Some days you crave burgers and chicken strips, some days you crave veggies and goodness: this was one of those days. Al was out in Pasadena for a meeting, so after a little quiet time by the Pool at The Standard with my book, I headed out to meet him for lunch.
I had a real hankering for veggies and had spotted True Food Kitchen last time we had been in Pasadena so we decided to give it a try. It’s quite a big space with indoor & outdoor seating. There was a 15 minute wait for a shaded outside table (I’m too Ginger for sitting in direct sunlight with this heat) so we opted for inside– which ended up being right next to the big open doors so it was like being outside anyway!
It’s a big menu with lots of delicious sounding stuff for both Al & I– I always get a bit paranoid that Al is going to hate it when we go somewhere healthy and he never actually does.
So what did we get? I went for the endamame dumplings. They had this gorgeous light dashy broth and the dumpling themselves were so good. Definitely tasted like endamame and did not get overpowered by or overpower the broth
Al got the albacore tataki. He is obsessed with albacore right now, I’m not sure if it’s because he likes it so much or if it is because he just likes saying it! Interesting fact: albacore is the only one allowed to be called white meat tuna (nope, I did not know it was tuna before I googled). This tataki was good- lightly seared on the outside, raw on the inside and sitting in a yuzu ponzu sauce. Delicious!. I actually can not decide which was the winning starter, which meant we did some good sharing.
Then came the mains. Al went for a spicy Panang curry with chicken. I only had a little taste of it but the sauce was good. Very silky, I suspect there was some secret vegetables hidden in there.
My dish was everything I wanted- the seasonal ingredient salad. It had brussel sprouts, green cauliflower, butternut squash, white beans, toasted mulberry (these were cool, looked like mini corn but tasted like sultana) with a horseradish vinegarette. As per usual I got the dressing on the side but it was so good I ended up using pretty much all of it.
Price-wise, I think True Food Kitchen is pretty reasonable. We definitely didn’t need the 2 courses for lunch, but I’m glad we did. Once we added in wine, beer, tax & tip it was probably about $90 for the two of us, so not an every day lunch but not an unreasonable treat. Of course take off the booze and that drops significantly.
I was pleased to see there another location in Santa Monica when I was wandering around there on the weekend. The Pasadena site is a better site but Santa Monica will probably be more convenient for me in the end.