Urban Plates is the kind of restaurant that you would imagine would only spring up in Southern California. It’s basically the high school cafeteria reimagined.
With five locations opened, and four more on the way, Urban Plates it taking advantage of the “fast casual” wave that is sweeping the restaurant industry. Instead of the typical fast food stuff, Urban Platers can choose from a healthy selection of fresh, wholesome and delicious food. Best of all, the lunch cost only a bit more than a mega meal (or whatever McDonald’s call those things).
We spent the better part of two years touring restaurants around the country to see who was doing food right. While many fast casual restaurants had bits and pieces right, none had evolved into the right solution that fits our lifestyles. So we took the best of what we observed, coupled with our decades of combined experience in the food industry and our absolute passion for high quality food grown in a sustainable fashion, and created Urban Plates.
Urban Plates makes all their food from scratch every day. From salads to braises to pastries, everything is prepared right in the restaurant in their open kitchen. The restaurant uses high quality natural and organic ingredients whenever possible.
Lunch at Urban Plates begins with a line up. The restaurant is very popular and the line can stretch outside the door. We showed up at 11:45am to beat the lunch crowd and still had to line up. However, thanks to the efficient ordering system, the line does move quite quickly.
Like a high school cafeteria, you decide what you want to eat, then get it from the station that’s preparing it. I went with the grill streak plate with a side of roasted brussels sprouts and macaroni & cheese. All plates include toasted bread.
The steak was cooked a perfected medium rare, and was one of the best steaks I’ve ever tasted. My main complaint would be there wasn’t a lot of steak. Then again, the plate was only $10.50 including the sides. Speakings of sides, the roasted brussels sprouts was roasted with turkey bacon to really kick up the flavor. The mac and cheese was bit too cheesy, but not bad overall.
Because Urban Plate is so busy, it’s not an ideal restaurant to host a three hour Dot Com Lunch. However, we felt no pressure by the staff to leave or give up our table. I would imagine the situation might change if we were to do lunch there on a Saturday. I was told it’s completely crazy on the weekends.
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