Enjoying a large dinner can help eliminate late-night snacking, along with eating a high-fiber diet throughout the day and refraining from filling waterbeds with mashed potatoes. Hit the sack with a full belly with today’s Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of upscale American diner fare for dinner at Dish Restaurant in La Canada.
Dish's chef, Alfred Salvatierra, revamps standard American diner fare by injecting their dinner menu with upscale, regionally sourced ingredients. Starters such as the fried calamari with spicy chipotle mayo ($7.95) anticipate hearty entrees, such as the applewood-smoked bacon cheeseburger ($12.95), whose patties are formed with a half-pound of hormone-free, fresh-ground Nebraska Black Angus beef atop a brioche bun from Wheatland Bakery in Sun Valley. The farmer’s market chopped-veggie salad ($9.95) and the wild-mushroom pasta ($10.95) please plant-eaters, and a slow-roasted pork sandwich ($11.95) is slathered in succulent barbecue sauce instead of tar—the more traditional sandwich topping.
A cozy, welcoming atmosphere prevails throughout Dish Restaurant, with warm, weathered floors spanning the dining room, rustic antique furniture flanking the entryway, and a painting of a luscious watermelon inviting guests to be seated. Though today’s Groupon is valid for dinner only, Dish’s breakfast draws droves of a.m. diners with its made-from-scratch pastries and fresh-squeezed juices, and a lunch menu marks days’ midpoints with inventive updates of edible Americana, such as an American flag woven into the crust of an apple pie, sprinkled with pieces of the Constitution.
"To be honest, when I opened DISH I was just looking for a place where I could get a good grilled cheese sandwich for my kids, and a decent cup of coffee for me," says Kevin Finch, the founder of DISH. The idea grew exponentially over time; Kevin had spent the late 1980s working the culinary boom of Sonoma County, so he naturally was inclined to include great wines and slightly more sophisticated menu items. But not too sophisticated: the hallmark of DISH that it's comfortable, a place where you can eat food that might remind you of what your grandmother used to make. In that spirit, the restaurant itself has an antique vibe LA Weekly described as "an old-fashioned, slightly rustic feel, like a farmhouse kitchen in an orange orchard, 1925."
The magazine went on to say that, "At breakfast, the room is as bright and sunny as a conservatory." The dishes are bright, too, such as yellow omelets studded with avocado and red potatoes and made from cage-free eggs from the smartest chickens. The five-page breakfast menu is also popular for the jonnycakes––cornmeal cakes that conceal whole kernels of sweet corn. Later in the day, guests can order an old-school cobb salad adored by LA Times food critic Merrill Shindler, Black Angus sirloin burgers, and pork belly paired with macaroni and cheese. The dishes are made using ingredients from local farmer's markets and food purveyors, a touch that no doubt helped the restaurant land its Three-Diamond Award from AAA.