Consider the typical California lunch meeting from hell; you have a two carnivores, a chicken-and fish-only guy, a vegan, a vegetarian, and someone in mid dental-work who cannot even consider anything but soup. The perfect destination – Green Peas.
Jose Maceira’s mission to offer simple food at good prices is one that has stayed both simple and good. Getting there early for lunch on any weekday is the way to go. Since re-opening last June after six months of renovations, Green Peas has gotten better and busier than its previous incarnation.
There is a menu you have to look up to, not just because it’s posted on the wall above the counter; it’s also triumph of choice. Salads, sandwiches, pizzas and quesadillas have not just vegetarian but vegan versions available for almost every dish. My long standing favorites; the steak quesadilla and the lemon pepper chicken sandwich, are both seriously soul-satisfying stuff. The steak quesadilla gets a boost from roasted red bell peppers, red onions and cilantro, and you can have real steak or fake steak (gardein) snuggled into your grilled whole wheat tortillas with melted mozzerella cheese. The lemon pepper chicken is a recent addition to the menu, made marvelous by sun-dried tomato aioli, tomatoes, spinach, onions, perfectly sharp provolone cheese, and chicken that’s been marinated just long enough in the right lemon and herb combo to be succulent and soft. Or it could just be that I have never met an aioli I didn’t like.
Ask your server for extra napkins, because both of these lunches are juicy, and it’s not okay to lick your fingers at a lunch meeting, even if it’s just web-work.
Order the salad, and you will feel like virtue herself. Fresh greens, great combinations and lots of choices. My favorites are the teriyaki tofu salad (with both white and black sesame seeds), the party mushroom salad (you can share with a friend if he’s a funghi) and the eponymous Green Peas salad, full of spinach, walnuts, chicken or tofu and topped with the lovely lemon house dressing.
Soup is a daily special, often a shade of green. I’ve been very happy with zucchini soup. which arrives at creaminess without any cream, and the toothsome lentil soup is nicely spiced. The split pea soup does err on the side of being too salty. There isn’t even any ham to blame it on, so maybe the kitchen is trying to make up the difference.
While lunch is the main event, breakfast rocks too, with dishes as healthy as tofu scramble, a vegan breakfast sandwich with soyrizo ( you will never eat real chorizo sausage again; it’s that good) and a portobello omelette that puts mushrooms to (almost) magical use. Coffee with breakfast? There a whole menu just for black gold with the house, the iced, the latte/mocha/cappuchino options all open. If you like your coffee sweet, go for an Almond Joy. It’s better than a candy bar.
Dinner has been added as well, with a sheet of evening specials available at the counter. But with breakfast and lunch available all day long, it might be a matter of timing before you step into the specials. If you are up for a dinner meeting, Transition Culver City has their monthly gathering here at Green Peas (check the calendar by clicking the ad on the right side of the page.) You might meet some more people doing the vegan thing. Saving the planet is a very good choice.
Happy Meatless Monday !
4437 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City, 90230
(310) 397-9815 of if that’s busy, try (310) 397-9818
Email: [email protected]