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Karen Salkin Out To Lunch Column

Restaurant Reviews and Commentary from
Karen Salkin

Organic To Go

Cafe 50's

"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"

LF Warehouse

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Organic To Go

When I received my Gelson’s flyer the other day, and who hasn’t, I noticed they were playing up all things organic. As well they should. The week before, in one of his last pieces for “60 Minutes”, Dan Rather prefaced the positive segment (how rare is that?!) on Whole Foods founder John Mackie by saying “Organic food has become one of the fastest growing of the food industry. Two-thirds of Americans bough organic last year.” Mr. Mackie himself added, “It might be a little more expensive, but you’re getting a better tasting, higher quality food that’s going to be better for your health and better for the environment.” They sold me!

So, to that end (and because I tore a hamstring and couldn’t drive--don’t ask), I had lunch delivered from Organic To Go, thus killing 2 birds with one stone. We had it come to the house, but it’s a great change-of-pace for BH offices, whose tenants have by now probably tried every fabulous restaurant in the ‘hood. You can actually eat in there, too, but why go to them when they’re happy to come to you? And, if you’re lucky enough to have it delivered by the ever-pleasant, Cedric Wright, you’re already ahead of the game. There’s nothing like a smiling face to perk up the middle of your day.

Organic To Go
Organic To Go- Where's the spinach?

You can order a sandwich, wrap, salad, or soup ala carte, but OTG’s specialty is the all-inclusive lunch bag. (I’ve always wanted to work that concept into a review!) The bags themselves are bio-degradable and include a bottle of water (the brand they use right now, Athena, donates 100% of their profits to women’s cancer research), a packet of organic apple slices, of which I can’t get enough, a cookie (more on them later) and either chips, croutons, or saltines, whichever matches your meal, and all organic, of course.

The reviewing panel at my abode included Mr. X!!! Enjoy it now because he rarely reviews with me, except for left-overs. (If you can’t bring Mr. X to the mountain…have it delivered.) Doesn’t it figure that I, who you can’t keep down on the farm, would have a boyfriend who eschews going out?!

 Strawberry patch
Strawberry: "Like my bright, sexy color Mr. Spinach leaf?"
Spinach: "MmmWah !"

Anyway, Mr. X really enjoyed 2 of the wraps: Santa Fe Chicken and Greek. He said if you like olives, you’ll love the latter. He’s partial to all things Santa Fe because that’s where he got his undergraduate degree, (be happy he got a BA and not a BS or my asides would go on interminably!) and he said the wrap did not disappoint.

Most of us didn’t share in either of those because I thought they were a tad under-sized, which was definitely not the case with the soups and salads. (I’m not quoting the others on my reviewing panel this outing because no one came up with pithy enough comments. Thusly, they will be able to review with me in the future without being humiliated in this column.)

We all agreed the winner is the Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad. It’s truly delicious and, when unpacked into a big bowl, is actual quite hearty. Just as ample, but lighter-tasting is the Strawberry Fields Salad, pictured above. Our presentation didn’t come out the same when we unloaded it ourselves, but if you have an artist around, go for it. What matters more is that it tasted great.

The only soup we tried is the Adobe Chicken Chowder, which was rich and creamy and spicy. Very. We all loved it. Mr. X actually served it in big, brightly-colored bowls and it looked like mouth-watering fare from a country caterer. (My concept and too hard to explain. I think I watch too many black and white movies.)

You can request which kind of cookie you’d like. We all fought over the chocolate chips. Some of the best I’ve had, actually. I made a mistake and ordered many Snickerdoodles, erroneously thinking they had something to do with Snickers bars. But they’re just plain sugar cookies and I have a ton left over. Guess I have the dessert for my next party! (Totally kidding. Maybe.) If you order separate dessert, try the stupidly-named but good-tasting Chocolate Adventure Cake. Small, but different. I actually wish I had a piece as I’m writing this!

So, if you don’t have time to “do” lunch, and are sick of all the local delivery options, OTG is a great choice. The only drawback is that you pay $7.95 for delivery and there’s a $50 minimum, which they say is due to the high price of gas. Hopefully that will change when this country finally gets its act together and switches to ethanol!

Organic to Go 5757 Wilshire Blvd. 800-304-4550

Cafe 50's

My girlfriends know there are few things I enjoy more than a good pajama party. Seriously. I even make us play a game where, if you get an answer wrong, you have to wear zit stickers all night! (Lovely reference for a restaurant review.)

Anyway, at the Café 50s in WLA, there’s a public PJ party on the last Wednesday of every month. The next one is coming up on the 28th, so get those Nick and Nora’s cleaned and pressed!

Besides the fun of seeing what everyone is wearing, you get to eat FREE, from a special menu and with the order of a beverage. That part is no hardship because the shakes are amazing. And now you have an excuse to order one. (I’m just publicly preparing what I’ll be telling the always-in-much-better-shape-than-I-am Mr. X). The food there is really good, too.

The first time I attended PJ night, my super-funny, pre-teen friend from RI, Ronnie Hazel, Jr., was visiting me, so I used him as a beard, in case it was really meant for the younger set. I was pleasantly surprised to see all ages, including cute, hip guys who were willing to do something different. There was just a happy, upbeat vibe to the whole scene.

You must adhere to the PJ night rules, though, as laid out on the Café 50s website. No sweats or tees, disguised as pajamas, unless you’re willing to pay half-price instead of nothing. And you miss out on the fun of playing dress-up, which is my favorite part.

Cafe 50s 11623 Santa Monica Blvd. 310-479-1955

Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor DreamCoat

Que diriez de mes couleurs sexy, Monsieur Spinach ?

I can’t believe the following words are leaving my lips, or fingers in this case, but I just attended the opening night of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” at the Pantages Theater and loved it! I’m not kidding. It was phenomenal! I had seen other productions of it 2 times before and considered that 2 times too many. I really wanted to cancel, but had invited my friend Mimi and knew that she was looking forward to it, so went ahead, dreading it all the way. I always feel that when you do something for another person, you somehow have a good time, too. But I was never expecting to enjoy the show for one second, let alone go nuts for it.

The difference was that the staging gave this incarnation a very modern, fun feel through its sets, costumes and tricks. And kudos to the cast because for the first time, I actually understood most of the words. I didn’t even realize that the score was so familiar and likeable.

And Patrick Cassidy’s abs didn‘t hurt. I mean, the guy is no kid, and has a better body than most 20-year-olds. His singing is great, too. Turns out, his wife and kids are in it with him. No wonder mom Shirley Jones was sitting front and center, proud as a peacock.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat through July 2
Pantages Theater 6233 Hollywood Blvd. 213-365-3500


On an interesting show biz note, my brother, Eddie Salkin, played for the Tony Awards, which took place in NY this month. He’s one of the top Broadway musicians, by the account of others, not his. Only the crème de la crème get asked to perform at the Tonys. He’s the one who plays the theme music for my show, and wrote it, too. He actually is not a fan of that composition, but I made him do it that way. (Too long a story for even ME!!!)

So, for those of you who TiVoed the Tonys (you know who you are!), you might like to go back and review the musical sections. That’s my brother playing most of the great sax and flute, especially in the “Threepenny Opera” number, which is the show he’s currently performing in. So glad one of my mother’s children has actual talent!

And lastly, I must give props to a group of people I will most likely never even see again. On Saturday, in almost 100-degree heat and still with a healing hamstring, I ventured to the LF Warehouse Sale in the Marina. Knowing how rudeness in general is unfortunately the norm nowadays, I was braced for the worst. Shockingly, I found not even one instance of it! No one even used a cell phone!

The workers were of enormous, and downright pleasant, assistance. And, in a giant group dressing room, with little ventilation, we girls all helped each other. My new best friend, Sydney, a former wardrobe consultant who needed time to do her own shopping, was aiding us with zippers and fitting. Some of us actually picked-out cute ensembles for strangers and though we will remain so, were girlfriends shopping together for those many hours. In a stifling, non-air-conditioned warehouse, this was a breath of fresh air.

LF 1426 Montana Ave. Santa Monica 310-458-2626


Karen’s Restaurant Revue airs on Adelphia Cable, Channel 98, Channel 77, or Chanel 3, on June 22 at 5PM and June 27 at 9:30PM, two different shows. Check local listings.

Missed one of Karen Salkin's previous restaurant reviews?

Find them below
Out To Lunch Oct. 27-
Karen reviews Deli Boys
Out To Lunch Oct. 27-
Karen reviews Chakra
Out To Lunch Oct. 16-
Karen reviews Cinespace
Out To Lunch Oct. 6-
Karen reviews Aphrodisiac
Out To Lunch Sept. 26-
Karen reviews Ugo and Patina Catering
Out To Lunch Sept. 14-
Karen's Food Court Guide
Out To Lunch Aug 29-
Locanda Del Lago review
Out To Lunch Aug 17-
Karen reviews CUBE on La Brea
Out To Lunch Aug 9-
Karen unveils her quick breakfast, lunch and Chinese menu favorites and visits Nathan's
Out To Lunch July 31-
Karen does a NY restaurant run-through extending from Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Out To Lunch July 20-
Karen talks about The Greatest Show On Earth
Out To Lunch July 13-
Karen's Dark Secret
(okay, one of them) and reviews
Osteria Latinia
Out To Lunch July 6-
Library Tea Asia de Cub
Out To Lunch June 29-
Sterling’s Upstairs at Vitello’s
Jurlique Day Spa
"Back On Broadway"
Out To Lunch June 20-
Organic To Go, Cafe 50's
Out To Lunch June 13-
Karen reviews Mr. Chow's
Out To Lunch June 6-
Karen reviews Amici

Missed one of Karen Salkin's entertainment and theater reviews?
Find them below
Karen reviews Champions On Ice
Karen comments on Andre Agassi
Karen reviews the annual Emmy Suites
Karen reviews "Curtains" and Burton Morris
Karen reviews "Water and Power" and "Hayfever".
Karen reviews "Much Adoobie About Nothing".
Karen reviews "So You Think You Can Dance?" and "Beehive".
Karen reviews "Doubt?" and "Fat Of The Land ".
Karen reviews "Sweet Charity" and the "Marvelous Wonderettes".
Karen reviews "Nightingale" and "Souvenir"
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