Culinary Culver City: Green Peas Casual Food

The casual passer-by could be forgiven for seeing the name of this restaurant, as well as the tagline “healthy, casual food at fair prices,” and assume that it’s a vegetarian eatery. In truth, while it does pride itself on its vegetarian and vegan options, there is plenty of meat and fish on the menu too. So there’s something for everyone.

The menu does hint at some tantalizing offerings, and if we had visited a couple of hours earlier we would have been spoiled for choice of breakfast. The breakfast burrito, with optional turkey bacon, looked delicious, as did the breakfast casserole and the tofu scramble.

But we were there for lunch, and we were in the mood for something very healthy, so we opted for the salmon salad. At $14, it’s at the top end of what we would pay for a salad, but the quality is spot-on so the price is, as the tagline suggests, fair.

Napa kale provides the base greenery for the dish, and the leaves are shredded very finely so you don’t get that unpleasant toughness so often associated with kale. It’s firm and chewy, but that contrasts nicely with the generous helping of juicy cherry tomatoes (so juicy that the seeds burst across the plate when punctured with a fork – but any spillage can be mopped up with the large croutons).

The scallions, flaked almonds, and lemon dressing all combined to create a lively dish and, while the portion was quite big, it’s so light that it didn’t over-face. Of course, the salmon is the most important ingredient, and it’s cooked beautifully. Not too much to be chewy — the oils run out of the fish and blend with the salad, as they should. It’s crisp on the outside, so there’s that satisfying burst of fishy goodness when you take a bite. And, naturally, it’s very good for you too.

On the side came a choice of potatoes or the soup of the day, which happened to be pea. We went for the latter, and were happy that we did. With a taste closer to garden pea than the split pea standard that we were expecting, the soup tasted vibrant and fresh, rather than like something you’d make with dry pulses from a bag. It was also rich and thick, and may have upped the calorie count of the meal significantly (we didn’t ask), but it was so good that we didn’t care.

Green Peas is a cafeteria-style restaurant, but that doesn’t stop the staff from making you feel special when you enter. The surroundings are basic in a pleasant way, helping make the whole experience relaxing. We wanted to try more dishes and, in the future, we will.

Green Peas is located at 4437 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City; 310-397-9815. Visit for more information.