I’d heard good things about True Food Kitchen from my friends, so I was excited to learn that a new location had opened in downtown Pasadena last month. Naturally, I had to give it a try!
True Food Kitchen
168 West Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105
I brought my vegan friend Sarah along, knowing she’d especially appreciate True Food Kitchen’s mission, which is to provide healthy, yet flavorful food that adheres to the principals of an anti-inflammatory diet with fresh, organic, and locally sourced ingredients.
I was immediately won over by the hip vibe of the place, including a gorgeous and expansive outdoor patio strung with lights. Sarah and I were seated inside beneath the warm glow of large circular lights suspended overhead.
The place was really bustling on a Friday night, so if you plan to coming here on a busy evening, I’d recommend making a reservation and being prepared to wait for your food to arrive. Sarah and I were happy to chill with a glass of wine and chat while we waited for our appetizers.
First up was an order of the insanely delicious Edamame Dumplings. I had expected the dumplings to be pan-fried, but these were more like tender pillows of ravioli, bathed in a delicious dashi soy-based broth with white truffle oil, and Asian herbs. The mixture within each dumpling was creamy and herby, and my only regret was there were so few!
Next, Sarah and I shared a vegan and gluten-free salad, the seasonal Autumn Ingredient Salad. This salad was a vibrant mix of roasted brussels sprouts, butternut squash, cauliflower, white beans, pomegranate arils, and toasted mulberry, dressed with a zesty horseradish vinaigrette. I loved the robust and nutty flavors of this salad, and it really evoked the feeling of autumn with its toasty and colorful presentation.
For my entree, I ordered another autumnal dish: Pan Roasted Chicken in a rosemary jus with maple glazed squash, cannellini beans, and swiss chard. The chicken was nicely flattened with a crispy skin, and the gravy had a lemony zing, which I really liked. This felt like a healthier version of comfort food, and it didn’t leave me feeling heavy afterwards, which was a definite plus!
Sarah ordered a vegan Butternut Squash Pizza with smoked onion, organic kale, dried cranberry, and homemade vegan almond ricotta. I tried a slice and, while this wasn’t my favorite dish of the night, it had a nice tart flavor balanced with sweetness from the butternut squash and cheese. I’d actually never tried vegan ricotta until now, and was impressed with how creamy it was.
True Food Kitchen lived up to its name with its seasonal and fresh ingredients that felt as real and un-tampered with as food should be. The menu changes seasonally, so I’ll definitely be returning to see what future menus offer!