petrossian_fondue.jpg

petrossian_cake.jpg

Chinese Chicken Salad at Comfort's Cafe

by Amy Spies
Print Email

comforts1.jpg I keep trying to figure out why the Chinese Chicken Salad served at ‘Comforts Cafe’ is so uniquely spectacular.  Well, first: as we’ve all infused, everything is location, location, location.  And this chicken salad lives in a fabulous spot in a dreamy, mythic redwood-filled community.  ‘Comforts’  is a very aptly-named, truly comfortable, small but open hang-in, hang-out,  take-out restaurant on a small main street in the small northern California town of San Anselmo. It boasts daily, wonderfully creative specials including a brilliantly, non-greasily sautéed Chicken Okasan, innovative egg breakfast dishes with fresh local seafood and Sonoma jack cheese and veggies.

It sold muffin tops before their time.  It’s a place where you can sit, comfortably of course, for hours sipping the smoothie of the day made from local fruit or the wine made from local fruit of the wine or exotic tea next to local vintage rock stars such as Santana or film giants the likes of George Lucas, but also your kid’s pet teacher or your favorite friend or happy-looking mountain bikers stopping in. And as for your favorite dish at Comforts, we all have our personal bests but--

Comforts’ Chinese Chicken Salad is at the top of pretty much everyone’s list.  It is what’s always served in huge bowls that are devoured at Marin County school functions, parties, brought or even phoned in to wakes.  It’s what people run in to take out, available in Chinese food-type cartons on shelves near an always-packed, interesting take-out counter.   A film executive who knows her stuff told me that when she moved to L.A. from Marin, she couldn’t believe what had the nerve to ‘pass’ for Chinese Chicken Salad after having lived in the land of Comfort’s Chinese Chicken Salad. 

comforts2.jpgIt’s not like the ingredients are a secret---they don’t differ that much from other Chinese chicken salads or even other chicken salads.  Shredded white meat of chicken, lettuce, almond slivers, a few minimally fried wonton strips.  Well, part of the difference might be in the slicing and dicing.  Comfort’s Chinese Chicken Salad is like a sliced chicken salad, strips of lettuce, chicken, and toasted almonds.  I also think the right amount of each ingredient helps as does the produce being fresh and organic (after all, we are talking Marin County).   But the special salad dressing is key.  It’s so spot-on that Comforts bottles the stuff, calling it Comforts Chinese Style Chicken Salad Dressing.  It sells on site and at Marin’s wonderful local markets.  I lug bottles of it back with me to Los Angeles and have even thought about giving it as a gift.  So I can now share the ingredients with you:  safflower oil, rice wine vinegar (water, rice wine vinegar 100 grain), sugar, sesame seed oil, salt, garlic, pepper.   5% of all gross sales are contributed to charity.

Comforts is so on top of the menu-curve that it even boasts  a calorie-lite version of its signature salad, with  toasted rather than fried noodle/wonton/almond slivers and a non-oil, but still delicious dressing.  Plus it offers to replace the chicken with salmon for fishetarian folk. 

 My normal food plate B & A (before and after) living in Marin County rarely includes Chinese Chicken Salad, but when in the ‘Comfort’ zone, I ALWAYS reserve a space for the amazing, incomparable Comfort’s Chinese Chicken Salad. 

Comforts
335 San Anselmo Avenue
San Anselmo, California  94960 
Phone: 415 4549840
http://www.comfortscafe.com/ 

Comforts on Urbanspoon

Comments   

0 #2 Debbie Sultan 2014-06-09 14:59
The concept is so simple yet you can rarely find a restaurant/cafe /caterer/take-o ut/eat-in place like Comforts in a small town or big city. The big and trendy publications have ignored Comforts for far too long. Thanks for giving them some long overdue recognition! Here is the story we told via video story: http://www.food-guru.com/portfolio/comforts-cafe/
and
in-depth blog: http://www.food-guru.com/comforts-cafe-all-in-the-family/
Quote
0 #1 Sue Crotty 2012-06-18 20:48
Can I get the Chinese Chicken Salad dressing shipped to me? I live in Oregon and was at a party which served the salad with dressing they had bought in California. I loved it!!
Quote

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Restaurant News

The Ledford House - Mendocino, CA
Northern California
by Amy Ephron

ledford-logo-new.jpgWhat if your favorite restaurant was in the same state you were in but it was 9 hours away???

We really couldn’t take a vacation this summer but we did run off for a week-end to Mendocino (don’t...

Read more...
La Duni Love
Texas
by Haley Schultheis

1.-la-duniOne of my favorite places to satiate my sweet tooth is La Duni in Dallas. La Duni Latin American café and bakery has several locations. Not only is the atmosphere feminine and romantic, the...

Read more...
An Evening at Trois Mec
Los Angeles
by Lisa Dinsmore

ludoBefore Trois Mec opened, being able to claim you attended one of Chef Ludo Lefebvre's infamous LudoBites pop-ups was sort of a badge of honor amongst Angelenos. An elusive and super cool...

Read more...
Ria’s Bluebird
Georgia
by Rachel Parker

riasinsideIt has been weeks since I ate breakfast at Ria’s Bluebird, but the place and the food keep nudging me. If you’re in Atlanta, the drive to Ria’s is towards downtown, to an industrial area that’s...

Read more...