Normally, I’m not one to wax poetic about salad nor am I fan of quinoa, no matter how many times I’ve been told that both are good for me.
Chef Andres Moya has me singing a different tune after trying the Quinoa Veggie Bowl ($11) at the Daily Harvest Café & Juicery in Newhall.
This is a Technicolor musical of a salad, with eye-popping hues of purple, red, orange, and green. While it’s almost too pretty to eat, go ahead and toss the bitter arugula, perfectly ripe tomatoes, earthy quinoa, crunchy carrots, cucumbers and cabbage, creamy hummus and chunky avocado mash together. You’ll get a full symphony of flavor and texture that will leave you not only satisfied, but energized.
Culinary harmony is a skill the Colombian-born Moya has honed after creating ambitious menus for some of Hollywood’s most glamorous events and launching popular restaurants across Southern California for 37 years.
Moya, a Canyon Country resident, opened The Daily Harvest Café & Juicery in 2015 with his wife Maria and four children, who wanted to share their love of fresh, healthy eating with their community. Daughter Nathalie designed the sleek yet welcoming space that would be right at home in Silverlake or Downtown LA, while son Giovanni helps run the business.
The menu contains many family recipes, like the nourishing chicken vegetable and lentil soups handed down over generations. Ingredients are locally sourced and organic whenever possible.
“Our goal is to make the freshest, cleanest and most unique food possible,” Moya said. “It’s better for your health and you’ll feel better, too.”
Whether it’s breakfast or lunch, both of which are served all day, Moya manages to pack a healthy punch into the most delicious delivery systems possible.
Take the organic, cold-pressed juices ($8.50 to $11.50). There is almost a dozen to choose from, including a creamy, dreamy almond milk that will ruin you for store-bought brands forever. Can’t decide? Order the juice flight ($10), featuring eight 2 oz shot glasses of jewel-toned delights, from the vegetal, herbaceous Straight Greens (kale, spinach, romaine, parsley, cucumber and celery) to the sweet and spicy Liquid Gold (apple, carrot, turmeric, and ginger). Juices are also available to go in nifty glass bottles.
Baked goods ($3.50 to $5) include an irresistibly moist, gluten-free zucchini bread with notes of cinnamon or a hearty yet tender vegan Chia seed muffin loaded with banana essence, chewy seeds, and toasted walnuts. The lemon ricotta cake is a bit of heaven on earth with a dense yet pillowy soft, citrus-infused interior that melts in your mouth.
On the egg side, there are breakfast burritos, pizzas, and bowls ($10 to $12), as well as a fluffy, souffle-like frittata of the day ($7.25) served with a hefty mound of lightly dressed arugula. Craving something sweet? Go for the gluten-free, vegan stack served with bananas, walnuts, and maple syrup ($10) or the pumpkin spice oats ($7) served with that fabulous homemade almond milk, plus honey, walnuts, and raisins. (All breakfast items can be made gluten-free upon request).
Morning or afternoon, the avocado toast ($6) is a must have. A thick slab of hearty, crusty wheat bread is toasted to the ideal crispness and spread with a generous layer of smooth avocado, then topped with juicy cherry tomatoes. Add a sunny side egg ($2) or a large, decadent mound of silky, luscious wild-caught Steelhead salmon ($4.50) to turn the toast into a meal.
There are many vegetarian flatbreads and sandwiches to choose from, while carnivores have their options, too. One of the restaurant’s most popular dishes is the grilled chicken sandwich ($13) and with good reason. The rosemary-seasoned, succulent breast sits atop a fluffy ciabatta roll, surrounded by fresh avocado, romaine, and tomato. A little salty flair from the feta ties it all together beautifully.
While he’s been in the restaurant game for almost four decades, Moya is still passionate about creating new dishes at The Daily Harvest Café & Juicery, inspired by the season or tastes sampled abroad during family vacations.
He also loves catering, whether it’s a small intimate celebration or a more elaborate affair.
“There’s nothing I enjoy more than sitting down with a client and coming up with an amazing menu together that reflects their personality,” Moya said. “Even after all these years, I still get excited. It’s different every time.”
The Daily Harvest Café & Juicery, 22722 Lyons Avenue, Suite 6, Newhall. Open Tuesday – Saturday, 8 am to 4 pm and Sunday, 8 am to 3 pm. Closed Tuesdays. Catering and juice parties available. For more information, call (661) 383-9387 or visit www.thedailyharvestcafe.com.