If you were one of the few people at Old Town Pasadena in the early hours on June 18th, you might have noticed a line of people outside of a restaurant with some security guards standing…well, guard. Most likely than not, you thought nothing of this and had no idea that one of the Los Angeles Lakers players was to be serving lunch as part of a grand opening celebration. That’s right, you heard me, serving lunch. Which superstar athlete was going to be doing this on busy Colorado Boulevard just steps away from the soon-to-begin Make Music Pasadena Festival? Why none other than The Athlete Formerly Known as Ron Artest, now known as Metta World Peace.
Fans began to line up as early as 8AM and came from as far away as Riverside.
What is Saladish you ask? A fast casual eatery designed to please the diverse and health-conscious palettes of Angelenos and Southern California residents alike. With success at their Rancho Palos Verdes location, demand and hype brought the healthy restaurant to the San Gabriel Valley. From dark wood walls to faux foliage and ivy on the ceiling, the decor focuses on everything eco-friendly in a clean and sophisticated manner. Seating is limited, which is expected with a fast-casual, but the venue is quite large and is a nice place to people watch from the large glass windows facing the bustling Old Town area.
Aeroponics at work. Tomatoes sustained mid-air constantly sprayed w/ nutrients.
They focus on using aeroponics, an agricultural technology that involves growing produce stationed in mid-air with water and nutrients being directly applied to the roots that produce fast-growing and organic ingredients on site for the diners to enjoy. Customers can experience this technology as they enter Saladish and can enjoy the locally grown ingredients from a lengthy L-shaped bar as they watch the salad artists make their dishes come to life.
Just a small section of the various fresh ingredients offered in the salad/wrap bar.
The fine folks at the Pasadena location invited me in a full hour early to experience what Saladish has to offer. I was given the option of wraps or salads and I chose salads. To me, the ingredients in wraps are sometimes hidden and not often appreciated (oh and eating the extra carbs doesn’t help me out either). I asked for sample sizes of the soups and salads mind you, so don’t take the photos to heart in correlation to the prices listed. You get a lot more bang for the buck. Photos of Ron Artest, fans & the mayhem that pursued are after these food photos.
Chicken Tortilla Soup (10 oz for $3.95)
Minestrone Soup (10 oz for $3.95)
“The Classic” baked potato – sour cream & chives ($4.95)
“Loaded Potato” – bacon, sour cream, chives, tomatoes & cheddar cheese ($6.95)
Blooming Apple – apples, chicken, bacon, candied pecans, blue cheese (Salad: $9.95, Wrap: $8.95)
Roasted Portabella – cherry tomatoes, avocado, mixed greens mozzarella & portabella mushrooms (Salad: $9.95, Wrap: $8.95)
Southwestern Chicken – tomato, black beans, corn, tortilla strips, cheddar cheese (Salad: $8.95, Wrap: $7.95)
Glendale Mayor Laura Friedman meets w/ Ron Artest
Ron’s youngest daughter, Diamond, helped out behind the counter. Adorable.
Ron doing his part in getting as many autographs as possible for all his fans!
Outside with the hundreds of fans lining Colorado Boulevard.
Ron Ron went to the Saladish booth @ the Make Music Festival to see the staff/fans.
Hundreds of plates of food were served, autographs & photos were signed and taken and the fans were pleased. As one can see with the photos above, the people in Pasadena loved Mr. Artest. So much so that policemen and policewomen working the festival were redirected to escorting Ron Ron to the Saladish booth and back to his blinged out car to get a smooth getaway.
Now that the organized chaos that was the grand opening lunch is over, hurry on down to Old Town Pasadena and check this place out. It’s healthy, it’s a fresh concept and they’re doing their best to buy local and help out in the community.
My amateur video editing is taking me longer than usual, so stay tuned for an addition when I finish it!
There will also be a ron artest giveaway, with more details to come. Stay tuned!
Enjoy the rest of my pictures from the grand opening here: Saladish Grand Opening (link also on the sidebar).
– gmangoman a.k.a. hemang