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EATS: Restaurant Reviews and News | IN THE MOOD

Crab Cakes

March 19, 1998

They're pretty, healthful--and gloriously easy to scoop on a fork!

* The Ivy: The city's first chopped vegetable salad--or at least its first famous chopped salad--might have been made at the Ivy, where the vegetables are grilled before going under the knife. You can order the salad plain, with chicken, or shrimp. (Grilled chopped vegetable salad: vegetarian, $22.75, with chicken, $24.75; with shrimp, $28.75.) The Ivy, 113 N. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 274-8303.

* Wolfgang Puck Cafe: Colorful, popular, its many ingredients chopped to a pleasing uniformity, the chopped vegetable salad at these bright cafes is made with seasonal vegetables, baby greens, Parmesan cheese and a balsamic vinaigrette. (Chopped vegetable salad, small, $7.50; large, $9.50; add grilled chicken for $2.) Wolfgang Puck Cafe, 2121 E. Rosecrans Ave., El Segundo, (310) 607-9653; 1323 Montana Ave., Santa Monica, (310) 393-0290; 8000 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, (213) 650-7300; Universal CityWalk, 1000 Universal Center Drive, Universal City, (818) 985-9653; 6100 Topanga Canyon Blvd., (818) 710-9653.

* Gardens on Glendon: This substantial salad can be an appetizer or a main course; it's made with fresh carrots, tomato, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumber, avocado, zucchini, Maytag blue cheese and bacon (optional). The dressing has three vinegars (balsamic, sherry wine and aged red wine) and two oils (peanut and olive). (Chopped salad, small $9.95; large $14; add grilled portobello mushroom or chicken for $5.50.) Gardens on Glendon, 1139 Glendon Ave., Westwood, (310) 824-1818.

* Fred 62: Fred Eric's "62 Chopper" is a variation on the classic with iceberg lettuce, shrimp, bacon, tomatoes, red onion and green beans and a creamy buttermilk dressing. (62 Chopper salad, $7.62.) Fred 62, 1850 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, (213) 667-0062.

* Border Grill: Try the lively, eye-catching vegetarian Mexican chopped salad with tomatoes, corn, peppers, pine nuts, red onions and a tasty cumin lemon vinaigrette. (Mexican chopped salad, $6.25.) Border Grill, 1445 4th St., Santa Monica, (310) 451-1655.

* red: Here, finely diced fresh vegetables are tossed with grilled ahi tuna and a lime mint vinaigrette. (Chopped vegetable salad, $7.50.) red, 7450 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, (213) 937-0331.

* Porta Via: This pleasant sidewalk cafe makes its salad with grilled zucchini, eggplant, carrots, squash, onion, mixed greens and a fresh tomato vinaigrette. (Chopped vegetable salad, $7.25.) Porta Via, 424 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, (310) 274-6534.

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