FEATURED RESTAURANTS / BARS
Resturant Review:Fresh Cutt Carving Grill
By Gwen Hardin
A new fast food restaurant is in town that just may help you slim down for the holiday parties or start the New Year off without feeling guilty when you have to catch a bite to eat while running around town or looking for healthy choice when eating out. Fresh Cutt Carving Grill is a new casual dining restaurant announcing freshness and flavor in their California/Mediterranean cuisine. I ventured in to Fresh Cutt in Sherman Oaks with a friend on a recent afternoon for lunch and the first thing that takes you in is not just the beautiful bamboo wooden interior (which is all used with sustainable materials) but the aroma of warm herb seasonings, roasted and grilled cooking and fresh cut vegetables. Roman Shishalovsky, father of co-owners and sisters, Diana and Karina Shishalovsky, who is also a restaurant owner himself of Roman’s Restaurant chain, gave us a warm welcome and introduced the varied menu Fresh Cutt had to offer.
A “create your own” meal starts your options, sandwich style with hot Spanish flat bread or pita bread, a bowl or on a plate and up to five acommpaniments. The meats, which are marinated for twenty-four hours, offer chicken in a succulent lemon seasoning or hot jambayala, or your choice of a slow roasted Pepper Tri-Tip Steak or Beef Jambayala. Vegetarians also have numerous options of fresh vegetables, chopped salads and tasty hummus spreads. A sample of the Lemon Chicken, popped my eyes open to one of the juciest bites I’ve ever had, and had a hard time choosing between that and the beef. I opted for a bowl style meal trying out the tri-tip with rice pilaf, veggie hummus, their Cajun beans with a chopped tomato medley. On the side, an Asian Almond salad was a delicious treat of chopped red cabbage (low on my veggie list of favorites) with just the right balance of sweet and slighty tart sauce that has made this customer a convert! My friend decided to try the Meditteranean pita sandwich with Jambalaya chicken, which became a wrap built for two, as the portions were generous. With a side of fries and two sodas with free refills, you have an affordable feast for around twenty dollars.
The marinated beef was undeniably savory with smoky spices, tender, not overcooked. Fresh herbs flavored the rice pilaf to perfection and I found the fresh veggie hummus to rival ones you find at specialty markets. Each bite for me was a treat of good food without the heaviness in a fast food meal. The only guilty pleasure, the Fresh Cutt French fries, cooked pefectly and sprinkled with a special seasoning that kept me from needing to dip it in ketchup. My friend found her choice to be exactly what she wanted, the Chicken Jambayala was a true Jambayala with enough heat and flavor to keep you eating with a smile. She also plans on bringing her daughter in to try the Kid’s menu next time, usually a picky eater, she’s sure she’s found a new eatery where her daughter can be satisfied.
I had the chance to talk with Diana Shishalovsky later to find out more about Fresh Cutt:
Where did the idea of your concept for Fresh Cutt come from?
We came up with the concept after doing our own research and hearing many of our friends and family complain that they couldn’t find a place that was truly healthy or fresh that offered a vareity of menu items and of course affordability. So, together we came up with the idea for Fresh Cutt Carving Grill, a “design your own dish” eatery that’s all about fresh and healthy food, great taste and a low price point.
In a health conscious city like Los Angeles, how do you stand out from the rest of the crowd of salad bars, Subways, Baja Fresh and other specialty restaurants?
Freshness is the key component of all Fresh Cutt menu items. We don’t have or own a freezer on the premises (unlike other fast food restaurants), everything is prepared daily. All of our meats and chicken are natural and of high quality. The meats and chicken are marinated 24 hours and then slow-roasted in the Brazilian Churrascaria tradition, resulting in tender, flavorful selections that are lower in fat and have a home-cooked taste. Vegetables are purchased several times a week at the Farmer’s Market and cooked in small batches. The Fresh-Cutt Fries are made from fresh potatoes that are cut daily and cooked in 100% trans-fat free oil.
How was growing up in your father’s restaurants influenced Fresh Cutt and the type of food you serve?
We have learned a lot from our father. From the type of meat we buy (top quality) to the special marinates and ingredients we use. He prepares the most tender Tri Tip to the most flavorful chicken which led us to putting these items on our Fresh Cutt menu.
Why was sustainability so important in the design of Fresh Cutt?
We wanted to do our part to help the environment, therefore we used natural stones and materials when building the restaurant as well as using biodegradable supplies such as plates, bowls and cups.
What do you hope for in Fresh Cutt’s success?
We hope we achieve our goal with providing our customers with healthy, fresh, endless combinations to choose from at very affordable prices. We hope our success will lead us to a national chain.
Fresh Cutt Carving Grill also offers Specialty Dishes, Weekend Specials and Kid’s Meals along with additional extras of fresh cut fruits, and fresh chopped salads. Nothing is priced on the menu over $10.00, which keeps more of your money in your pocket. The only thing I found missing from Fresh Cutt was that this was the location to find them, but I’m sure that will all change soon. “A New Spin On Taste” is what Fresh Cutt Carving Grill proclaims and is indeed exactly that.
Fresh Cutt Carving Grill 14622 Ventura Blvd. #103, Sherman Oaks, Ca 91403, Tel. (818) 788-8077
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