tories bring us together. A comedian’s anecdote about something you’ve gone through makes you feel seen; a tale about your distant family’s history makes you feel connected to the past. Food, when prepared thoughtfully, also tells a story. It can link us to ancient eating practices or popular culinary traditions of people across the globe. We’re also connected to where the food was sourced from — to the people who grew it and, eventually, sold it.
Intentional Ingredient Selection
All True Food menu items were designed intentionally — down to specific single ingredients. I ordered the Adaptogenic Tulsi tea on a whim, because of the immunity-boosting properties. Next, we sampled the heirloom tomatoes and watermelon starter, the herb hummus and the edamame dumplings. We chose a variety of entrée selections including the ancient grains bowl and summer tacos, then ended the meal with three different desserts. True Food offers a seasonal menu, but some all-time favorites remain on the list year-round. The edamame dumplings and ancient grains bowl, for instance, have earned a year-round spot.
Just as the meal started with a uniquely nutritious ingredient (Tulsi tea), it ended with another unlikely health element in our dessert. Of the three desserts we tried, the forbidden rice and summer berries were the most stand-out to me. Did you know that forbidden rice is full of antioxidants, especially in comparison to more common rice varieties? In congruence with the rest of our meal and my general impression of True Food, the chefs had created this bowl of rice and fruit with purpose.
O My! What An Investment from Oprah Means for True Food
In July, Oprah made an equity investment in True Food Kitchen and joined the board of directors. After dining in the restaurant, she decided she wanted to be a part of the company’s future. I was curious about how such a big-name investor might change the company’s core values. Would True Food have to sacrifice some of their values under the direction of such a powerful figure? Although Oprah will consult alongside the board, True Food intends to stick to their values. Most likely, the investment will allow the company to open more locations, bringing high-quality, nutritious food to people across the country.
Why I’m Eager to Go Back
True Food Kitchen reminds me of the person at a dinner party that only speaks when they have something really important to say. The person that tells riveting, edge-of-your-seat stories, and isn’t just rambling on about their coworkers or complaining about their car problems. The restaurant’s commitment to steadfast sourcing ethics, providing a vibrant employee experience and enhancing their customers’ long-term well-being is remarkable. Yet, unlike many other health-centered chains, True Food Kitchen doesn’t shove their values down your throat or throw health buzzwords in your face. Instead, they operate with a quiet confidence in their process from start to finish and speak up about the stories behind their food with pride when prompted. Like Oprah, True Food’s something I want to take part in — but instead of investing, I’ll just visit more often.
True Food Kitchen | Fashion Island | 451 Newport Center Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660 | truefoodkitchen.com/newportbeach