From the wood paneling to the throw pillows splattered with palm frond designs, Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop embodies an urbanized “rustic chic” feel. Strategically placed potted plants, mosaic tiling and a shelf of kale and arugula add to its aesthetic. The restaurant aims to provide diners with farm-to-table options using fresh ingredients, hearty recipes and gourmet cooking. Since opening on Sept. 29 in USC Village, Greenleaf has promoted community dining and a new take on the healthy marketplace.
From dishes such as the baked “spaghetti” with Tuscan kale salad featuring spaghetti squash, to the Trojan Bowl loaded with quinoa or farro and mixed with avocado, black beans, tomatoes, corn and kale and drizzled with nacho cheese sauce, visitors have plenty of robust options to choose from. Its menu boasts an array of entrees, salads, brunch options, cold-pressed juices, protein shakes and more. Admittedly, the extensive list may be intimidating to first-time guests, but the friendly and attentive staff is more than willing to assist in recommending fan favorites. Guests can order at the counter from the menu at the front and choose to dine indoors and enjoy the lively ambience, outdoors for a more laid-back feel or to-go for those with busy schedules. Greenleaf’s trendy space also offers wine and beer with a bar situated in the center of the restaurant.
Its popular Greenplate Special comprises any half panini and a side — a foolproof option for those who can’t decide. A popular option is the pesto chicken panini and baked sweet potato fries with avocado pesto. The crunchiness of the toasted bread combined with the flavor of grilled tomatoes and basil vinaigrette perfectly complement each other. The avocado pesto balances out the sweetness of the fries, providing a healthier twist to the traditional French fries at other restaurants.
For frequent visitors, Greenleaf’s loyalty program features rewards for dining. With every 200 points accumulated, the program offers $10 off guests’ next purchase. The restaurant is also known for its catering services and online ordering for added convenience.
However, it is a bit on the pricier side. Diners can expect to pay anywhere between $11 and $20 for a dish, which might not be optimal for college students on a budget. In addition, service is not ideal for those who are looking to grab a quick bite in between lectures, with long lines and wait times that can exceed 15 minutes. The combination of high price points, slower service and smaller portion sizes may be a deterrent for broke, busy students, but the atmosphere provides a good place for a weekend splurge.
Bustling with energy, the atmosphere transforms into a refreshing space for groups to socialize and catch up. The restaurant is a neat place for students to take their parents who come to town for the weekend or a space to relax with friends for a reprieve from a hectic semester. For a “treat yourself” meal, Greenleaf provides health-conscious dishes for even the pickiest eaters.