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Class Warfare Hits the Salad Bowl

August 03, 2003|LESLEE KOMAIKO

First there was the $50 burger, introduced earlier this year at New York's DB Bistro Moderne. Now, right here in Los Angeles, there's the Forty-Five Dollar Salad. This high-priced assemblage was conceived by Bruno Lopez, executive chef of Jaan at the Raffles L'Ermitage hotel in Beverly Hills, and made its menu debut in May. "You would be surprised at how well it's selling," says Lopez. "We even sold one last night at the bar. People are very intrigued. I'm going through a half dozen lobsters a day for this specific dish."

That was Jaan. Over at Jan's, however, the $45 salad isn't cutting any ice. "I think it's unbelievable," says Harry Siafaris, owner of Jan's Coffee Shop on Beverly Boulevard, about a mile from Jaan. "It's ridiculous." Among the most popular salads at Jan's is the Monte Carlo, priced at $9.75. How do the greens stack up? Let the salad wars begin.

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Jaan at Raffles L'Ermitage hotel:

The Forty-Five Dollar Salad

8 ounces diced poached Maine lobster

3 ounces Hudson Valley foie gras

1/8 ounce Italian black truffles

4 ounces seared sushi-grade ahi tuna

2 ounces Scarborough micro greens

2 ounces blanched white asparagus

2 ounces English peas

1 ounce teardrop tomatoes

2 ounces truffle oil vinaigrette

1/8 ounce artichoke chips

1/4 ounce California estate caviar

2 homemade Yukon potato blinis

Side of homemade flatbread with herbs and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

TOTAL PRICE WITH 15% TIP: $51.75

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Jan's Coffee Shop:

The Monte Carlo Salad

11 ounces grilled white chicken meat

2 ounces sliced hard-boiled egg

6 ounces sliced beefsteak tomatoes

4 1/2 ounces sliced cucumber

1 ounce shredded carrot

2 ounces Kalamata olives (with pits)

1/2 ounce shredded red cabbage

1 ounce Romaine lettuce

7 1/2 ounces iceberg lettuce

4 ounces dressing

(choice of blue cheese,

ranch, Thousand Island,

Greek, Italian or French)

Served with a roll or crackers

TOTAL PRICE WITH 15% TIP: $11.21

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