Sunday, May 29, 2011

True Food Kitchen (Santa Monica, CA)

Vegetable Crudites
Local Vegetable Crudites
True Food Kitchen which recently opened at Santa Monica Place has a mission of serving sustainable, healthy food without sacrificing flavor. They center their menu around Dr. Andrew Weil’s "Anti-Inflammatory Diet and Food Pyramid" (not that I knew about it before coming here).

Before they officially opened to the public, they held tastings and trial runs for friends and some media. I came for a lunch during these test runs. While waiting for my friend I ran into Pleasure Palate and her friend. We ended up joining her table and got to sample many more things.

Do try the Banana, espresso, pistachio, and date muffin ($3)
While I'm usually not a big muffin fan, this one is a must try! The muffin is really moist and loaded with pistachio and other goodies.

They have a pretty big list of cocktails (with fruits with alleged antioxidant properties, of course), wines, and beers, many of them organic. I didn't want to start drinking so early, though so I went with one of their non-alcoholic "elixirs": the "Red Moon" ($4): pink grapefruit, yuzu, agave, and soda.
I also like the Medicine Man ($6) made with olivello juice (more on olivello later), pomegranate juice, cranberry juice, black tea, soda water, and blueberries.

Today's Raw Fish ($12): Yellowtail
A bit heavy on the sauce, but the fish was fresh.

One of our favorite items was the Local Vegetable Crudites ($12), fresh vegetables bought from the Santa Monica Farmers' Market. They were served on a bowl of ice with 2 dipping sauces: tzatziki and black olive.
The vegetables were all so fresh and crisp, and we loved the black olive dipping sauce.

I had a piece of Pleasure Palate's Chicken Sausage Pizza, tomato, fennel, fontina ($13)
Chicken Sausage Pizza
I thought the pizza here was surprisingly good (considering how the place is health-oriented). I liked the thin crust and the pizza wasn't heavily loaded with cheese.

I ordered the Grass Fed Bison Burger ($16). Umami mushrooms and onions, mayo and parmesan on flax bun. Served with a side of Tuscan kale salad or sweet potato hash (you can also get half and half).
Bison Burger
With a juicy patty and the savoriness of the mushrooms, I really enjoyed this burger. The flax bun was not only healthier but also added a nice nutty flavor. I also liked the sweet potato hash but found the kale salad to be too salty and acidic.

My friend ordered the King Salmon ($19), snap peas, asparagus, purple potato, and umami.
I only tried a bite and found the salmon to be moist. My friend seemed to enjoy it.

For dessert, do try the orange olivello sorbet. I didn't know anything about olivello before. It's also called sea-buckthorn and supposed to have anti-inflammatory properties. The sea buckthorn berries when unprocessed is unpleasant to eat, but in this sorbet, mixed with orange, it's delicious.

The olive oil cake was also very good, moist but not too rich.

I shared the strawberry rhubarb cobbler with my friend. While it wasn't the best cobbler, it was quite good. The fruits weren't overly sweet.

The menu is somewhat standard (with the exception of their creative non alcoholic drinks), but all in all, I was pleasantly surprised by True Food Kitchen. When a restaurant boasts "healthy" and "antioxidant diet" one worries that the food might be bland or boring. Fortunately this wasn't the case here and the prices weren't overly expensive either. I think the Santa Monica folks would be all over this place.

True Food Kitchen
395 Santa Monica Place Ste 172
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 593-8300
True Food Kitchen on Urbanspoon



ha - i just went there for dinner last night and posted about it today!!!


I looove the Red Moon elixir at True Food Kitchen! I never really order non-alcoholic beverages when I go out, but I definitely make an exception for that drink.

If you go back, be sure to try edamame dumplings (more like ravioli than a dumpling) -- they're one of my favorite things on the menu!

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