Gone Green

Local Restaurants Strive for Sustainability

Grace plans to grow a quarter of the produce it cooks with
Grace plans to grow a quarter of the produce it cooks with Photo: Cog Dog Blog via Flickr

A wise frog once croaked, “It’s not easy being green,” and some of our favorite restaurateurs agree today in The L.A. Times while trying to build the most sustainable restaurants on earth. Neal and Amy Fraser reveal a little more of their Downtown Grace location, which plans to grow about 25% of its own produce in over 450-square acres of garden space where guests can even pick their own vegetables for tasting menus. Fraser says he was inspired by the birth of his daughter to do such things as use his restaurants’ left-over oil to fuel the family car, asking himself “How is she going to live?” in our challenged world. Fraser is not the only local trying to make a difference and causing a few corporate chains to take notice in the process.

We also get a peek into super-sustainable Tender Greens, which won’t be able to rest fully until its owner finds bio-degradable gloves for salad-tossing and completes a plan to phase out bottles by making his own fruit juices, like he does energy bars. The York also makes an appearance, detailing the recycled materials used for its construction and explaining that menus were scrapped to go paperless and even Comme Ca apparently also turns its cooking oil into soap like Mozza. Even the Chipotle chain changed its pork source after the founder had a Safran-Foer-like conversion on an industrial pig farm.

The bigger picture reveals that our current slice of sustainable restaurants are soon-to-be-joined by an onslaught of green business practices coming from restaurants like Campanile and even chains like Jack-in-the Box. Maybe Gingergrass’ former manager-cum-sustainability-expert Leslie VanKeuren can assist in developing the first farm-sourced Sourdough Jack.

Serving up sustainability [L.A. Times]

Local Restaurants Strive for Sustainability