brown rice and cilantro. Added shrimp makes for a full meal, or you can choose marinated tofu, flat iron steak or salmon.
In case you're feeling too virtuous, grab some sweet potato fries with an incredibly addicting avocado pesto dipping sauce. Our server knew just how good as it was when he fetched us another one before we even began.
Greenleaf Chopshop is offering a nice, casual alternative in Venice when you're looking for a healthier nosh after shopping Abbot Kinney or visiting the beach. Soak up the rays on the patio, or be social at the bar with an affordable meal and drink.
Greenleaf Chopshop Venice (multiple locations)
1239 Abbot Kinney, Venice, 310.399.9400