Mediterranean power at CAVA

(Photo by Brett Callwood)

We all love the holidays, but if you’re anything like this writer, you let yourself go a little with the eating, and then have a “YIKES” moment on January 2 when you step on the scales. It’s ok, don’t be too hard on yourself, we’re all allowed to have a break from the rigors of day to day mindfulness when it comes to eating and drinking. But for us, it’s time to get back on the horse.

“We believe in: Serving delicious food that helps more people eat well and live well,” they say online. “Taking care of the people and things that feed us: the earth, farmers, purveyors, and team members. Food as a unifier, for a more diverse yet inclusive world, where all are welcome.”

The restaurant was founded by Ike Grigoropoulos, Chef Dimitri Moshovitis, and Ted Xenohristos, who have known each other since they were six, with co-founder Brett Schulman. The first CAVA opened in 2010,” to share the food they loved in an accessible fast-casual format. It’s not only about the food, though. CAVA’s inspiration is rooted in the entire Mediterranean meal experience, notably that feeling-so-cared-for genuine expression of hospitality and warmth. Which is why, at CAVA, generosity is our cornerstone.”

We opted for a “build your own” bowl, with the aim of keeping it as healthy as possible on this occasion, as we visited the Culver City location. This was the right choice given the post-Christmas circumstances, although their own bowls looked great too including the Balsamic Date Chicken bowl and the Tahini Caesar bowl.

We had a base of spinach and romaine, both of which were fresh and crisp. The choices from there are superb and we added tomatoes and cucumbers, pickles, cabbage slaw, pickled onions, fire roasted corn, and spicy broccoli.

Such is the nature of these bowls, it’s hard to pick our individual flavors. It all blends into a wonderful, vegetable concoction and it works.

For the protein, we went with half falafel and half grilled chicken. That also proved to be an inspired choice, as the juicy, tasty meat contrasted beautifully with the seasoned chickpea balls. We chose to have the falafel spicy, but it wasn’t really. Maybe a slight bite, but nothing too intense.

We had a red pepper hummus in there and a yogurt dill dressing on the side. Both enhanced the flavors of the bowl overall, and we were very happy with our cool culinary concoction.

CAVA is located at 9343 Culver Blvd., Culver City 90232. Call 323-230-5027 or visit