Santa Monica Restaurant Week: Healthy Plates

The radish is a central player of Santa Monica Restaurant Week.

If you spent the end of December stowing all of the special casserole dishes, and terrines, and cookie sheets, and bundt pans, know this: The food-forward festive-making has not yet full come to a close.

Well, perhaps in your kitchen, at least for the time being (you did, after all, make dozens of buckeye balls and a turkey or two, so yay you). But pause here to glance beyond your kitchen door, to the restaurants of your immediate area, and then look to the whole state, which is currently marking California Restaurant Month.

That particular month always arrives in January, which has a tendency to come right on the heels of all that December dining (spoiler alert). Which all leads up to this: Sometimes a healthy spin on a Restaurant Week-type situation can be a very welcome situation following the bigger-meal'd days of the holiday season.

Santa Monica offers just such a vege-luscious, fruit-laden situation each January via its own Restaurant Week, which used to be known as Eat Well Week.

Now it is called "Santa Monica Restaurant Week" — a snap to remember — but the emphasis is still on fresh ingredients, like, wait for it, the radish.

The crunchable root vegetable is, in fact, the spicy star of the 2017 Santa Monica event, a multi-day happening which'll spotlight a number of "delicious, healthy, and custom dishes centered..." around the flavor-powerful, red-and-white orb. 

Well, it is an orb with a pointy end, and a green top, which makes the radish all the more quirky and lovable, certainly. 

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What are the dishes to expect? Look to Belcampo Meat Co., which is offering a Belcampo Braised Pork Belly, complete with pickled radish salad and other goodies, during the Jan. 9 through 15 run. And Perry's Café'll rock a Creamy Radish Soup, complete with potatoes to mild-out some of the radish's amazing taste-bud-dominating superpowers.

For the full rundown of special entrées and such, including wellness prize packages, visit the Santa Monica Restaurant Week site. 

And, truly, why shouldn't a Restaurant Week love upon a certain element or ingredient that rarely steals the spotlight? How great it is to remember that the grub we love is comprised of piquant high points as well as other tasty tidbits that fill out the healthy, crunchy-worthy base.

Thank you, radishes, for all of that crunch and bite-nice back-up you give to so many beloved dishes. And thanks, Santa Monica, for once again championing healthy dining in the very days many of us are seeking out fortifying, good-for-the-body sustenance.

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