Welcome to our guest-critic web series, Free LunchWhere You're the Reviewer!
People eat out with children all the time (I know I do), so after doing over a dozen Free Lunch episodes, it was about time we served up an episode with that demographic in mind. For this week's installment, KCET treated Liane Weintraub and Shannan Swansonmoms and co-founders of kids' organic fruit snack maker TastyBrandto Hugo's Restaurant in West Hollywood.
Hugo's is an L.A. staple. You may already, like KCET.org's own Zach Behrens, be a fan of their mac and cheese (although Zach wasn't in love with the vegan version), but are you familiar with what they offer for kids? Liane and Shannan were gracious enough to give the kids menu a test drive by ordering a variety of dishes.
Their personal favorites were the l'il green casserolesautéed broccolini, spinach, asparagus and zucchini in a tomato basil pesto sauce, topped with cheeseand of course the mac and cheese. Hugo's makes it with a combination of cheddar, mozzarella, gorgonzola and parmesan.
That said, though the casserole topped their list, Liane and Shannan felt that their kids - like the rest of Southern California, would also love the mac and cheese. They also enjoyed tasting Hugo's: pasta jack, vegetarian plate and burger and fries.
They immediately noticed that the portions were big. Perhaps too big, as the two adults left food on their plates. The vegan veggie plate was also a winner, both for being compartmentalized (Liane has a child who prefers that their food not touch other food) and also for its healthy preparation.
We'd really like to hear from you. What restaurants in town serve the best meals for kids? How do you think restaurant owners can improve their offerings for children? Please post your comments below, and by doing so you'll become eligible to participate in Free Lunch.
Also, if you have some restaurant recommendations for us, please add them to this discussion.
Keep on Lunching!
8401 Santa Monica Boulevard
12851 Riverside Drive
Studio City, CA 91607
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