Chinatown’s Best Kept Secret

If you work in Chinatown, chances are, you’ve had the experience of chinese food–fatigue. As awesome as sauteed eggplant, steamed fish, juicy shrimp dumplings and a nice hot bowl of noodles sounds, I find myself craving a refreshing, green salad every once in a while. ( Quite often, actually)

You have a few options- Home Boy Bakery, which serves both vegetarians and carnivores alike, is great if you have a full hour to spare for lunch. Phillipe’s is another great establishment for meaty french dipped sandwiches. However, if you are like many of our coworkers and try to eat somewhat healthy within a thirty-minute lunch break- the California Endowment fulfills both criterion.

Located one block east of Union Station on Alameda, the CA Endowment’s headquarters is a mixture of southern california architecture and modern landscaping. That alone is worth the visit.

Make your way through the front lobby, sign in, and proceed to the cafe. The chefs here plan a healthy and diverse menu each week, incorporating organic and sustainable food whenever possible. Here is a sample of their menu last week:

Breakfast: Mango Coconut Whole Grain Pancakes
Soup: Mushroom and Roasted Garlic Soup
Cuisine: Apricot-Ancho BBQ Roasted St. Louis Ribs
Side: Saffron Orzo Pilaf with Roasted Almonds

A word about their sides- it’s unique, it’s delicious ( except for the asparagus…it’s always overcooked), it’s healthy, exotic and thoughtful. They have three salads and two soups that are different everyday.

Feeling adventurous? Eat here. Feeling like a burger, wrap, fries, panini? Eat here.

There’s also a beautiful courtyard with lots of seating outdoors- essentially, another oasis in Chinatown.

*The CA Endowment Cafe operates on a very specific schedule and is closed after 2:30.

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