Los Olivos Cafe Chicken Couscous Salad

May 26, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Posted in Chicken | 17 Comments
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Have you seen the movie “Sideways”?  It’s one of those movies that you either love or hate.    

We happen to fall into the “love it” category so a few years ago we headed to the Santa Barbara area for combination bird watching and wine tasting trip.  Yup, we did the Sideways Wine Tour that led us through the Santa Ynez Valley and beyond.    

We lunched at the Los Olivos Cafe, in Los Olivos.   For all of you familiar with the movie, this is the sight of the first date dinner where Miles “drank and dialed”.  It’s a fabulous restaurant with dining on one side and a wine bar and wine store on the other. The atmosphere was so lively and comfortable we fell in love with Los Olivos Cafe.   

This is actually a historic event for us because it’s the first time I remember loving our food so much that we actually took our first food photo. Seems odd now, since I now photograph food on a daily basis.    


Here’s that first food photo. Take a look at this sandwich that Bob ordered.  Here’s what I remember about it. A brioche type bread, hollowed out and layered with meats, cheeses and peppers. This was served warm and perhaps fried and it resembled an open-faced Monte Cristo somewhat. Out of this world.   

I didn’t take a photo of my lunch that day,  but I did make notes so I could try to recreate it at home. Just this week, and four years later, here’s my attempt. First of all let’s review the description of this dish from their web siteField Greens, Toasted Couscous with Vegetables, Roasted Free Range Chicken with Curry Remoulade and Toasted Almonds.    

Curry Remoulade

Heading over to Google, I quickly found a curry remoulade recipe and went to work.  Great recipe and I know I’ll find other uses for it.    


It’s been too long ago to remember my exact lunch at Los Olivos Cafe to know how close I came to their version. But I do know what I served up was delicious and will go into my database carrying its namesake. Here’s what I did:   

Los Olivos Cafe Salad:   

1 roasted chicken breast — sliced
Large toasted couscous (cooked according to package directions)
5 – 6 Broccoli crowns, steamed
Feta cheese
Toasted almonds   

Curry Remoulade:
2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp curry powder
1 Tbs capers
1 Tbs cilantro — chopped
1 pinch salt   

Slice the roasted chicken breast and toss in the curry remoulade.  Assemble by placing a big scoop of toasted couscous on lettuce leaves,  top with slices of chicken mixture and steamed broccoli. Sprinkle with feta and almonds and dig in.   

Did you see the movie Sideways?  Love or hate it? 

Los Olivos Curry Chicken Salad,   

It’s What’s For Dinner.



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  1. Good looking dish Lea Ann.

  2. What a cool store! I would go broke in there buying…..

  3. LOL – loved the movie, but it’s been a long time. One of Dana’s favorite scenes (that he recreates well) is when he’s got his nose IN the glass and naming all sorts of bizarre flavors like cheese and asparagus.

    This dish looks and sounds delicious and so healthy! The sauce does sounds really tasty and I’ll bet you’re right about finding other uses for it – good job figuring it out. I notice you used Israli couscous – I haven’t been able to find that around here but I’m sure somebody around here sells it. One of these days, I may have to beg for a care package. 😀

    • There are many scenes that I adore in that movie…Miles pouring the spit bucket into his mouth and all over his head…Stephanie beating Jack in the face with her motorcycle helmet…and yes those ridiculous descriptions…Jack guzzling his glass of wine and quickly helping himself to a refill when the server turns her back…Miles little fit over the girls ordering “Merlot”…

      good grief, it sounds like a care package is definitely in order. I don’t like the other couscous, but love Israeli.

  4. Oh, now I’m all homesick! I can’t really say how many times I sat at a table in the patio and had lunch there with Zio. I think I’ve even ordered that same dish! Santa Barbara and environs was always our happy place. We’d go at least once each month to relax and visit family, and bring home a little wine to go under the stairs. Must. Plan. Vacation!
    I never did see the movie though. It’s one of those things I just never got ’round to.

    • It’s a wonderful place. I loved Los Olivos. Wish I would win lottery so I could move there. We really enjoyed Solvang too. Fabulous area.

  5. I love Sideways! It’s so cool that you got to go to that restaurant. I’m so glad the food was good! I would have been so disheartened if it wasn’t. God I don’t even remember the days before taking pictures of my food. Strange.

    Your couscous salad looks delicious!

    • Thanks Joanne. Yes, the restaurant is definitely first class.

  6. Your salad looks great, Lea Ann. I haven’t been there so can’t venture an opinion on how close it is to the original, but it sure looks delish to me! Love the curry remoulade.
    Been so long since I’ve seen Sideways that I can’t remember a lot of it, but do remember I liked it.

    • Thanks Barbara. I’m really interested in recreating that sandwich too. It’s no longer on the menu so think I’ll give em a call.

  7. First, loved the movie. Now desperate to see Bottle Shock, another low budget film about wine.

    Second…you know I just did a curry dish and it always makes me hungry for more; was thinking of doing my favorite curry chicken salad but you’ve got me hungering for this now.

    I’m a huge fan of large couscous (pearl or Israeli is what I hear it called). Did you find it at a ‘regular’ supermarket because I have only been able to find it at Whole Foods making it VERY expensive. Oh, not the couscous itself so much but everything else I end up buying that I didn’t know I couldn’t live without!

    Making a trek out today…and by trek, I’m serious. FIRST trip by myself to grocery store since breaking my leg 3.5 months ago…this had better be good! 🙂

    • I’ve seen Bottle Shock…pretty good movie.

      I buy Israeli Couscous in a box at Whole Foods. I think it’s Far East Brand. They used to have a bigger bag of it, but can’t find it anymore.

      It’s going to feel so good for you to get out and about!

  8. I can’t wait to try this. Do you think the curry remoulade would work with a light mayonnaise? It looks incredibly delicious. So does Bob’s fries. I can’t resist a good french fry!

    • I absolutely think a light mayo would work in this sauce. Thanks Kristi

  9. I adored Sideways and would love visit Los Olivos Cafe – the food sounds fab, and anything that involves the combination of broccoli, feta and toasted almonds gets my vote!

  10. I haven’t seen Sideways – but I’m curious now – and will have to see it. That sandwich is impressive! As is your salad! It looks fantastic and is loaded with all sorts of delicious flavors. I love recreating dishes – you’ve done a great job.

  11. I fall into the “love it” category. It makes me laugh out loud. I would love to do the Sideway’s wine tour!

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