A Restaurant's "Deconstructed Avocado Toast" Is Literally Just A Salad & People Have THOUGHTS About It
Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying the peculiar staying power of the “deconstructed” food trend — although if the reaction to a recent incarnation of it is any indication, the tide may be turning: A California restaurant is serving a “deconstructed avocado toast bowl” and people are not here for it. Accordingly, it is being roundly mocked across Twitter — because, well... it’s not just that it’s pretentious-sounding; it’s that, as the menu item is described, it’s… well, maybe I’d better just let you read it. Officially, it consists of “avocado and cherry tomatoes tossed in honey lime vinaigrette with seven grain croutons over a bed of Farro, crisp apple, and kale” and served with a hard-boiled egg.
Everyone — and I mean everyone — has had the exact same reaction to it:
That is a salad. You just described a salad.
This gustatory monstrosity came to the internet’s attention courtesy of Kara Swisher, co-founder and executive editor of tech news site Recode. On Sunday, Swisher tweeted an image from a restaurant — probably a salad chain, from the looks of it — advertising a menu item the location is currently testing out: The aforementioned “deconstructed avocado toast bowl.” It’s not clear exactly which restaurant the image is from; it is, however, apparently located in the Venice Beach area of Los Angeles, as evinced by the geotag accompanying the tweet. The fact that the “deconstructed avocado toast” is from California is probably the least surprising thing about this whole story — as Swisher put it:
I mean... yeah.
To be fair, “deconstructed” food isn't exactly new; it dates back to the early '90s, according to food and wine trade publication Foods & Wine From Spain. Spanish chef Ferran Adrià, who took over the kitchen of the restaurant El Bulli in 1987, is typically credited with the creation of deconstructivist fare; he described it as “taking a dish that is well known and transforming all its ingredients, or part of them; then modifying the dish’s texture, form, and/or its temperature,” reported the Guardian in the mid-2000s. “Deconstructed, such a dish will preserve its essence… but its appearance will be radically different from the original’s.” According to Foods & Wine From Spain, the point of this particular gastronomical form is, “first and foremost, originality”; the idea is to “reconstruct” the dish “through the tasting memory of the person who eats it,” no matter how different it may be from its original form.
Personally, I can appreciate deconstructed food as art — but in terms of its place in my everyday life, I find it unnecessary. This is largely because deconstruction often eliminates what makes the original food item useful or convenient to me in the first place. The beauty of a sandwich, for example, is that it’s portable: I can eat it on the run if I’m pressed for time and still get a full, delicious, and relatively nutritionally sound meal out of it. A “deconstructed” sandwich, however? Well, let’s just say it’s a lot harder to carry around a plate of carefully arranged meats, cheese, veggies, sauces, and bread pieces with you in the hopes that you’ll have a moment to grab a bite or two before your next meeting.
As such, I can see why folks are responding with such ridicule not only to the idea of deconstructed avocado toast in general, but specifically to this version of deconstructed avocado toast: The image Swisher tweeted looks as if it belongs to one of the many, many fast-casual salad chains that currently exist in the United States — which does not, uh, seem like an appropriate venue for deconstructed food. What’s more, as most people have pointed out, I’m not even really sure that this menu item actually is deconstructivist in nature: It’s not quite the flavor profile of “avocado toast” offered up in a new and unusual way; it’s… a salad. With croutons. If the point of deconstructivist food is originality… well, that is about the least original presentation I can think of.
Twitter feels much the same — and it’s actually there where we may find the silver lining of this story: The Twitter reactions to this “deconstructed avocado toast bowl” are amazing. Here — bask in a small sample of them:
1. Just Call It What It Is
A spade is a spade. A salad is a salad. None of this "deconstructed" nonsense is required.
2. Turning Red
I am currently experiencing secondhand embarrassment for the entire state of California. And I say this as someone with deep, deep ties to it.
3. Sheer Confusion
A GIF is worth a thousand words.
I mean... that's fair.
5. Ignorance Is Bliss
6. Peak Bowl
Or peak... something. Peak California? Peak millennial?
7. About That Whole "Avocado Toast Is Why You Can't Afford A House" Thing...
Many people took it upon themselves to make jokes about this almost-year-old gem — and honestly, I do not blame them in the slightest.
8. DIY Gone Too Far
I am sure there are some millennials who do have the skills required to build a house... but for many of us, it's a disaster waiting to happen.
JUST LIKE DECONSTRUCTED AVOCADO TOAST.
And, of course, there's this:
9. How We Spend Our Hard-Earned Cash
Who needs houses when you've got avocados?
10. "Deconstructed Dinner"
11. A Practical Application?
Actually, I can see how that might work; however, methinks this child might still have trouble with a "deconstructed avocado toast bowl": ALL OF THE THINGS ARE TOUCHING.
12. Woman Laughing Alone With Deconstructed Avocado Toast Bowl
This take? It is the best take. You win the internet today, Molly Blue Dawn.
Knowing all of this, I think it's fairly safe to say that a "deconstructed avocado toast bowl" is not something of which the world had any need. So, uh... let's just... forget this ever happened. OK? OK.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some toast to make.