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Food & Drink
New Year, New You, Food Fitness: 5 Under 500
2013-01-02 23:32:05
By Carole Dixon

Guess what? The number one New Year resolution is still losing weight. With that in mind, and all the indulging that inevitably goes on around the holidays, we have rounded up 5 top restaurants where you can still eat well (steak, wine and dessert anyone?) but without packing on any extra pounds. All the menu items are around 500 calories – give or take.

Season’s  52
One of the best things to hit LA this past winter on the food scene was not another celebrity chef pop-up but an out of the box ‘chain’ restaurant that features 475 calorie meals evolving around a year-long menu celebrating the harvest of each season. From wood-fire grilling, brick-oven cooking and roasting techniques the cuisine is flavorful, healthful fare and you’ll feel like your’e dining at a 5-star restaurant – seriously. Start with the signature flatbreads with Steak and Cremini Mushroom or Spicy Chipotle Shrimp. Entrees vary by season and will include Cedar Plank Roasted Salmon (featured above), Seasonal Vegetarian Tasting and Grilled Filet Mignon. What makes this deal even sweeter is the mini-indulgence desserts and the 52 wines by the glass spanning Willamette Valley, Oregon and Mendoza, Argentina to Stellenbosch, South Africa as part of the ‘Drink Them Before They’re Famous’ list. www.seasons52.com

Just this week this Santa Monica raw cuisine eatery has launched intensive courses that emphasize lessons in the preparation of creative and modern plant-based foods and the art of Living Cuisine. Opened by award-winning chef and owner, Matthew Kenney, the restaurant adjacent to the school, will introduce a new comprehensive Online program. Both will focus on the use of whole, organic, unprocessed raw foods to achieve healthy and flavorful cuisine. We were skeptical, but the lasagna was really delicious and satisfying – plus you can order wine. The new Weekend Intensive Courses will encompass a two-day, 12-hour curricula including the Weekend Detox Course designed to showcase the components of a detoxifying diet through nutritious recipes including the hot new culinary trend of juicing. To enroll or for further information please visit: Matthew Kenney Cuisine. Additionally, M.A.K.E. will be offering customized cleanse packages ranging from one to five day sessions.

Shade Hotel
Beginning on January 7, Shade Hotel’s on-site restaurant in Manhattan Beach, will feature the 30 Days of Devinly Decadent Selections menu, featuring The Biggest Loser Chef Devin Alexander’s unique guilt-free recipes. The breakfast, lunch and dinner menus will include selections such as the Breakfast Banana Split, Grilled Chicken Enchiladas, Buffalo Chicken Salad with House-Made Blue Cheese Dressing, and Three-Cheese Spinach Lasagna, all under 500 calories each. Also gracing the menu, Devin’s Devinly Delites desserts and muffins and adult beverages under 200 calories each.  “As I always say, you don’t have to deprive yourself to be fit and healthy— eat what you love; do what you love; and own it,” said Alexander, adding, “otherwise off-limits foods, given the Devinly Decadent spin, are completely guilt-free and delicious!” The new menu will be featured at zinc@shade for 30 days beginning on Monday, January 7, 2013. For more information or to make reservations, visit www.shadehotel.com.

One of our favorite French style hotels is now offering a 500 calorie ‘spa lunch’ De-Light cuisine menu on their newly designed outdoor patio. De-Light cuisine features fresh, whole ingredients and celebrates the link between food and culture.  Executive Chef Marius Blin will even add a glass of Laurent Perrier Champagne that will not only enhance the dining experience but also promote a healthy eating lifestyle.  The average glass of Champagne contains only 91 calories – a good reason for a toast. Indulge in Spanish shrimp with fennel pollen, sautéed Tuscan kale, and chanterelle; grilled halibut, compressed basil and sangria watermelon; truffle mushroom scrambled eggs or silken pannacotta with macerated market berries. www.sofitel.com

The Daily Grill
Eat healthier but without feeling deprived with Daily Grill’s new Simply 600 Menu which is made up of meals that are actually between 318 to 590 calories including salads, sandwiches, burgers, tacos, seafood, chicken, meat and pasta dishes. While the restaurant puts an emphasis on flavor and freshness, these lighter alternatives are also hearty full-sized portions from a Blackened Ahi Tuna Salad, Thai Noodle Chicken Salad, a Salmon Burger served with a side of asparagus, Turkey Club Sandwich, Fish Tacos with black beans and Spanish rice, topped with southwest dressing. Meat eaters will love the tender Petite Filet Mignon or Italian classics Chicken Marsala, Shrimp Pomodoro or Meatballs all served on a bed of angel hair pasta with homemade sauce. The Daily Grill has 21 restaurants in eight states including, California; D.C.; Texas; Washington and Oregon, so you can be calorie conscious even on the road. www.dailygrill.com