Simon toys with comfort food, adds healthier fare

Known for his gourmet spin on American comfort food and popular processed snacks, chef Kerry Simon hasn’t abandoned his defining philosophy at his 7-month-old restaurant Simon at Palms Place, 4381 W. Flamingo Road.

No, those quirky touches are still there in the Junk Food Dessert Platter with his version of Hostess cupcakes and Sno Balls, and the White Trash Brunch Menu, featuring pigs in a blanket and chicken and waffles.

But Simon has added some new, lighter elements to this restaurant, including a sushi bar and a tip of his toque to the raw food movement.

“The food’s probably grown a little bit, it’s going in new directions,” Simon says of his menu, which includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. He has added a raw salad on the menu, consisting of whatever fresh vegetables he can get on the market and a raw zucchini pasta dish, he notes.

On the sixth floor of Palms Place, the restaurant, featuring earthy elements — stone, wood, water and fire — provides diners with a poolside view. The herb wall is a focal point of the design, lined with living plants, Simon says.

The restaurant seats 140 and reservations are recommended. Hours are from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

Specialties: Halibut in banana leaf with rice and vegetables, $30; raw salad with olive oil and lime, $14

Soups and salads: Baby beets with arugula, goat cheese and grape vinaigrette, $14; endive, watercress, Point Reyes blue cheese, Fuji apples, walnuts, $13; miso soup with lobster and wakame, $9

Appetizers: Bluefin tuna tartare with lemongrass oil, sesame rice crisps, $16; sheep’s milk ricotta gnudi with tomatoes and basil pesto, $18

Entrees: Citrus-braised short ribs with grits and corn tempura, $32; tandoori arctic char with quinoa, mango and herbs, $28; bucatini carbonara with bacon, roast chicken, peas and Parmesan, $21

Desserts: Junk Food Platter with “Hostess-style” cakes, cookies, caramel popcorn, minisundae, milkshake, Rice Krispie and Froot Loop treats, brownie and cotton candy, $25; cranberry orange cheesecake, $10.

Information: 944-3292.

By SONYA PADGETT

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