Finally checked out The Dressing Room at La Reina plaza in Sherman Oaks. At lunchtime today it was crowded but not uncomfortably so. You can create your own salad, or have one of the pre-selected combinations which are also made to order. Order at the front, your salad is made for you, you pick it up in the middle, pay at the back. I think it's the space where Topz was, so it's long and narrow. Their system worked really well. There are some inside and outside tables but not a lot, and much of the business has got to be take-out.
My husband had "The Napa Delight" ($8.55) which is field greens, rotisserie chicken, goat cheese, toasted almonds, mango, jicama, cucumber and dried cranberries, with vinaigrette which he had on the side rather than mixed in.
I selected my own. The system is that you pay $5.95 and you can select one or more greens, up to 5 toppings from their enormous list (and if you want more than 5, extras are $.65 each), and one or more dressings. If you want a protein, it's extra (I'm listing them below by price). I had romaine, avocado, green beans, goat cheese, beets and garbanzo beans. I chose to add a protein - tofu. I had 2 dressings on the side - vinaigrette, and fat-free cucumber dill.
Husband was a bit put off that they don't offer any breads to accompany the salad, but I hadn't noticed until he mentioned it. Other than that, no complaints. All ingredients were very fresh.
Anyway, on the create your own salad, you choose from 6 types of greens, 64(!) toppings, 32 dressings including many diet-friendly options, and 16 types of protein if you want to add protein (actually counting from the create your own salad checklist that I brought home, I see 17 types of protein).
The $1.95 proteins are bbq chicken, blackened chicken, rotisserie chicken, chicken tenders, grilled chicken, lamb gyro, smoked turkey, tofu, and fat-free yogurt.
The $2.95 proteins are chicken salad, fresh tuna in olive oil, and tuna salad. For $3.95 you can get grilled steak. For $4.95 you can get ahi tuna, bbq shrimp, blackened salmon and grilled salmon.
There's a grill and a chef who was actually cooking the proteins that needed to be cooked. I saw him grilling shrimp and salmon and putting them directly onto the salads.
The toppings range from the usual salad bar fare (broccoli, carrots, cucumber, garbanzos, etc.) to fruit including coconut, raisins, grapes, pineapple, etc. to cheeses - blue, cheddar, feta, goat, jack, mozzarela, parmesan and jalapeno jack, to "crunchies" - cornbread croutons, bacon, various nuts and seeds, wonton strips, plantain chips.
Dressings: asian peanut sauce, asian sesame ginger, bacon, balsamic dijon vinaigrette, chipotle orange bbq, chipotle pepper, blue cheese, classic vinaigrette, creamy french, creamy italian, creole honey mustard, mayo, honey lime sauce, honey mustard, caesar, plum asian vinaigrette, ranch, raspberry vinaigrette, roasted red pepper, sherry peppercorn, 1000 island, tomato basil vinaigrette - whew, those are the non-diet ones.
The "diet-friendly" options are balsamic vinegar, fat-free cucumber dill, "bikini" dressing whatever that is, carb-free garlic/herb vinaigrette, fat-free creamy italian, fat-free raspberry vinaigrette, lemon juice, low-fat honey dijon, olive oil, reduced fat light ranch.
The pre-selected salads range from $5.95 to $10.90 (for ahi) and you can add various proteins to the salads for an additional charge.
Their website is www.thedressingroomtogo.com and on it you can see the pre-selected salad combinations, their philosophy of supposedly using locally grown and harvested produce, etc.
We were very pleasantly surprised and will definitely be returning. The combinations are infinite. Our lunch was around $20 including our two salads and one fountain drink.
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