Clearman’s North Woods Inn

Southern California natives will tell you that there’s no better place to live than the Southland, and people from any other state will tell you that there’s no better place to visit and dream about living than So Cal.

But there’s more to us than our golden beaches and endless sunshine – we have some of the best food in the world.

An icon in Southern California dining since 1958 is the North Woods Inn of San Gabriel.


With peanut shells on the floor, and a warm, woodsy, snow-topped hunting lodge atmosphere that’s anything but stuffy, diners’ line up for lumber-jack sized portions; ample appetizers, enormous salads, and delicious dinner entrées that include juicy steaks and fresh local seafood.

Every North Woods meal starts out with bread and salad. But like everything else they do, Clearman’s has raised the “appetizer” bar to new, decadent heights. The first starter to hit the table is a bowl or two of roasted peanuts in the shell.

Bottomless baskets of their mouthwatering cheese bread arrive next, along with two huge bottomless bowls of salad that are served family style: their delectable blue cheese salad and their famous red cabbage salad.  And when it comes to the salads, in-the-know locals combine the two for a savory treat that you won’t find anywhere else.

Nutrition wise, North Wood’s hors d’oeuvres are pretty much what you might suspect:

  • One half-cup of the roasted shelled peanuts contain 166 calories, 14 grams of total fat, 230 mg of sodium, 187 mg of potassium and 2 grams of dietary fiber.
  • One cup of the blue-cheese salad has 97.5 calories, 4 grams of total fat, 208 mg of sodium, 63 mg of potassium and .25 gram of dietary fiber.
  • One cup of the red cabbage comes with 109 calories, 5 grams of total fat, 140 mg of sodium, 196 mg of potassium and 1.7 grams of dietary fiber.
  • 1 unbelievably flavorful slice  of the cheese bread carries 230 calories, 17 grams of total fat, 16 grams of carbs, 5 grams of protein and 1 gram of dietary fiber.

And just in case you’re wondering, in the decades that I have been visiting Clearman’s North Wood Inn with family and friends, I have never seen anyone eat just one half-cup of peanuts, one cup of salad, or one slice of cheese bread. Never. It just doesn’t happen.