Eating clean in Holland

    One of the many bowls available at Up Leaf Café in Holland. Photo by Jessika Cesilia Perez.

    Fans of Asian fusion cuisine can add one more stop to their Holland beach day journey. Up Leaf Café is a new addition to the Shops at Westshore, located at 12371 James St #40.

    The restaurant offers a pleasing wooden-centric atmosphere and counter service, where customers can choose from an assortment of combinations or to build their own rice bowls, rice noodle bowls or Bún, salads, and spring rolls. The most remarkable thing about this unassuming culinary discovery is that everything on the menu is made with locally sourced fresh ingredients, and greens grown without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers.

    If you choose to build your own bowl, you get a choice of a base; rice, rice noodles, mixed greens or lettuce are the options. For protein, there’s gluten free grilled chicken, Vietnamese BBQ pork, Korean style beef, spicy Korean chicken, or roasted tofu. To top it off (or if you’d rather dip), there are five toppings from which too choose: bean sprouts, sliced avocado, and pickled kimchi to name a few, as well as two “drizzles” and two sauces.

    The ingredients in my noodle bowl and spring rolls tasted as fresh as advertised and the Asian peanut sauce was a great addition to both.

    Blue Dream Smoothie. Photo by Jessika Cesilia Perez.

    Up Leaf Café’s drink menu includes plant-based energy drinks and blended smoothies. As the website states, “Options for vegans all the way to meat lovers — our food will leave you feeling full, happy, and satisfied (with no bloat!)” That last part is up to you and your gastrointestinal tract to decide. After dining in, my stomach and I have nothing but good words to say.

    On the blended beverages front, we recommend the “Blue Dream” or the “Wild Dragon.” Both were satisfyingly smooth, just sweet enough, and flavorful! (I could definitely see myself swinging by for a smoothie during the warmer months, or when I just happen to be running errands nearby and need something to sip.)

    Hours are Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Online pre-ordering is available through the Up Leaf Cafe website. 

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