It wasn’t that long ago that I told you that Buca Di Beppo had closed its doors at 1442 2nd St, sparking a conversation about the viability of any restaurant in the pricey and complicated Santa Monica and LA market. Now it looks like another national Italian brand is going to give it a try. A sign is up on the construction plywood at the old Buca space announcing that it will soon be the home of a branch of North Italia. There’s reason to hope that they will have a better run than their predecessor: They know a thing or two about Downtown Santa Monica. Within a block in either direction are two other restaurants from North Italia’s parent company Fox Restaurant Concepts, Flower Childand True Food Kitchen. We wish them the best of luck.
It was back in December when I first noticed that Flower Child, one of Fox Restaurant Concepts brands (True Food Kitchen, North Italia), was going to be sharing the renovated Laemmle Theater space at 1332 Second Street in Downtown Santa Monica. Eater told us that June was the projected opening. Now we have a date: According to a spokesperson, Flower Child will begin dispensing good vibes on June 14th. Look for a menu of organic, locally sourced, and additive free, “healthy food for a happy world”.
There are a great many of you who read this blog that appear to be very excited about the arrival of the big shopping/dining development The Point, situated on the corner of Rosecrans and Sepulveda in El Segundo (Manhattan Beach adjacent). Much of your attention is focused on the True Food Kitchen (that according to their website is now open), but as I’ve told you before, there are many other eateries on the way as well. I can’t exactly say when all of those restaurants will open (although it looks like most will be open very soon), I can tell you that The Point officially opens this Thursday with a 9:30am complimentary continental breakfast followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony and other activities over the weekend that you can read more about here.
Signs have recently gone up at El Segundo’s eagerly awaited massive The Point development heralding the arrival of many new restaurants slated to open this year on the corner of Sepulveda and Rosecrans. As early as September 2014, I figured out that True Food Kitchen was coming, but at least five more new eateries will leave locals spoilt for choice. Check out the full list of coming attractions here.
I’ve been watching The Point, the upscale outdoor mall being built on the corner of Sepulveda and Rosecrans in Manhattan Beach/El Segundo. After a little bit of investigation back in September, I told you that True Food Kitchen would be moving into the colossal development in 2015. And now comes news, via the LA Times, of the other restaurants that will be on offer: Mendocino Farms, Superba Food & Bread, Shophouse, North Italia (which along with True Food Kitchen is part of the Fox Restaurant Concepts group), and a “restaurant and marketplace” from the founder of Pitfire Artisan Pizza. Look for the openings to begin sometime in 2015.
I’ve been keeping my eye on the colossal The Point development on the corner of Sepulveda and Rosecrans in Manhattan Beach/El Segundo, right next to Plaza El Segundo. Still mainly in the construction phase, their website promises a multitude of retail and restaurant spaces. There’s no official word on what companies will inhabit The Point, but if you scour the online brochure, the one restaurant that they mention by name is the Fox Restaurant Concepts’ True Food Kitchen. Job boards appear to confirm that the healthy/fresh chain is looking to open this branch in early 2015.
Update: True Food Kitchen is now open. Read more about The Point here. (07/30/2015)
If you’re a fan of True Food Kitchen’s (Santa Monica and other locations) ethos of cooking that promotes “personal and emotional well-being”, you’re in luck. Now you can create that kale salad at home. TFK has announced the release of their cookbook True Food: Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pure on October 9th. Authored by health guru Dr. Andrew Weil (with Sam Fox, CEO of Fox Restaurant Concepts, parent company of TFK and Michael Stebner, executive chef), the book will feature 125 recipes from “America’s healthiest restaurant”. Get yours for $29.99. truefoodkitchen.com
As you probably know, Dr. Andrew Weil was the consultant for the über-healthy menu at True Food Kitchen on the ground floor of Santa Monica Place. So it should come as no surprise that the good Doctor will be giving a presentation there on his new book, Spontaneous Happiness on Tuesday, Nov. 15th at 10:00am. Included in the $45 fee will be a variety of True Food offerings including: kale salad, eggplant pizza, squash pie, and others. Reservations are limited… call (480) 751-2176 to secure yours. truefoodkitchen.com
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
With the culinary hiring frenzy in Santa Monica, it was no surprise that True Food Kitchen, the “seasonal, sustainable, and local” restaurant being developed with natural health guru Andrew Weil, was looking for staff for its new ground floor Santa Monica Place location. (Three other locations exist in California and Arizona) But recently tacked up next to the help wanted posters was this announcement of an opening date of May 9th. So there you have it… Read more at http://www.truefoodkitchen.com/.