Walking into Driscoll's underground lounge was particularly cozy today, and the spread appropriately fulfilled the lunchtime cravings imparted by the dreary rain outside. I composed a plate with the standard fresh salad, yet the unexpected cold weather called for some hearty components from the hot line.
The highlight of the meal was the portobello flatbread - a succulent, grilled mushroom atop a deliciously buttery and crispy slice of naan bread. The open faced sandwich was smothered with caramelized onions - I always forget what extraordinary flavor these silky sweet chunks bestow upon any lucky dish - and a thick blanket of delightfully greasy melted white cheese. The unit was garnished with a dollop of creamy red pepper aioli and cut parsley leaves - every bite contained rich umami flavors and a range of luscious textures. The grilled chicken breast was a little bit dry and bland for my liking, yet the coating of fresh pesto and sliced tomato added necessary juices and toothsome quality. Chopped up in small layered pieces, this component provided a nice addition to any bite of salad. Not that the salad wasn't chock full already - on this occasion the bar offered a plethora of ingredients that looked appealing to me. I began with the mixed green and feta base, shredded carrots, and kale leaves, and went from there - both the garbanzo-black bean and cucumber-tomato mini-salads included a satisfying mixture of vinegar and red onion juice, and requisite fresh vegetable chunks. I topped the final product with mushrooms and rosemary balsamic dressing, and the former absorbed the latter with vengeance. This meal left me with more than enough on my plate, so to speak - I strive for complexity in every bite, and the wealth of ingredients before me enabled forkfuls of impressive variety.