Sweetgreen—the hip-‘n’-healthy East Coast salad spot—has finally arrived in Los Angeles.
Inevitable corporate expansion? Nope. More like a homecoming.
Nathaniel Ru and Jonathan Neman, both Los Angeles natives, were students at Georgetown University when they hatched Sweetgreen with co-founder Nicolas Jammet. It was a case of California dreaming: the Cali lifestyle of local sourcing, healthy eating and balanced living inspired the restaurant’s build-your-own salad concept. The trio opened the first Sweetgreen in Washington, D.C., in 2007 and grew it into a robust East Coast chain with cool cachet (à la the Sweetlife music festival), prompting lines out the door wherever it landed (it’s a go-to lunch spot for the Clean Plates NYC team!). But an outpost in L.A. was always part of the master plan.
Ru and Neman aren’t the only locals at the new 3rd Street location—the restaurant’s fresh produce and artisan ingredients are equally so. The menu at each of Sweetgreen’s 30 locations (31 if you count the Santa Monica store opening later this summer) reflects what’s freshest in its vicinity. The founders, who prize building close relationships with sustainable farmers, source mostly organic produce and all antibiotic- and hormone-free meats and dairy (75 percent of which is grass-fed).
Aside from the build-your-own option, offerings unique to the LA location include salads like strawberries and Humboldt Fog goat cheese with baby spinach, snap peas and walnuts ($11.75) and grain bowls like the Hollywood Bowl, with wild rice, shredded kale, jicama, grapes, sprouted almonds and roasted chicken ($11.25).
And Sweetgreen’s most enduring East Coast menu item, the Guacamole Greens salad ($10.75), has leapt to the West Coast—but it’s also making a homecoming of sorts. It was inspired by the awesome avocados and Mexican flavors of California. Pretty sweet.
8055 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles