True Food Kitchen Opens Today…

I got a chance to check out True Food Kitchen over the weekend.  The restaurant, which is on the ground floor of Santa Monica Place facing 2nd Street, officially opens today.  The space is bright and airy, with curving, warm lines and colors that soften the slightly industrial feel.  Since it faces west, the dining room is awash in light.  The kitchen and the prep areas are in the open and you can watch the staff hand-stuffing ravioli or chopping vegetables.  The menu is large, drawing from many different influences including Asian, Mediterranean, and American.  The concept for the menu is, according to their website, “simple, sustainable, fresh and pure” and is based on health guru Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet principles.  (The only complaint I heard on this visit was from my dining companion who thought the menu was too diverse and a bit difficult to navigate.)  There was a large selection of clearly marked vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free items as well as meats.   The shiitake and tofu lettuce cups that I started with were delicious and hinted of ginger, toasted garlic, and soy.  I then sampled a roasted asparagus pizza, which was topped with smoked mozzarella, red onion, and marjoram.  The crust was thin and the flavors well-thought out.  And I’m a sucker for anything with marjoram in it.  I also tried a market vegetable scramble: fresh vegetables and egg over a hash made from sweet potato that was earthy, filling, and satisfying.  Everything was washed down with a cucumber refresher, but they do have a full bar, beer, and small but careful wine list sorted by bottle price ranging from $24 to $48 (although they do have a select few bottles over that).  Everything was served efficiently by friendly staff that went out of their way to explain inflammatory diet principles or point out things like house-made ice cream.  I have hight hopes for True Food Kitchen.  The overall feeling of the experience was neighborhood-y and relaxed.  This could be a great go-to restaurant when you just don’t know where to go.  The eclectic menu would please anyone.  And with a nod to healthy diet,  who wouldn’t feel good about eating here?  Read more at http://www.truefoodkitchen.com/.

Shiitake & tofu lettuce cup
Roasted asparagus pizza
Strawberry and rhubarb crisp
Flourless chocolate cake
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