Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tender Greens: Killing me softly - with specials

I've recently come to the realization that I hate specials.

I hate that I can only get the lamb burger at the Golden State on Thursday nights. I hate that since discovering that brioche bundle of Greek-seasoned flesh a few weeks ago I can't let a Thursday go by without thinking, "My mouth could be hugging a lamb burger right now."

And that's before remembering that I could also be daggering my teeth into Campanile's croque madame sandwich, which is only available during the restaurant's famed grilled cheese night on Thursdays, as well.

These momentous food events have ruined Thursdays for me -- I can't stop myself from thinking about what I'm missing out on when I decide to eat quinoa at home while watching that past Tuesday night's DVRed episode of "Parenthood" in my sweatpants.

"Other people are eating MY lamb burger," I think, as I gnaw on a piece of dried mango.

So I expectedly sort of hate it when Tender Greens, one of my favorite healthy noshing spots, taunts me with tweets about the daily specials available at their three Los Angeles locations. Especially when I'm at work in Santa Monica and can't have the Asparagus and Melted Leek Tart with goat and Parmesan cheeses at the Culver City location, or the Grilled Pork Loin Medallions with ginger emulsion, green lentils, baby mustard greens, and green garlic aioli at the West Hollywood location.

Upon reading the boastful descriptions, I immediately feel bitter that I don't get to be the one eating the made-to-order dish that likely won't be available the next time I'm at the casual, counter service restaurant.

If I am, however, by some miracle at Tender Greens on the precise day that the precise location is offering one of those seemingly spectacular specials, I'll inevitably end up doubly bitter once I discover how great the item I might never be able to have again tastes.

Exhibit A: This grilled Idaho trout with red quinoa, roasted vegetables, frisee, and citrus vinaigrette that was the special "Muscle Menu" dish at the West Hollywood location this past Friday when I was invited in for a quick lunch.

It kills me. And I'm sure it'll kill me tomorrow when I sign on to Twitter and see that there's a new Muscle Menu crispy-skin fish dish that's chock full of the whole grains and vegetables that make my crazy little world go round. I essentially want what they are having every single day. And when I don't get it, I always feel a slight twinge of jealous rage that the dish existed and was consumed without my involvement.

This week, Tender Greens will be tempting (and infuriating) me with something with even greater limited availability -- grilled cheese.

To gear up for the Grilled Cheese Invitational this coming Saturday, April 23rd, Chef Eric Hulme will be whipping up a special grilled cheese sandwich every day through Friday this week at the West Hollywood location on Santa Monica Blvd.

And, much to my chagrin, the restaurant will be tweeting about it.

For guests lucky enough to nab one, the $10.50 melty preview of what Chef Hulme may or may not be entering into the Invitational will also come with a side salad.

I'll be enjoying my non-existent grilled cheese sandwich with a side of anguish. Until Thursday rolls around and I start pining for a lamb burger again.

Tender Greens
8759 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 358-1919


Esi said...

I can't believe I've gone all month without a grilled cheese. Tender Greens and The Oaks are on my schedule for this week!

Esi said...

And PS, so fun to do a ladies who lunch on a weekday!

Gastronomer said...

Tell me, did the muscle menu give you a boost during your Bar Method sesh? I bet it did!

Diana said...

Esi - So fun! Hope we can do it again some time!

Cathy - It did give me a boost on the dance floor the next night at my friend's wedding! I didn't bonk once! ;)