At Thrive & Dine we get excited when we find a restaurant that has made the commitment to serve all organic food and, just as important, also tastes delicious. We read about True Seasons restaurant’s commitment to 100% organic, locally sourced with sustainability in mind so we eagerly buckled up and went to Anaheim to check it out.
Most of the seating is at the wrap-around bar with burners at each place for ordering the hot pot (which is also known as shabu shabu). This was our first experience with shabu shabu so it took us awhile to figure out how to order and prepare, but it was a fun, interactive experience. The waiter was patient and helpful.
We started with an appetizer, the garlic spicy edamame with truffle oil. Wow, it was delicious. We were off to a great start. For the main course we decided to try a hot pot since that is what they are known for. All the broths are made in-house and are gluten-free. We ordered two different hot pots (one with spicy miso broth, not too spicy, and the regular miso broth) both with chicken and farm fresh vegetables. The hot pots are served with organic, brown rice along with two dipping sauces, pomegranate acai and a sesame sauce. The vegetables came out like they were just picked them from a garden, they were beautiful, big and fresh.
In addition to the hot pots the restaurant also serves wraps, bowls, salads, smoothies and gelato, popsicles and shaved ice. The restaurant even has a special machine to make organic, cold-pressed sugar-cane juice. Something the owner remembers from her own childhood. It has more potassium than eating a banana! We didn’t try it, but maybe next time.
Chef and owner Saifon Plewtog, takes farm to table to the next level. She goes to the organic farms where she personally knows the farmer and picks out the best in-season vegetables to use for her restaurant. Impressive! All produce is 100% organic, seafood is wild-caught, and there are grass-fed beef cuts. True Seasons can accommodate a variety of dietary restrictions from vegan, gluten-free and other allergies, while still providing high-quality and healthy meat options.
We had the opportunity to speak with Saifon. She is incredibly humble and passionate, even felt called from God to serve non-GMO, pesticide-free, healthy food. She understands that food is healing and our bodies depend on what we put in them. She says she “would never serve anything that she wouldn’t eat herself.” Her love of sharing the value of healthy, organic food is a big part of her community outreach.
Saifon started the Free Pantry, a non-profit soup kitchen that provides organic food to low-income families and the elderly. They have a free farmers market once a month in Costa Mesa. Along with free organic produce visitors can receive prayer, or a listening ear with lots of love. Kids are encouraged to participate in biblically themed arts and crafts while their parents go through the market.
You feel good eating in her restaurant knowing you are supporting her charitable efforts while you eat a delicious meal. It is inspiring to see a chef passionate about the quality of food being served to the patrons as well as making this food available for the underprivileged, the food God meant for “all” of us to thrive on.