A simply perfect chopped salad.

What: The chopped salad

Where: The Slice Pizzeria Ristorante, 72775 Dinah Shore Drive, No. 107, Rancho Mirage

How much: $11 half-order (as shown), $15 entrée

Contact: 760-202-3122; www.theslicepizza.com.

Why: Everything is in perfect proportions.

There are few dishes more basic than a green salad. Take lettuce (usually); dice up and then add featured ingredients; put on the dressing; combine; boom, you have a salad. No heat or cooking necessary.

But … raise your hand if you’ve ever had a subpar salad at a restaurant—perhaps because the greens were past their prime. Or the ingredients were improperly proportioned. Or there was too much dressing. Or there wasn’t enough.

There are myriad reasons why a restaurant salad can disappoint—but none of them were to be found during my recent lunch visit to The Slice.

I was feeling hungry, so I ordered three things—a cup of minestrone ($5), the stromboli (with pepperoni, Italian sausage, cheese and a side of marinara; $8) and the half chopped salad—and figured I could take whatever I didn’t eat home. The soup and the stromboli were both pretty good, but my taste buds kept wanting more of the chopped salad

Slice’s menu says the chopped salad includes lettuce, red onions, black olives, salami, turkey, tomatoes, garbanzos and a Dijon vinaigrette, and is garnished with fresh basil. I didn’t taste the basil, but that’s fine, because I tasted everything else—and everything else was fantastic.

The lettuce was fresh and crisp; the quality ingredients were properly proportioned with both each other and the lettuce; and there was just enough dressing. Forgive the cliché, but this salad was greater than the sum of its parts.

If I had that lunch to do all over again, and I suspect I will soon, I’d forgo the soup and the stromboli, as enjoyable as they both are. Instead, I’d order a full chopped salad—and enjoy.

Jimmy Boegle

Jimmy Boegle is the founding editor and publisher of the Coachella Valley Independent. A native of Reno, Nevada, the Dodgers fan went to Stanford University intending to become a sportswriter—but fell...