You Need to Try This Perfectly Composed ‘Cobb Salad’ at Kitsilano’s Bel Café

You Need To Try This is a running archive of all the awesome drinks and delicious dishes we’ve come across over the course of our professional and private lives.

By-the-book Cobb Salads are rare. Most of the iterations I find on menus these days have been messed with somehow, the core ingredients disrespected or substituted with chefs adding their own flourish for the sake of making it their own. That’s fine, of course, as these can be delicious in their own ways (witness the Fried Chicken Cobb at Red Wagon), but in my opinion and experience they just can’t beat the original 1930’s classic. You can find a pretty fair exemplar of the California Cobb here in Vancouver – with grilled chicken, lettuce, chewy bacon, tomato, boiled egg, corn, blue cheese and avocado all doing their harmonious thing – at chef David Hawksworth’s Bel Café (currently just the Kitsilano location is open for takeout). It doesn’t have the complete compliment of salad greens that the Robert Kreis original calls for (missing endive and watercress, I believe), but history tells that it was born as a post-shift staff meal, sourced from a line cook’s leftover mis en place — so minor alterations should be acceptable! Visually, each element is proportioned and arranged with care, and this is true even when ordered in takeout form (as seen in the photo above).

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