Lemonade is a restaurant that was created by Chef Alan Jackson who has helped redefine the fast casual dining segment in Southern California. Chef Alan left the fine-dining scene to open the first Lemonade in West Hollywood; it was so successful that he and partner, Ian Olsen (COO), and team have since opened thirteen additional Lemonade locations in the greater across the greater Los Angeles area. The newest location being in Newport Beach’s Fashion Island.
Upon entering the restaurant Melodi and I noticed how clean everything looked. The interior was fresh, modern and inviting. The smell was wonderful and I could see that it was cafeteria style where I would get a tray and go on down the line to choose what I wanted.
The first thing I noticed when I got in line was this allergen key. Each item in the line had a small sign telling you what that particular food item is. On each small sign are little symbols to tell you if its gluten free, vegan etc. This is a very helpful to all of us health conscious people.
First up was the flat bread pizza. This is a new trend happening in Orange County and Lemonade is right on top of that trend. They looked very yummy and the ingredients looked top quality.
Next was the Marketplace. This is a wide array of cold salads created so that you will “eat a rainbow”. You order each of these items per portion so you can choose 1 portion or many. The portion sizes are HUGE so I only chose 2. I decided to try Soba Noodle, kimchi marinated vegetables, and toasted peanuts as well as Red Quinoa, Arugula, Fuji Apple, Sunflower and Pistachio.
The salads were fresh and full of flavor. My favorite was the Red Quinoa. It tasted really healthy and I felt really good about eating it!
Next on down the line was the sandwiches and what they call Land and Sea. I decided to try the Seared Ahi Tuna with Crushed Orange-Ginger Ponzu sauce.
The presentation looked gorgeous and the Tuna was perfectly seared. The flavor of the sauce complimented the tuna quite well.
Melodi tried the Tuna Crudo, Chick Pea and Avocado with Harissa Sauce. Melodi and I ate almost the entire thing! I really enjoyed the flavor of this item and thought it was presented nicely.
We then came to the hot dishes. I decided to try the Tri Tip with Blue Cheese sauce.
Again the portion was huge and it was intensely flavorful. The Blue Cheese sauce was fantastic with the trip tip. This dish was a little spicy but not too much.
Next came the braises and Melodi decided to try the Chicken Pot Pie Stew. It looked and tasted just like chicken pot pie…without the crust of course!
Before we hit the desserts we got to what all kids love….MAC N CHEESE! They had 2 different kinds: Original Mac N Cheese and White Truffle Mac N Cheese. Its nice to know that in all this “healthy” food there is some stuff that you know the kids will love!
Desserts were at the end of the line. We decided to try their famous Macaroons. Melodi had a Pistachio and I had a Raspberry. We both enjoyed the flavor and noticed a bit of some extra spice in each one that we couldn’t put our finger on. That particular flavor made this not your ordinary macaroon!
Another kid friendly dessert are the teeny tiny cupcakes! This one is the Strawberry Lemonade Cupcake and it tasted just like……..drumroll please…..Strawberry Lemonade!!! The cake was the strawberry part and the frosting was a lemonade cream cheese frosting.
Our meal would not be complete without a drink. We, of course, had to have the lemonade. They have 7 different types of lemonade. Old Fashioned, Cucumber Mint, Blueberry Mint, Pomegranate, Guava Limeade, Blood-Orange and the Arnold Palmer.
We tried the Blood-Orange and it was really refreshing! Just a hint of orange in a great tasting glass of lemonade. Not too sweet and not too sour. A great thirst quencher on a hot day!
Now if you want to make any of these dishes at home Chef Alan has released a cookbook. Tons of great recipes for fresh, healthy and colorful meals. Makes a perfect gift for a friend, family member or even yourself!
Lemonade is a new idea with old school roots. This place is perfect for the Orange County crowd! Fresh, healthy dishes for those on the go and those who want to sit back and relax. I, for one, am excited to go back to try the sandwiches and flatbread pizzas!