Wednesday, July 2, 2014

review - Coral Tree Cafe

17499 Ventura Blvd, Encino

Along the lines of Mendocino Farms, Coral Tree Cafe is a big, wide open comfortable space with a high barn-like ceiling, in which to sit and relax while you're having breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Open from 7 am to 10 pm daily, you may order breakfast until 3 pm. Their menu offers quite a nice selection of omelettes and other egg dishes - organic eggs - salads, homemade soups and sandwiches, all with a healthy slant on life. They also have a wonderfully delicious bakery section with muffins, scones, cookies and a dual, white and black, chocolate mousse pie that is absolutely scrumptious.

If I have a choice between breakfast and lunch, I will 9 times out of 10 opt for  breakfast. I was torn between the Applewood omelette with smoked bacon, cheddar cheese and sauteed mushroom, or the eggs benedict. I chose the omelette, which with organic farm eggs is not only healthy but ultimately fresher in taste. Served with it are cafe potatoes and a house made baguette. You may substitute baby field greens for the potatoes if you wish. All moderately priced at about $12, the omelettes included are: turkey chorizo, the Mykonos, chicken sausage, arugula pesto, porto bello and for vegetarians, the Brentwood kale and farmers market vegetable. Other egg specialties of the house are huevos rancheros, natural pastrami hash, Spanish rice skillet and vegetarian benedict, a lox plate, eggs bruschetta and a hi-pro breakfast of grilled chicken breast, and scrambled organic egg whites served with brown rice. The menu also includes cereals, oats and grains as well as various pancake and waffle dishes. I had fresh squeezed orange juice. At $5.50 it was a delicious treat and definitely worth it.

From the lunch menu my friend and I shared a Chinese chicken salad which was first rate with little tangerines and nuts substituted for crispy noodles, also nicely priced at only $12.95. My friend ordered penne al forno which consists of pasta, chicken, Italian bacon, spinach, roma tomatoes, roasted peppers, mushrooms, parmesan, fresh basil and a touch of cream. He loved it... a hefty portion for a mere $12.95. We were served an additional kale salad and two sandwiches, one of which was truly delectable, with turkey meatloaf served on a rustic ciabatta roll. Sandwiches are quite big and range from $10 to $12. Also on the sandwich menu are grilled steak, veggie wrap with house made hummus, tuna, roast turkey and curried chicken.

On the menu it is specified that all meat and poultry are antibiotic, hormone and nitrate free. And only the highest quality extra virgin olive oil and canola oil are used. All panini breads are baked in house as well as the cookies and a delightful chocolate pudding cake that I sampled, called bread pudding, which is excessive and regal to the taste buds. For beverages, there are coffee, signature expresso and tea drinks as well as fresh fruit smoothies.

If you wish a casual lunch which includes breakfast food and sandwiches, soups and salads all prepared with the freshest, highest quality ingredients, go no further. Coral Tree Cafe will suit your needs, and there's plenty of room to stretch out and just unwind or relax with your friends or business associates. And remember you're eating healthy! The fresh juice bar is so tempting, not only with its fresh squeezed orange juice, but also everything else under the sun with a drink called The Garden Salad which has carrot, tomato, celery and fresh basil and The Everything Nice with watermelon, apple and lemon. There's even a Farmer's Daughter with apple and strawberry. Now that's originality!

Coral Tree Cafe is also located in LA at 11645 San Vicente Blvd and offers catering as well as online ordering for your convenience: