If you know anything about True Food Kitchen and healthy eating, you would probably think this review would be easy to write. In a way it is, but there are so many good things about this, my first love of healthy restaurants, that squeezing it all into a reasonable amount of space is quite the challenge.
Dr. Andrew Weil and restaurateur Sam Fox set out in 2008 to bring delicious, truly healthy ingredients to the public in a restaurant setting that celebrates more than what is on the plate. True Food Kitchen goes beyond flavorful recipes made from “True”, local, organic ingredients and provides diners with food and an environment that care for our planet as well. Now with 14 locations, Orange County is lucky to have one in Newport Beach. Each location uses locally sourced products and all follow Dr. Weil’s principles of the Anti Inflammatory Diet. They have vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free options that even meat and cheese eaters would like.
If you haven’t already had the chance to dine at one of the five southern California locations, then make time to visit the Fashion Island restaurant in Newport Beach. The seasonal menu has been recently updated with new choices and reworked favorites. I dine here often and while I try to mix up the choices, I do find myself going back to tried-and-true favorites.
Whether this is your first or four hundredth visit to True Food Kitchen, here are my recommendations for menu choices that will leave your taste buds and your tummy happy. First of all, go in a hungry mood! My favorite starters include the Shiitake Lettuce Cups (you won’t even know they contain tofu) and the Kale Avocado Dip served with crispy pita. It gives new meaning to guacamole.
The portions are reasonable so even after a few starters there is room for a main course. As I told you in the beginning . . . go with a hungry tummy! This is where things get tough. Seasonal pizzas showcase everything from brussels sprout and wild mushroom to house-made chicken sausage. Gluten free crusts are available. There are unique sandwich inventions: the TLT (tempeh, lettuce, tomato) and the Inside Out Quinoa Burger, which uses quinoa patties as a bun and is filled with hummus tzatzki and other fresh goodies. For you meat lovers, they also offer a grass-fed beef burger (yay for grass feed beef!). They have creative entrees such as Sustainable Seabass that has a delicious umami sauce and one of my favorites, a Spaghetti Squash Casserole. But the newest update to the menu is the Bowls section where you can find Panang Curry, Teriyaki Quinoa, and my newest favorite, the Ancient Grains bowl (a mix of miso glazed sweet potatoes, charred onion, snow peas, grilled portabello, avocado and hemp seeds). All bowls and salads give you the option of adding protein from a slection of chicken, steelhead salmon, steak and tofu (try it blackened- yum!).
So maybe by now you’re feeling a little full, but don’t pass on the dessert! It’s as close to guilt-free as you can get and again, the seasons make an appearance here. Fall brings a twist on pumpkin pie with their squash pie topped with coconut cream and the flourless chocolate cake is always a fan favorite.
Before I send you off to go find your own True Food Kitchen favorites, I have to add that it’s also a great place for drinks. House infused, organic alcohols with seasonal creations such as the Thai Grapefruit Martini and a Citrus Skinny Margarita that go down smooth as can be. They have craft beers and organic wines, too.
The menu provides so many great choices you’ll find yourself wanting to come back for a second visit long before the first one is over. Or maybe you’ll like it so much you want to eat at ALL their locations? That sounds like a great “bucket list” item. I’ll get right on it.
True Food Kitchen… “Honest food that tastes really good”.