Husband-and-wife team chef Tony Esnault and Yassmin Sarmadi have just revitalized lunch by incorporating cannabidiol-rich hemp oil and cold-pressed organic CBD coconut oil into their menu at Spring, their French oasis in the Douglas Building in downtown Los Angeles.
The $37 CBD Power Lunch prix fixe menu was “created for optimal benefits and a boost to your day” and consists of three choices:
Mixed green salad (mood-lifting, supports digestion) or butternut squash soup with spiced honey squash, pumpkin seeds, sage, crostini, celery and pomegranate seeds (supports circulation, calming, supports digestion and promotes alertness). The soup arrives with all the solid ingredients in the bowl and then the server dramatically pours the hot soup over them at the table. The yin and yang of the hot and cold demonstration already made me more alert.
The main-course choices include beet risotto made with carnaroli rice, pickled beets and Parmesan, dusted with orange zest (supports healthy blood pressure and increases oxygen supply). There’s the delicate branzino with seasonal market vegetables (supports digestion and joint health and boosts metabolism.) Mary’s chicken breast with butternut squash, spinach and celeriac rounds out the three (improves memory, supports digestion and soothes muscles).
For dessert there’s the knockout panna cotta with Tahitian vanilla, mango, passion fruit coulis and coconut sorbet (increases CBD absorption, aphrodisiac, soothes muscles and just plain makes you a happy camper). The chocolate cake option comes with a bittersweet ganache, lemon honey sorbet, citrus vinaigrette and praline (increases CBD absorption, promotes bliss and improves digestion).
Instead of cooking with the CBD, Esnault uses it in every dish as a finishing oil, with a few squirts applied in the airy open kitchen before serving. Because the extract has to be combined with oil — avocado, coconut, walnut, olive — that helps the chef determine food pairings. There is about a half teaspoon in each dish, for a total of about 8.5 milliliters in the three-course meal.
For an extra $5 per dish, a CBD dose can be added to any item on the regular menu, and a 30 mL bottle of Ojai Energetics Super CBD is available for purchase to go.
Cannabinoids aside, the menu is a seasonal and springlike escape to Southern France in the atrium dining room under the shade of the pepper trees and next to the bubbling frog fountain. Michelin-starred chef Esnault and Sarmadi were pioneers in fostering the sophisticated downtown L.A. dining scene with their French bistro Church & State.
The effects? Full disclosure: I walked in as a snake oil skeptic. But after the combination of superfoods and those three healthy doses of CBD, I blissfully walked the seven blocks back to the train without joint pain for the first day in weeks. Or maybe it was just the passion fruit panna cotta that had me walking on air.