Just a few interesting facts in the world that we may not have foreseen a year ago: A 16-year-old boy named Justin Bieber is the most popular human being on earth; Conan O’Brien has a show on TBS; Jimmer Fredette and the BYU men’s basketball team are ranked No. 3 in the nation (for now); Charlie Sheen is a crack addict (Okay, you saw that one coming — Two and a Half Men is awful, by the way); and finally, the Provo culinary scene is booming with new, delicious restaurants that are worth trying.
There seems to be a throng of fresh, creative restaurants springing up all over Utah County — places like Communal, Pizzeria 712, Station 22 and Rooster, just to name a few. I recently discovered a new restaurant that made me even more proud to be a Provo-ite: La Jolla Groves. Tucked in the newly enhanced and bustling Shops at Riverwoods, La Jolla Groves is using fresh, locally-grown ingredients to prepare their insanely delicious dishes. In fact, the restaurant’s slogan is “Insanely good food, healthier ingredients” — very appropriate, if you ask me.
There’s something special about produce that was grown just a few miles from where it was cooked and served. All of La Jolla Groves’ produce comes from their local farms and greenhouses. You can taste the freshness. You really can. I believe that’s the most important reason why their menu is so delicious.
The second reason is the chefs know what they’re doing. I ordered the roasted chicken marsala with au grautin and sweet potatoes, and it was cooked to perfection. The chicken was moist, tender and seasoned perfectly, the potatoes were creamy, and the sauce was buttery and rich, but not overpoweringly so. It’s interesting how food that should be so heavy and dense can be made to taste light and delicate. That’s what you get at good restaurants.
Eating at La Jolla Groves is like dining in a lemon orchard — literally. If you look to the ceiling, you will see branches and leaves with hanging lemons. It seems like it’s designed to make you feel like you’re in California, which is definitely not a bad thing. I’m a big fan of the décor.
You can tell they care about the customer experience. La Jolla Groves’ staff is educated and accommodating. The last time my wife and I went we had to wait a bit longer than expected for our entrees, which we hardly even noticed anyway. A few minutes after our entrees arrived, the manager came by and said, “We noticed that your entrees took a little longer than expected. Save some room, we want you to pick anything you want off of the dessert menu, on the house.” Well, as if we weren’t already won over, the service made the food taste even better.
Of all of the things we didn’t see coming, delicious eateries springing up in Provo may not be such a surprise. Please go and check out La Jolla Groves — I promise you will be a belieber… I mean, believer.
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