Every season, I visit True Food Kitchen to see what new menu items they have added. It is one of my favorite places to go to whenever I have out of town guests, and the clean, healthy dishes have always been a hit. The restaurant is also extremely understanding to those with dietary restrictions, including vegan, and gluten-free.
On this visit, we begin with some beverages. My friend orders Cherry Chia Limeade ($5) a rather refreshing drink with a hint of tartness. I, on the other hand, stick my usual – the cucumber-infused water which is offered upon request.
For the summer, there are several dishes comprising the beautiful heirloom tomatoes which are currently in season. Heirloom Tomato & Watermelon ($10) is a gorgeous salad with cubes of red and yellow watermelon, and an array of heirloom tomato wedges. Soft chèvre, or goat cheese, add a rich mouth-feel to the freshness of the summer fruits. A sprinkling of Marcona almonds add crunch and texture.
Staying on the same vein is Heirloom Tomato Pizza ($16) a stunning offering with grilled artichoke, roasted garlic, vegan almond ricotta, black truffle and of course, slices of vibrantly hued tomatoes. I have always been surprised by how delicious the ricotta is, and while chef has shared his recipe with me on a previous visit, I’m too lazy to make it at home.
Seasonal Ingredient ($14.50) is a dish which remains on the menu, season after season, however, the ingredients which make up the dish changes. For the summer, look forward to an array of romaine lettuce, asparagus, broccolini, roasted cauliflower, chickpeas, pistachios, raisins, manchego cheese, all tossed in a Sicilian vinaigrette. It works great as an entrée or, I like to have it as an item to share.
I’ve always loved the Pan Roasted Chicken ($21) here, and right now, it is paired with a succotash of corn, green chickpeas, Fresno chile, feta cheese, and a cilantro pumpkin seed pesto. The chicken is always succulent and moist, but it is the accompanying succotash which is the key. The myriad of flavors from the different vegetables are harmonious, marrying together perfectly. I love green chickpeas (garbanzo) and if you’ve never had it before, you are missing out!
Although Red Chili Noodles ($15) is not a new dish, it is one of my favorites, which is why I had to order it. This Asian-inspired noodle dish includes gai lan (Chinese broccoli), zucchini, shiitake mushroom, snow peas, and cashews. We also added shrimp ($5) which gives a boost of protein to an otherwise vegetarian entrée. This is my comfort food!
True Food Kitchen remains one of my go-tos for a girls’ lunch, or just a quick meal with my son. The food is always consistent and I know there are always healthy options to choose from. If I am meeting a vegetarian or vegan friend, I know they won’t have a problem finding something to eat here.
The summer menu items are available through October.
True Food Kitchen
451 Newport Center Dr
Newport Beach, CA 92660