Here in Southern California we have a wealth of restaurant options. I could eat out every night and it would take me years to repeat a location. As such, I don’t get to some of my favorite spots as much as I’d like to. Like True Food Kitchen. I truly love it but there are no locations convenient to me so I rarely ever go. So when I was invited to stop by their El Segundo location to preview the new spring menu I eagerly headed over there. I was treated to a four course meal featuring a starter, a first and second course and dessert. Each round was accompanied by a different wine hand picked by the restaurant’s affable manager, Beth.
We started with the Torched Avocado – a simple starter featuring avocado, cucumber noodles, mushrooms, snap peas, watermelon radish, black sesame seeds and a turmeric ponzu sauce. The avocado slices were charred giving them a wonderful smoky flavor. As much as I loved that I wasn’t such a fan of the dish as a whole. The vegetables were very fresh, the sauce was light and tart but it was just missing something. Don’t get me wrong, it was still enjoyable but compared the other dishes it was my least favorite.
We next enjoyed the Seasonal Salad which was chock full of romaine, asparagus, broccolini, roasted cauliflower, chickpeas, pistachios and raisins and topped with freshly shaved Manchego cheese and a Sicilian vinaigrette. I loved this dish. Head over heals truly, truly loved it. The asparagus, broccolini, and cauliflower were cooked perfectly and filled with flavor, the chickpeas added a true heartiness and the raisins and pistachios added a pop of texture that was fantastic. I could make this dish my whole meal and be really happy.
The main entree was a Pan Roasted Chicken served with broccolini and heirloom potatoes and topped with a chermoula sauce and fresh cilantro. The chermoula sauce was made with cumin which became its predominant flavor. This was definitely not a bad thing. I’m most used to cumin as a chili ingredient so to have it served this way was a real revelation. It resulted in a truly flavorful dish that was somehow both light and hearty.
We finished with a Coconut & Chia Seed Flan that was both vegan and gluten free. As such it was made with coconut milk and coconut cream instead of dairy products. Much denser than a traditional flan it was absolutely delicious. The “caramel” sauce made with coconut oil added much of the sweetness and the custard portion tasted just like fresh coconut. It was a light yet indulgent end to the meal.
The True Food Kitchen spring menu debuts tomorrow and is well worth checking out. All the dishes (save for the torched avocado) are gluten free and any dish can be made vegan so it can accommodate any dietary need. I, for one, can’ t wait to return. The Seasonal Salad is calling me!