Impromptu dinner plans turn out to be the best, especially on a weeknight. I usually plan out my menu for the entire week on a Sunday night, and past Thursday was one of those evening where I was not in the mood to eat what I had on the menu. Instead, I was craving some Greek/Mediterranean style food. I could not think of anything else but to try the new Luna Grill just opened in Paseo Del Sur, Ca.
First off all, if you are not familiar with this fact, let me tell you that Luna Grill serves "REAL" food. Which means, their food items such as rice, meats and poultry are all non-GMO. They also make it a point to support the local farmers and serve fresh produce as part of their menu. This makes me feel so good about what I am putting into my body. It’s always good to know where your food is coming from, especially when eating out.
What I Ate
I ordered their vegetarian platter which included hummus, couscous, dolmas, falafels, pita bread and a side of dressing. Some people are not familiar with most of these items so let me explain what each dish is made of.
Chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) tahini (sesame paste), garlic and other seasoning with a hint of lemon juice all blended together in a paste like consistency. It can be spicy or with other fresh added flavors like cilantro or roasted peppers. Basically, a dip with a verity of flavors with a very rich taste. (Watch the recipe on my YouTube channel)
Luna grill serves two types of couscous, one made of crushed wheat, and the other is simply rice grains known as Israeli couscous (also known as Pitim), shaped in little balls. I opted for these. At Luna grill, they season the Israeli couscous with lemon juice, cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, parsley and various other seasonings. It has a very subtle and soft taste as it just melts in your mouth bursting with all the other flavors.
Dolmas basically means "stuffed." In this case, Luna grill serves stuffed grape leaves which include rice, pomegranate molasses and a bunch of other flavorful seasonings. It's a perfect finger food that you simply pick up and bite into. It tastes tangy, soft and juicy.
Falafels are fried or baked balls made out of chickpeas. They resemble meatballs but without the gravy. They are somewhat crunchy on the outside and soft inside. These are definitely my favorites!
They also gave me a complimentary Greek salad which was so delicious!
Star of the show
Mediterranean cuisine utilizes chickpeas generously in most of their dishes with falafel and hummus being two of the most popular dishes.
High in protein (about 20%) and an excellent substitute for meats. At the same time, they have about 30% of carbs. They are rich in fiber and keep you full. A great option for people trying to manage weight. Chickpeas are also known to maintain blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and fight inflammation.
Very low in calorie, about 14 calories for nearly five leaves! Grape leaves are also anti-inflammatory Because of its rich iron content, it helps in preventing anemia. It is also a cancer fighter and improves hear health. Excellent for your skin too as it contains the copper mineral which forms collagen. It is said that if you boil grape leaves and consume it in the form of a tea, it can give you a brighter complexion. .
The Luna Grill in Paseo Del Sur has a classy, trendy and charming ambiance. It is upscale and modern with beautiful seating sections. When you walk into this particular location, it really feels like you have walked into an elegant eatery which is truly a treat for the eyes as well as your pallet.