The LEV Restaurant Group is adding to its portfolio with the opening of Daily Kitchen & Wellness Bar in Las Vegas, a fast-casual, health-focused concept the company plans to grow.
Daily Kitchen, which opened in the Summerlin neighborhood in December, is the third in-house concept by Las Vegas-based LEV Restaurant Group. Last year, the company opened the lobster-centric quick-service Lobster ME concept in the Planet Hollywood Casino’s Miracle Mile Shops, as well as the I Love Burgers — a heart symbol represents “Love” in the name — which has two locations.
LEV Restaurant Group also operates more than 30 Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and Jamba Juice franchise locations, as an area developer for those brands.
Daily Kitchen was designed to capture the growing number of consumers who are looking for more healthful options —
even in Sin City, where over-the-top dining is celebrated.
It is among a growing number of better-for-you restaurant chain concepts, including the four-unit True Food Kitchen, Lyfe Kitchen in Palo Alto, Calif., and the eight-unit Veggie Grill, based in Santa Monica, Calif.
“It’s all about making better choices,” said Zachary Conine, LEV Restaurant Group’s vice president for development. “This is the type of food you can eat every day.”
At Daily Kitchen, guests order at the counter. The 1,000-square-foot restaurant has about 20 seats inside and another 20 on a patio outside.
Pamela Salzman, a holistic health counselor based in Manhattan Beach, Calif., developed the three-daypart menu.
, for example, might include an egg white and sausage sandwich with cheddar on whole-wheat bread, or an acai bowl with acai and other berries, banana, oranges and granola or coconut.
Lunch or dinner might include a turkey burger with avocado, radish, sprouts and tomato on a whole-grain bun; or a raw Tuscan kale salad with pine nuts, cranberries, avocado and a citrus vinaigrette.
The Wellness Bar aspect is a fresh juice bar with blended drinks such as the Harmony, a mix of cucumber, kale, spinach, apple and lemon juices. Conine said the juices alone account for about 18 percent to 20 percent of sales.
Still, Conine said the goal is not to come across as a self-righteous health concept.
“We want it to be comfortable. You can still come and order a soda,” he said. “We have the fresh juices, and they’re better for you. But sometimes you just want a diet [soda], and that’s okay.”
Prices for main courses range from about $7.50 for a burger to $10.50 for a fajita platter with skirt steak, sautéed vegetables, guacamole and whole-grain flour tortillas.
Conine said LEV is planning a second Lobster ME location in Southern California. This year the company also is scheduled to open two more Coffee Bean units, up to three more Jamba Juice locations, and a second Daily Kitchen on the Las Vegas strip.
The company is considering franchising one or more brand, but Conine said they haven’t decided whether that will be part of their growth strategy.