The True Food Kitchen, a new restaurant in Old Town Pasadena, provides a variety of dishes ranging from vegetarian bowls to burgers. The friendly atmosphere and delicious food make you understand, it’s not neccessary to be a vegetarian to eat healthy and enjoy your meal.
Just opened on Sept. 13, the restaurant already has a line of people with a wait time of 15 to 20 minutes. There’s no waiting if you agree to sit inside; however, you won’t be able to enjoy the great atmosphere out on the patio. The outside area is more quiet and calm. It seems like it works the best for a romantic date.
There are various plants all around the restaurant: on the tables, on the walls, and there’s even a tree growing in the middle of the dining room. Not only the menu, but also the whole interior looks organic. All the waiters have T-shirts with nice words such as “Shine On,” “Honest,” “True,” etc. The kitchen’s walls are made of glass, so customers can see how the food is being prepared. Everything seems to drive the idea of nature and how the restaurant is all about honesty and eating organic.
The menu has dishes that are marked as “V,” for vegetarian, “VEG,” for vegan, and “GF,” which is gluten free. The cuisine is considered to be “healthy American.” True Food Kitchen accommodates everybody, as it’s meat-eater-friendly with their not strictly vegetarian or vegan dishes and their options to add meat or seafood to any dish.
Of course, when you’re going to a vegetarian restaurant, especially a new one, you want to try their specials. The waitress recommended her favorite dish, the Ancient Grains Bowl, which contained miso-glazed sweet potatoes, avocados, mushrooms, caramelized onions and other vegetables. As for drinks, I ordered the Honey Lemonade. It was naturally sweet without being sugary. Even though the food contained no meat, I thoroughly enjoyed my meal and for a meat-lover like myself, it was a big surprise.
The food that I tried was both healthy and tasty. You could taste the full flavor of each ingredient, because there were no overwhelming sauces or seasonings. The flavors of the vegetables and the grains complemented one another, and as a result, blended together beautifully, forming a harmonious combination that delighted the taste buds. Once you try it, you realize that you’re eating healthy food and at the same time it tastes really good. That is the main goal of the restaurant, since it was founded under the slogan “Great-tasting, globally inspired cuisine that nourishes body, mind and spirit,” from Dr. Andrew Weil, a celebrity doctor, and Sam Fox, a restaurateur.
Fox and Dr. Weil met each other more than 10 years ago at one of Fox’s restaurants. Though the idea of opening a new restaurant was being discussed for a long period of time, Fox was not sure about the concept. Everything changed after they spent some time together at the Dr. Weil’s ranch, especially after cooking together. At that moment the restaurateur realized that food doesn’t have to be unhealthy to be delicious.
They opened their first restaurant in Phoenix, Ariz. in 2008. The success after their debut served as motivation to expand their business and open new branches. Now their restaurants are located in Georgia, Texas, Colorado, California, Virginia, and Arizona.
If you are planning to have a quiet dinner in a calming atmosphere, True Food Kitchen should not be your final destination as it’s pretty crowded and noisy. Constant chatter and music make it impossible to have a conversation without shouting because that is the only way others can hear you. The noise is not ear-splitting or deafening but this is definitely not the place for a quiet romantic night out or for a business meeting.
Being surrounded by the lively and friendly atmosphere of the restaurant automatically changes your mood. The restaurant is worth visiting at least once for the experience of indulging in a healthy yet appetizing meal while sitting in an interior filled with nature. The True Food Kitchen is a place with “honest food that tastes really good.”
TRUE FOOD KITCHEN – 4 stars
168 West Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, California 91105
OPEN Monday to Friday 11am – 10 pm, Saturday 10 am – 10 pm, Sunday 10 am – 9 pm