Mediterranean in SoCal: Luna Grill in La Cañada Flintridge, CA

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Until recently, Southern Californians would have to drive to San Diego or Orange County to enjoy a meal at Luna Grill, which offers quality, fresh Mediterranean cuisine in a casual yet contemporary setting. Fortunately for Los Angelenos, a new location has recently opened in La Cañada Flintridge, so I decided to check it out.

Walking in, I could see how it was cross between fast casual dining, and a full-service dining experience. The decor was warm and inviting with cozy booths and modern decorative touches, but food is ordered at the counter. After choosing my items and taking a seat,  I was pleased to have my food soon brought to me upon elegant tableware.

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Their menu features a wide array of choices, from their signature kabobs to gourmet salads to wraps and burgers. They boast non-GMO ingredients that are locally and responsibly sourced without added growth hormones and free-range meat options, which is always a huge plus with me. (They also offer craft beer and wine selections – another plus in my book!)

It was difficult to narrow down my choices so I decided to try an appetizer, main dish, and a dessert. First off, I went with the appetizer sampler platter which includes falafel, a couscous medley, and hummus with pita bread. Usually it includes stuffed grape leaves, but unfortunately they were out when I visited. Must be a popular item!

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The falafel had a great crunch and was drizzled with a zesty taihini sauce, and the couscous medley was also refreshing and light with chopped onions, peppers, cucumber, and parsley. I’m a sucker for hummus, and theirs did not disappoint, though I do wish I had opted to try the spicy hummus option. Next time!

Next, I enjoyed my main dish, which was the Bistro Filet Beef Kabob. The beef was tender and wonderfully seasoned, and the accompanying bell-pepper and onion slices were nicely charred. The basmati rice and side salad were a welcome addition to the plate, as was the cucumber-yogurt dip. Each plate also comes with the option of a carrot or grilled tomato garnish. I went with the tomato, which was popping with juicy flavor.

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Lastly, I tried a couple of their desserts: a mini chocolate nut roll and a mini baklava. (I love mini desserts because it means you can try more things!) The nut roll was delicious and reminded me of a gourmet candy bar, but my favorite was the baklava which was perfectly flaky with a sweet pistachio filling. I only wish I had room to eat more than one… le sigh.

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I’m glad to have Luna Grill close by where I can pop in for a quick Mediterranean meal with quality ingredients, and I hear there are plans to open even more locations in L.A, so keep your eyes peeled, Angelenos!

Tania

Many people were picky eaters as kids – but not me! Thanks to a mom who cooked excellent Mexican food on a daily basis, combined with a childhood spent moving to a new place every couple years, I gobbled up everything from British treacle pudding with custard, to Colorado green chili and ostrich burgers, to Midwestern kringles and pannekoeken. Today, I continue my love for seeking out cuisines from every culture. Unlike my mom, I’m a disaster in the kitchen, so I eat out a lot more than I probably should. But being an artist and writer doesn’t really help the budget, so I’m always on the hunt for cheap eats that satisfy the palate without breaking the bank. When it comes to beverages, I’m a total wino. Did I say wino? I mean, wine aficionado. That’s right, I’m the girl who orders a cab at a rock show while everyone else is throwing back beers. Another dirty secret is my love for Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. Some say I’m obsessed, but I prefer to say, “dedicated” (hey, we all have our weaknesses!). Despite living in Los Angeles for the past nine years, I am still constantly discovering new food and drink spots to fall in love with. And now that I’ve recently moved to Pasadena, I’ve got a whole new treasure trove of undiscovered gems in the San Gabriel Valley to discover. I’m excited to dive in and share my budget-friendly findings with you!

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