A burning wick is normally a sign to steer clear, and quick, but not when it’s attached to a cabbage. The unconventional logo is just one of the off kilter ideas from Bomb! Salads owner Rowan Moore Gerety, who’s been enjoying his second stint at the Silver Lake Farmers Market since January.
Gerety took a circuitous route to the salad bowl. The Hartford, Connecticut, native attended Columbia University, where he studied Anthropology. After graduating, he worked as an English teacher at a primary school and lived on a farm on Reunion Island. The secluded isle is situated 400 miles east of Madagascar and is best known for French colonization and sugar plantations.
He moved to Los Angeles to pursue his interest in long-form journalism. To fuel his mission, he made seasonal salads on a nearly daily basis. Eventually, he received enough positive feedback to secure a stall at his local farmers market. He launched in fall 2009, but after only four months, felt compelled to help in Haiti after the earthquake, working as a translator.
Every Saturday begins with a market crawl. Gerety offers different salads, soups and spritzers every week, depending on what he finds. Two weeks ago, he said, “I could do the same menu for six straight weeks in the winter, but it’s more fun for me and more interesting for my customers.”
My generously portioned Salad ($6) consisted of shaved pumpkin, kale, cucumber and sugar snap peas. He judiciously applied a dressing made from sunflower seeds, salt, lemon, tomato, olive oil, rosemary, yellow mustard and garlic. He had three other options, including a purple salad involving purple cabbage, beets, sunshokes, radishes and cilantro, all touting a peanut sesame dressing that’s accented with garlic and citrus. Salads are available to-go or on plates.
During my initial visit, he prepared parnsip, carrot and sage soup. The week before, he went with gazpacho. He also carbonates Lemon Ginger Spritzers ($2) to order, blending a puree with soda water and agave.
Gerety planned to stick with the market, but The State Department awarded him a grant, so he’s leaving for 10 months, beginning on March 29, to study cell phone usage in Mozambique. However, that doesn’t mean the stand will disappear. Gerety took on a business partner who will operate Bomb! Salads in his absence, and will probably even expand to other markets.