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2017 is 'Year of the Radish' for Health-Conscious Santa Monica Restaurants


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By Niki Cervantes
Staff Writer

December 22, 2016 -- Radishes, the unsung heroes of the everyday American dinner salad, are getting a radical make over by health-conscious Santa Monica restaurants that hope to tempt the palates with exotic yet ultra-healthy radish-enhanced dishes.

Santa Monica Restaurant Week plucks the under-appreciated radish from its normal routine, as something drenched in Ranch salad dressing, and pairs it with ingredients far afield from Iceberg lettuce.

Picture of raadishes at Santa Monnica Farmers Market

Instead, diners will be offered “Creamy Radish Soup” on the beach at Perry’s Café and “Roasted Radish with pancetta and horseradish-chamomile crème fraiche” at Fork in the Road, organizers said.

Left: Radishes at Santa Monica Farmers Market (Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board)

The Sushi Roku restaurant will serve “Tuna Radish Sashimi” and the Upper West Restaurant will offer “Red Curry & Lime Leaf Braised Black Radish.”

In all, 21 restaurants in Santa Monica are participating in the event, from January 9 through January 15, said organizers, who are hailing 2017 as the “Year of the Radish.”

Formerly known as Eat Well Week, the program is meant to highlight the city’s “progressive culinary scene,” said Jackie Alvarez of Santa Monica Travel and Tourism (SMTT), which is helping to organize the event in conjunction with California Restaurant month.

Americans consume an estimated 400 million pounds of radishes a year, mostly in salads. But the root crop has grown a study reputation in wellness circles for its detoxifying properties, Vitamin C and fiber-rich make up.

Radishes have also been associated with helping the liver, the stomach and preventing weight gain, among other health benefits.

Still, the public mostly associates the colorful red root with salads (or mistakes them for beets), a perception the restaurants hope to change by creating specialized dishes, Alvarez said.

Also joining in the campaign are BOA Steakhouse, Bar-belle, Catch, Dhaba Cuisine of India, FIG Restaurant Santa Monica, Locanda del Lago, Melisse Restaurant, Monsieur Marcel, Obica Mozzarella Bar, Pizza e Cucina, One Pico, Plan Check Kitchen + Bar, Red O, Tiato Kitchen + Venue, Wexler’s Deli, Flower Child, Perry’s, Inotheke, and Mare Santa Monica.

“We are thrilled to have such a diverse selection of restaurants joining us,” said Misty Kerns, SMTT president and chief executive officer.

The event, Kerns said, celebrates Santa Monica’s “unique culinary offerings: our innovative chefs, year-round access to the finest produce available, and an unwavering focus on sustainable, organic and healthy ingredients.”

Throughout the week, diners will have a chance to win a wellness prize package by sharing Santa Monica Restaurant Week photos on social media using the hashtag #SMRestaurantWeek.

More information is available at

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