Spring is in the air, and arriving on plates via the 2018 True Food Kitchen Spring Menu.
Sometimes the stars align for me. I get invited to write about a place that is already a favorite. In this case it’s my date night go to, my local love, True Food Kitchen.
True Food Kitchen Newport Beach invited me to come in and try their Spring Menu, and I basically swooned. I’m biased. I already love them rather regularly with my dollars and precious adult time. But would I love the spring selections? Read on for my honest opinion…
First of all: a little primer. True Food Kitchen is all about local, fresh, organic, anti inflammatory *good for you* food. Good for you doesn’t mean boring. It means fresh seasonal ingredients that are sourced responsibly and with care about the quality and origin of the ingredients. In other words – it means a conscientious effort to only put good stuff into your body.
Without further ado – here’s what you should be putting into your body this spring. We tried the following items from the Spring menu and while all were great, we definitely had a few favorites…
The Drinks on the 2018 True Food Kitchen Spring Menu:
The Basil Cucumber Collins is a crafted masterpiece including lemon-infused vodka, cucumber, basil. It’s perfectly refreshing on a hot day. You can definitely taste the cooling cucumber as a front note and the lemon infused vodka gives it a bit of a lemonade-y kick.
If you like pink drinks that are not overly sweet then opt for the Strawberry Smash which includes bourbon, muddled strawberry, lemon. It’s very instagram worthy, as well as refreshing. This drink is my top pick.
For a non-alcoholic treat try the Cucumber Cooler, a light and refreshing mix of cucumber, and honey lemonade.
The Vegetables on the 2018 True Food Kitchen Spring Menu:
These dishes could be a lunch for one, or a shared appetizer for the table. Whatever you decide to do with them, you should give them a try while they are in season.
The Spring Asparagus Toast (Vegan) includes roasted cipollini onion, green garbanzo, tahini, mint, hemp seed.
We sampled a gluten free and a regular version of this dish. The only difference was the bread base. You can see the flatbread version at top and the two versions side by side. It is beautiful either way.
The Miso Glazed Eggplant (Vegetarian and Gluten Free) includes the Miso glazed Eggplant itself garnished with lentil, roasted pepper, almond, truffle, tahini yogurt, black walnut pesto. This dish is probably my new favorite thing on the menu. It’s a lick-the-plate worthy concoction and truly a creative wonder, the love child of Japanese and Middle Eastern Eggplant Master parents. If you order one thing off the spring menu, let this be the one.
The Salad on the 2018 True Food Kitchen Spring Menu:
The Seasonal Ingredient Salad (Vegetarian and Gluten Free) includes watercress, grilled broccolini, asparagus, green garbanzo, goat cheese, raisin, sprouted almond, turmeric chia vinaigrette. There’s something about a salad that includes garden fresh ingredients. The tender green garbanzos (who knew you could eat green garbanzos) taste like they were just plucked out back moments ago. Watercress is crisp and the goat cheese, nuts and raisins hit all the sweet and savory flavor notes that make a good salad great. This is a perfect shared dish for the start of your meal.
The Pizza on the 2018 True Food Kitchen Spring Menu:
The Grilled Artichoke & Pesto Pizza (Vegan) is an earthy green pizza affair, lovingly crafted and topped with artichoke, spinach, summer squash, black walnut pesto, lemon, aleppo chili, and vegan almond ricotta
The Dessert on the 2018 True Food Kitchen Spring Menu:
You should have dessert. Specifically the Strawberry & Rhubarb Crisp (Vegan and Gluten Free)
Oh that sweet/tart treat brought me right back to my childhood! We once owned a house with an apple tree, rhubarb plants and wild strawberries. We would make crumble topped pies with these freshly available backyard ingredients and that taste memory has always been a high bar. This dessert cleared the bar easily, introducing some additional flavors in the form of almond crumble, chia seed, and dates. Top it all off with some vegan vanilla ice cream, flecked with vanilla bean seeds and what you have here is a proper food coma.
For me, eating healthy food is not only a choice, it is a necessity. I have been gluten free for over 17 years and avoiding preservatives and additives for at least as long. I can’t tell you what a delight it was to have a restaurant I could confidently go out to, order a meal and not have to wonder if I would get sick. The chefs at True Food Kitchen know exactly what’s in every dish, and the wait staff are conscientious and thorough about making sure.
And perhaps most importantly, they make dining out a pleasure.
Spring feels great at True Food Kitchen. We can’t wait to see what the next seasonal menu has in store.