Mixt takes the old salad-bar concept and levitates it, yummifies it and brings it into the health-conscious, green-conscious 21st century. At this mini-chain of slick, clean-lined, environmentally hip eateries, sneeze guards, Thousand Island dressing and cellophane-flavored croutons are less than a rumor. Instead diners in search of a little accented romaine give their order to one of the white-clad chefs behind the counter and watch as their salad of choice is tossed together from a wide selection of organically and sustainably farmed ingredients.
And such salads: the Fusion, perhaps, a multicultural compendium of edamame, pea shoots, soba noodles and seared ahi; the Bachelor, grilled steak, roasted potatoes, blue cheese and some token greens, the ideal snack for the red-blooded American male; the voluminously veggie-friendly Dagwood (zucchini, portabellas, roasted peppers, caramelized onions and goat cheese); a classic Cobb and a snazzy Caesar. There are also seasonal salads (late-summer varieties feature the likes of watermelon, mint, roasted corn and strawberries) and a design-your-own option (possible ingredients include roasted yellow beets, Fuji apple, white anchovies and white-truffle potatoes). What's more, the plastic-looking packaging is actually made out of highly compostable corn-based thermoplastic, and the enclosing architecture is constructed of recycled and renewable materials. A clear conscience never tasted so good.
(Locations at 120 Sansome, 475 Sansome and 560 Mission; visit mixtgreens.com.)