Global Mexican restaurant chain Chipotle has opened the first, and so far only, outlet of a new concept in healthy eating under the name of Farmesa and it’s on the Third Street Promenade.

The Newport Beach-based fast food behemoth describes the idea as “a fresh, bold concept featuring delicious proteins, greens, grains and vegetables.” Located in the Kitchen United MIX food hall at 1315 Third Street on the second floor, the modest outlet will serve walk-in customers together with a delivery service operated through marketplace apps like DoorDash and Uber Eats.

“We’ve been focused on really creating opportunities for us to learn on new ventures like Farmesa and the Santa Monica location gave us an awesome chance to do that. It’s a super dense population, so there are a lot of people here and we think that people here are very interested in this type of culinary space,” Nate Lawton, Head of New Ventures at Chipotle, said.

Farmesa was created with the collaboration of James Beard Award-winning Chef Nate Appleman, the company’s Director of Culinary Innovation. Appleman has been contributing to Chipotle’s menu since the mid-2000s. So what does the Chef recommend?

“My favorite dish would be the Ora King salmon and I like to have that with the Chipotle white rice and the corn, plus the roasted broccoli and golden beets. And you need the Green Goddess dressing ‘cause that has tons of herbs, cilantro, cucumber and serrano, so it’s got a little spice to it. And I think that’s the perfect Farmesa dish,” Appleman said.

Visitors and residents to Santa Monica will be able to try out this new concept from Chipotle, which aims to combine healthy eating with convenience.

CREDIT: Chipotle

“Our focus is really the kitchen, with the culinary element, which is where we can spend our time learning and perfecting the Farmesa formula,” Lawton said. “This will allow us to reach a large number of consumers, learn quickly, and evolve our concept and menu so that we can deliver on our goals before expanding.”

And yes, we tried Appleman’s recommendation and yes, it was delicious.

“We also expect feedback from consumers and our guests and the way this whole operation is set up and based on what we learned, we can actually evolve,” Lawton said.

Scott fell in love with Santa Monica when he was much younger and now, after living and working in five different countries, he has returned. He's written for the likes of the FT, NBC, the BBC and CNN.