A long-awaited scene is taking place before my eyes the weekend before Halloween. I'm sitting at a table on the sidewalk in front of Valley Village's newest restaurant, Harvest Moon, drinking coffee and eating lunch. The scent of freshly-baked pizza wafts from Joe Peep’s as a passersby head towards the post office next door.
People walking and eating on a Saturday afternoon is not a stop-the-presses situation, but Harvest Moon is among one of the latest openings that has Valley Village’s walkability score rising.
On this Saturday, I find myself running errands via bicycle for once. I stop at the post office, visit Lucky You Boutique to pick up some last-minute Halloween costume accessories, then join my husband for lunch at Harvest Moon after we both finish tending to our respective obligations. Being part of people’s everyday ritual seems like what the eatery is all about, and its menu of fresh and local food adds the café to the list of friendly neighborhood spots.
The latest offerings are written on a wall-turned-giant-chalkboard, and breakfast includes almond granola pumpkin pancakes, organic meyer lemon ricotta pancakes and omelettes using farm-fresh local cage-free eggs, among others. The cafe serves coffee from L.A.-based Groundwork, touted as one of L.A.'s first organic roasters).
Unfortunately, we arrive too late for breakfast (served from 8 to 11 a.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and 8 a.m. to noon weekends), so we browse our afternoon food options. Their lunch menu boasts a BLT with organic arugula and sweet and spicy bacon, and a fancy grilled cheese with fig olive tapenade and brie, among other options.
The restaurant's large north-facing windows give the space a bright, open feel; its wood and wrought iron seating and decor make the place seem organic and homegrown. After taking another look around at the spacious interior, we finally decide on our meals: I opt for the Cobb salad and my husband orders the turkey sammy.
The Cobb salad is more than filling - its ingredients include roasted turkey, farm-fresh eggs, avocado and a creamy ranch dressing - and the turkey sammy with cranberry compote on French bread has a full, rich flavor fitting for a local gourmet cafe.
The restaurant will also offer to-go dinner options, but they won't be your average microwave dinner. Their dishes will be healthy, oven-ready meals using fresh ingredients for those who want a nutritious dinner but don't have the time to cook. Once the restaurant is in full swing, they'll begin offering cooking classes to people who want to learn how to prepare health-conscious meals.
We head back home after lunch - I hope on my bike and my husband drives himself and (several loads of clean laundry) back to our apartment nearby. Joining the ranks of other Patch favorites such as SteamPunk Coffee Bar and NoHo Arts District's Republic of Pie, Harvest Moon brings a health-concious-but-still-delicious palate to the area that many of us hope is only the beginning.
The restaurant is set to hold its grand opening Sunday, Nov. 4.
Harvest Moon Kitchen & Marketplace is located at 12454 Magnolia Boulevard in Valley Village. Business hours are daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
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