OCEAN AVENUE — Eating at some of Santa Monica’s best restaurants can now also help in the fight against breast cancer.
The Los Angeles County affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure is hosting the first annual Dine Out for the Cure today, with restaurants donating 10 percent of their proceeds toward the cause.
“This event is good for Komen because it raises awareness and the critical funding that we need, but it’s also good for the restaurant partner and the restaurant diner,” said Catherine Mullally, executive director of the L.A. County affiliate.
Cèzanne at Le Merigot Hotel in Santa Monica is one of 17 restaurants to participate in the event, donating proceeds from breakfast, lunch and dinner.
“We wanted to get involved, number one because we want to be involved in donating for [Susan G. Komen],” said Cèzanne Chef Desi Szonntagh. “We feel our restaurant is a great place to showcase menu items that are actually healthy.”
Szonntagh has created a special cancer-fighting menu full of healthy food options, including vegetarian dishes and ingredients that are high in antioxidants.
“There are foods that have been long discussed in various nutritional reports and media reports that are anti-cancer foods and promote good health,” Mullally said.
Szonntagh’s menu takes these foods, gives them a French twist and turns them into inventive menu specials.
“We took some of the items that we do serve here, and the style, and we tweaked it to fit the format,” he said.
The special menu will be served all week and includes dishes such as a lemon-banana smoothie “bisque” with fresh berries, almonds and pumpkin seeds for breakfast and peach granola cobbler served with Farmers’ Market berries and watermelon sorbet for dessert.
“I’ve run the banana smoothie before this and it just happened to be a perfect fit,” Szonntagh said.
Other restaurants participating in the event include BLVD 16 at the Palomar Hotel in Westwood, West Restaurant & Lounge in Brentwood and the Waterfront Restaurant in Marina del Rey.
The funds raised from Dine Out for the Cure will help provide screenings, diagnostics and treatment for women diagnosed with cancer who are living below the poverty line or uninsured. Komen National will also receive 25 percent of proceeds to fund research.
“At Komen we’re always looking for ways to raise money very specifically for the programs that we fund in the community,” Mullally said. “We provide significant amounts of money into the underserved community.”