Food & Dining
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GREENS AND STUFF: Sirinat Thai & Sushi Bar’s glass noodle salad. (photo: Sanam Lamborn)

As the temperatures rise this summer, I am less interested in hot meals and more inclined to consume cold ones. I am married to a man who loves and eats salads far more than I do, and consequently, we eat a lot of them from the many restaurants around town.

In San Pedro, it’s practically impossible not to mention the Sandwich Saloon’s Chinese chicken and Big Nick’s Forget About It salads due to their widespread popularity. But for this column, I will take you along for a culinary adventure to introduce you to filling salads that are very different from each other and will tingle your taste buds. 

The T-City salad from La Perla Tapatia Meat Market. (photo: Sanam Lamborn)

La Perla Tapatia Meat Market (210 N. Pacific Ave.) is probably the least likely place you’d think to find a salad, but stay with me. Amongst the usual Mexican food favorites on the menu board, a lonesome but mighty salad is named after San Pedro-born MMA fighter and regular customer Brian “T-City” Ortega. 

A few years ago, owner Miguel Ruiz made meal preps, which we purchased a few times. One day, when Ortega stopped by to pick up his order, he noticed the salad that Ruiz had made for himself. Intrigued by its appetizing looks, he asked for the same thing. As they say, the rest is history. Like most things that become internet famous, when Ortega shared a picture of this salad on his Instagram account, people started coming in and asking for the “Brian salad,” “Ortega salad,” and finally, the name that stuck, the “T-City salad,” which made it permanently onto the menu board. 

Social media popularity aside, this salad is definitely worth trying. On a generous bed of spring mix lettuce lays just the right amount of cheese that melts from the heat of the freshly cooked meat of your choice placed on top. Then there are ribbons of shaved carrots along with round tomato and cucumber slices arranged on each side. The dressing on top is creamy with the perfect amount of spice that gives it a nice kick without being overpowering. Slices of avocado finish off the salad. Although you have many meat choices, I highly recommend their carne asada because it is the best in town. 

Sirinat Thai & Sushi Bar’s glass noodle salad. (photo: Sanam Lamborn)

I have had a few salads from Sirinat Thai & Sushi Bar (1627 W. 25th St.), but their glass noodle salad hits the spot on a hot summer day. This Thai salad replaces my summer cravings for hot Asian noodle dishes, which I often order during the cooler months. This dish is made with thin glass noodles, iceberg lettuce, red onions sliced in half moons, quartered tomatoes, shredded carrots, ground chicken, and shrimp, and topped with cilantro and peanuts. The dressing is made with lime juice and chili paste. The spiciness is just right; once all mixed, it is a very satisfying and refreshing salad.  

After a long rebuilding hiatus, the San Pedro Elks Lodge (1748 Cumbre Dr.) is back in operation and accepting memberships (required to enter the facility). The menu has been evolving since reopening, and one item that I find myself ordering often is their ahi tuna salad. I love the combination of flavors, and it reminds me of the type of fresh seafood-based dishes you get in the Hawaiian Islands. 

This salad is served in a square-shaped dish. In the middle of the plate, a piece of perfectly seared ahi tuna sits on a bed of curly leaf lettuce. Oblong cucumber slices, diced fresh mangos, sliced avocado, and seaweed salad individually adorn each corner of the plate. The wasabi soy dressing served on the side rounds things out for a delicious and refreshing salad. As a lover of seaweed salad, this unexpected addition is what really makes this salad stand out for me. 

It’s also noteworthy to say that the view here is unbeatable. spt

Sanam Lamborn

Sanam Lamborn created the Eat in San Pedro Facebook group and Instagram account in April 2020 to entice people to patronize San Pedro’s eateries.