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BEST GREEN RESTAURANT YOU COULD TAKE YOUR HAUTE CUISINE FOOD SNOB TO
If Candle Café is your Chanel-wearing stepmother, Dirt Candy (430 E. 9th St) would be your Westwood-wearing kooky aunt. They make no outward claims to any kind of ideological position (though they are very eco-minded, as a matter of course), but focus rather on how interesting, even experimental, a kitchen can get with vegetables (aka, dirt candy). Standouts include: jalapeño hush puppies with maple butter, grits topped with pickled shiitake, and zucchini ginger cake. The level of inventiveness (and risk taking) here is sure to impress even the snootiest haute cuisine enthusiast.