Summer Canteen: Where Health and Taste Converge


By Greg Smith, Staff Writer

It’s easy to fall into the “After” trap. I’ll start my diet after Christmas. I’ll start exercising effective immediately 2012. There’s no time to wait, though. Through smart eating and regular exercise, you can prolong your years and improve your quality of life. There’s no secret to healthy living; it’s a day-to-day quest for betterment. We can’t all be Jack LaLanne and dedicate our lives to fitness, but there are quick, easy ways to lead a healthier life. It’s time to replace “After” with “Now.”

The holidays are a special time to spend with loved ones, but with all the hoopla, you might find yourself eating your way through the 12 Days of Christmas. People hear diet and they think of rice cakes and smoothies, but health is about portion control and eating a balanced meal.

Eric Sansangasakun, owner of Summer Canteen, leads a fit life. When we speak, he mentions that he’ll be heading to the gym afterwards. It’s his belief that taste shouldn’t be sacrificed for health. On the contrary, he tells me that the tastier something is, the less of it a person needs to be satisfied. With his taste buds as his guide and nutrition a factor, Sansangasakun brings exceptional Thai cuisine to the people of Los Angeles.

Perusing the menu, everything seems healthy; I pick out the Leaf-Wrapped Savory Nibbles as an appetizer. Inside the spinach leaves are shrimp, ginger, peanut, lemon skin, chili, grated coconut, and minced shallots with tamarind caramel. This cool, fresh concoction is a serendipitous example of health and taste being one in the same. As is the Larb Salmon, consisting of salmon lemongrass salad with mint leaves, lime, and chili, served with steamed rice. Chicken Drunken Noodle features a spicy bowl of flat rice, shrimp, chicken, basil leaves, bell pepper, onions, and eggs. People hear diet and run the other way, but these dishes are comfort food without the jiggle.

You don’t have to sign up for that marathon to embark on a fitter lifestyle. Progress is progress, even if it’s just a little bit. People put off healthy living because they think of it as a drastic change. However, if you go from exercising never to twenty minutes a day, five days a week, that’s something, isn’t it? If you go from eating until you’re set to pop to eating until you’re comfortably content, that’s something, isn’t it? And you will slip up at times, but you shouldn’t beat yourself up about it.

Make Summer Canteen a holiday tradition. From their deep and delicious menu to their new beer selection from non-mainstream breweries, Summer Canteen is the perfect place for your Christmas celebration. Life is short; have a guilt-free holiday!

Summer Canteen is located at 4444 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood. For more information, visit or call (818) 985-6611.

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