The Cauliflower Cascade
Food fads come in waves, and the latest is cauliflower. A few years back you never saw it on the menu, but now the crunchy “cabbage flower” seems to be everywhere. Originally from Cyprus, and not common in Europe until the early 1700s, the cauliflower is touted by nutritionists as a superfood.
It is a cruciferous vegetable, from the same family as broccoli and Brussel sprouts, and it’s full of dietary fiber, choline, folate, and vitamins C, K, and B6. It’s considered a cancer-fighting food that helps the immune system. It can also taste great.
Tacos by Any Other Name
Ecléctico Restaurant & Bar prides itself on being a little bit, well, eclectic. Which means pulling together disparate tastes, in a good way — in their case, pan-Latin with a Mexican override. Their Cauli la flor ($12.99) uses big chunks instead of broken up pieces, is fried not grilled, and served on a bed of romesco sauce. It’s got a little bit of heat to the tomatoey sauce, with a buttery flavor to it. Great presentation, served with edible flowers.
Ecléctico Restaurant & Bar
320 San Lorenzo Ave.
Taking a leaf from the page of a Chinese kitchen preparing honey garlic chicken, the folks at Motek — the Mediterranean restaurant that replaced Forte on Miracle Mile — have transformed cauliflower into culinary candy. Served as one of its “Hot Mezzes,” their crispy cauliflower ($13) has a spicey harissa honey glaze with fresh mint as a garnish. Served in a basket, like fries.
45 Miracle Mile
A Korean Version
As much as we’d like to eschew the Cheesecake Factory for being a chain restaurant, it continues to impress with the breadth of its selections. Their Korean Fried Cauliflower in BBQ sauce tastes good enough to make even a carnivore consider becoming vegetarian. It may as well be BBQ chicken. Crunchy, sweet, tangy, filling — and fried, with toasted sesame, green onions, and a side of ranch ($10.50).
2418 Ponce de Leon
Get Me to the Greek
It probably doesn’t hurt that Kaia Greek Restaurant serves food inspired by the Aegean cuisine of Mykonos, not too far from the first home for cauliflower. Their version, served as a side dish, is a hefty bowl of grilled cauliflower ($11) tossed with tahini sauce, pomegranate seeds, and pistachios, crunchy with a nutty, fruity edge. Who says cauliflower can’t be refreshing?
Kaia Greek Restaurant
232 Miracle Mile
Roasted to Perfection
At Beauty & The Butcher, things are done differently. That’s true for the Aleppo Roasted Cauliflower ($24) too. It comes in a bowl with a citrus-caper sofrito mix, sunflower seeds, and herbs. The result is something that wants to be spicy but stops just short, with an oily base and a salty flavoring somewhere between Caribbean and downright American. Michelin-starred Chef Jeremy Ford recommends you squeeze the provided lemon over the dish before you tuck in.
Beauty & The Butcher
6915 Red Rd