True Food Kitchen

For the last few years, our cousins Amy and Paul have been telling us about this restaurant chain from Arizona, True Food Kitchen. One is opening in Santa Monica, so we are going tonight.  You can’t miss it – it’s a behemoth of a space!


Airy, modern, environmentally friendly, and you can see all the kitchen action too.  All of the dishes follow the principles of Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet.


They use ingredients from nearby/organic farms whenever possible.


First, we begin with the Local Vegetable Crudite.


Two dips: Black Olive and Tzatziki.


The veggies are served on ice – but it’s still a gigantic bowl. Split amongst four, it is actually quite filling!


We also order the Herb Hummus – I slather two pieces of pita, with cucumbers, olives, tomato, red onion and feta.


Next, two appetizers that are compliments of the restaurant!  The daily raw fish – Saturday is Hamachi.  And I’m eating about half of this plate.


My favorite – Edamame Dumplings with Daikon Radish and White Truffle Oil.


By this time we are already pretty full, but still have main entrees coming.  Since it is National Burger Day, I order the Grass Fed Bison. It comes with mushroom, onions, and parmesan cheese on a flax bun.


Asking for the mayo on the side and adding just a small amount – this is one restaurant where you definitely don’t have to be shy about making substitutions.


Sandwiches come with a choice of sauteed Kale with cheese and Sweet Potato Hash – you can also get both, like I did!


The burger is really delicious – lean but juicy and flavorful.  They cook it perfectly to medium.


I trade bites with the other meat eaters – Paul’s Steak Tacos…


…and Amy’s Turkey Burger (Good, but mine is better).


And a taste of Abe’s veggie dish – Spaghetti Squash Casserole with Fresh Mozzarella, Organic Tomato, and Zucchini.  This is hearty but also light.


All the food is super tasty, but I just couldn’t quite finish it all! I am bringing home my burger, plus Amy’s leftover veggie sides because she doesn’t want them.

However, there is always room for dessert. (And as always, I eat most of it.)  Two sorbets – Orange Olivello and Pomengranate Yuzu. Also, Lemon-Ginger Low-fat Frozen Yogurt.


And last but not least, Almond Olive Oil Cake.  It is garnished with Blackberries and Greek Yogurt.


We can totally see why our cousins are obsessing over this place! Although we are usually not fans of most chain restaurants, True Food Kitchen is one we will definitely be visiting on a regular basis.


15 thoughts on “True Food Kitchen

  1. Liz

    Lynn, I’m curious, how do you end up getting all these complimentary meals and dishes from people? Is it just because they know you are a blogger? Or because you are taking pictures of your food in the restaurant? I’m not asking in a mean way. I’m asking in a truly curious way. 🙂 I genuinely enjoy your blog and am jealous at how much free food you get, lol.

  2. leftcoastcontessa

    I’ve wanted to try the restaurants at Santa Monica Place but I haven’t yet! I’ll have to put this on my list!

  3. emily

    I would love to try True Food Kitchen; it definitely sounds like my kind of place. I think I need to make a trip to California! 😉 Super neat that it’s based on Dr. Weil’s diet, too.

    Happy Memorial Day weekend!

  4. quinn

    Wow, I wish SO MUCH there was a restaurant like that near me! I already googled to check locations, but they are just CA and AZ, so a long way from MA.
    I am part of a group in my little town that is starting up a Friday Market for local food and goods; a “farmers’ market plus,” you might say. June 3 is opening day, so please wish us luck! The group is also discussing hosting a weekly community meal made with produce from the Friday Market, and possibly even providing take-home meals ordered in advance. Doesn’t that sound like a super idea? I’d love to work at the market, and then go home with a freshly-prepared supper to enjoy at home.

  5. kimmiyori

    Wow, Paul and Amy are my cousins too!!! Not the same Paul and Amy though. We will definitely try this place. Thanks for the introduction.
    Have a sweet weekend.

  6. Natalie

    wow, all that food SERIOUSLY looks delicious. starting with that beautiful local crudite bowl (purple cauliflower!?! awesome!), and the sweet potato hash, and spaghetti squash casserole? this place looks amazing! and the dessert! yum!

  7. gourmetpigs

    Looks like the lunch and dinner menu items are more or less the same?
    Or at least we ordered the same items haha. Glad you enjoyed it too!

  8. Elaine

    Your post made me want to try this place and last night I went to dinner there with two friends. It was amazing, especially for a chain and for my vegetarian friend who got to celebrate his birthday with a fabulous dessert! Thanks 🙂

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