A Piece of Greece
With its Mediterranean “build-your-own” dish concept, Cava Grill rises above the fray of fast-serve eateries.
- Written bySusan Spillman
That perennial search for somewhere quick and healthy to grab a bite just got a little easier in the West Valley with the opening of Cava Grill. Like Chipotle and PizzaRev, diners start by choosing a base. But at Cava Grill it’s more calorie-conscious: greens, grains or a pita. Then diners can instruct a server to pile on toppings to suit their own taste buds.
And it’s the toppings—from spicy braised lamb meatballs to perfectly crisp falafel—that put Cava Grill in a class of its own. Both the variety and quality are a cut above typical fast-serve eateries.
Zesty dips and spreads are made from scratch daily. They include several types of hummus, jalapeño-infused mousse made with Greek feta and a savory eggplant and red pepper spread. The creamy, yogurt-based tzatziki is nothing short of delightful.
Cava Grill does inventive twists on standard Mediterranean dishes, with a quinoa tabbouleh and a homemade dressing of sriracha Greek yogurt. Mirroring the philosophy behind Mediterranean cuisine, Cava creations are about combinations of ingredients that offer explosions of flavors in each bite. Whether you opt for a base of greens or grains, meals are dense and filling.
Beverages are equally innovative. In addition to organically sweetened bottled sodas from Maine Root, a rainbow of original, seasonal juices and teas are made in-house daily from fresh produce. Recent offerings included a fuchsia-hued beet lemonade, blood orange green tea and pineapple apple mint juice. Plans are underway to add beer and wine to the menu.
The 2,000-square-foot eatery offers a casual-modern atmosphere. Seating is available both indoors and outside.
From the health-conscious menu to the airy ambience, Cava Grill seems custom-made for Southern California. But the chain is actually an East Coast transplant, started in 2011 by three childhood friends—all offspring of Greek immigrants—who grew up together in the suburbs of Washington D.C.
The Woodland Hills location, along with one in Westwood, mark Cava’s first foray away from the D.C. area. We’re glad they strayed.
The Village at Westfield Topanga, Woodland Hills, 818-860-7670, cavagrill.com
Mirabelle Wine Bar offers a three-course, prix fixe dinner on Sunday nights in Valley Village, which is especially ambitious given their limited kitchen.