This giveaway is now closed! Congratulations to Sara!
Last December, I was invited by Ravine Hiranand, to visit his restaurant, fresheast, in West Hollywood, where he would host a meal for me and a guest. With fresheast being new to me, I checked out their website to find out the concept behind this eatery. Simply, fresheast is a casual dining restaurant that focuses on providing high-quality, organic and sustainable Asian cuisine that incorporates the flavors of India, Korea, China, Japan and Thailand. They believe in healthy portion sizes and in eliminating butter, salt and nuts from their dishes. For those with specific dietary needs, they're also happy to customize their menu items.
Another thing to note about fresheast is that they believe in supporting the environment. That's reflected in their use of reclaimed and natural materials in the design of their space as well as their use of recyclable and eco-friendly utensils and plate ware made from bamboo leaves.
When my guest and I arrived and met up with Ravine, I asked him to just send us a selection of some his favorite dishes. What came out first was samples of some their beverages which included a Melonade (seasonal melon, lemon, palm sugar, raw sugar), a FreshEast juice (Orange, lemon, apple, cucumber, spinach, kale, red beets), a Mango Lassi (fresh mango, yogurt, palm sugar) and coconut water out of a whole coconut. If for nothing else, you should stop by just for these drinks. I loved the sweet and tart flavors of the Melonade. The FreshEast juice definitely is a great way to "drink your greens" and their Mango Lassi is definitely much better when fresh mango is used because you can really taste the fresh mango.
The first dish to arrive was their Spicy Noodles that was made up of wheat noodles, seasonal vegetables, garlic, cilantro, sesame oil and chili garlic sauce. This was one of my favorite dishes of the whole meal. It had the heat, but not so much that it overwhelmed your taste buds. A plus for me was also the noodles that were cooked al-dente. Mushy noodles always disappoint.
Next up was the Pan-Fried Curry Noodles with wheat noodles, seasonal vegetables and curry sauce. The curry sauce itself had a nice flavor, but to me, it needed a little salt. At the very least, these noodles needed to be seasoned in such a way that I wouldn't have missed the salt.
Our first meat dish was the Curry Lamb (Rogan Gosht) with red lentil dal and cilantro. I liked that the meat was tender and I enjoyed the red lentil dal, but like the Curry Noodles, this dish felt a little under seasoned. When I had asked Ravine about this specific dish, he said that traditionally, it's cooked with ghee, which is a clarified butter, but their Curry Lamb isn't. Perhaps that's what I was missing, a little bit of fattiness.
A little seafood came our way next via their Tandoori Shrimp Salad with tandoori shrimp, baby green lettuces, tomato, cucumber, curry yogurt dressing, lentil cracker and a red curry vinaigrette. I wasn't really in the mood for a salad, but the shrimp itself had a nice chili rub to it that I liked and I remember liking the taste of the red curry vinaigrette although I can't remember what it tasted like exactly.
Next was the Grilled Miso Grilled Chicken with miso grilled Jidori Chicken, fresh wok’d vegetables, miso glaze. I have to say that this chicken was cooked perfectly. It was moist and tender. I also loved, loved that miso glaze. I don't know what was in it, but it had a sweet-salty flavor to it that worked for me. I have a feeling that it might be a good glaze for fish, too.
Before our last entree, we got to try their Vegan Red Lentil Soup. I was actually getting full already, so I only had a couple of spoonfuls. Considering that this soup was dairy free, the soup's texture was thick and hearty and was a great "winter" soup.
Our final savory dish of the night was their Korean BBQ Sandwich with beef bulgogi, cucumber, green onion and roasted garlic. By this time, I had reached my food limit, but the sandwich itself was pretty good. I would have liked a crustier bread, but the meat itself had nice flavor with a little hit of sweetness that was appealing.
Last, but not least was dessert and unfortunately, I don't have a photo of it, but it was a dairy-free Pear and Cardamom Sorbet. That sorbet was one of the best I've ever had and I've had a lot of sorbets in my life. It tasted like I was eating a fresh pear and that cardamom added all the right flavor notes. The sorbet itself is seasonal when it comes to the ingredients used and is made fresh every day. It's definitely a sweet way to end your meal.
From the sampling of food that I tried, I think fresheast is a great addition to the West Hollywood dining scene. Eating healthy doesn't mean that the food doesn't have to be delicious also. The next time you're in the mood for healthy Asian cuisine, you might want to give fresheast a try.
8951 Santa Monica Blvd. Suite G-1
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Now that you've learned a little more about Fresh East, it's time to enter for a chance to win a $50 Fresh East Gift Certificate!
Here are the ways to enter!
Mandatory 1: First, check out Fresh East's menu. Then leave a comment and tell me what dish you'd like try first if you won and why. (Please leave your email or some kind of information on how I can contact you. Spell your email address like abby at pleasurepalate dot com). If I can't find a way to get a hold of you, I'll choose another winner.
Optional 2: Tweet: Win a $50 @fresheastla $50 Gift Certificate via @pleasurepalate at http://bit.ly/hvrZNf
Optional 3: Follow Fresh East on Twitter
Optional 4: Join Fresh East on Facebook
You can have up to 4 total entries each; however, please note that you have to comment back and let me know which of the actions you took, so that I can keep track of them. This is especially true for 2 through 4. If you don’t let me know which actions you took, then I won’t count them as entries.
Contest ends Friday, January 28 at 11:59 AM, PST and one winner will be randomly chosen from all entries. Good Luck!