True Food Kitchen

Los Angeles, California

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I stumbled upon True Food Kitchen while visiting the Santa Monica Place Mall and was delighted to find several clearly-marked vegan options on the menu. I started by ordering the Red Moon elixir, which was a refreshing blend of blood orange puree, yuzu, agave and soda water.

For my entree, I had "Andy's Favorite TLT," which was a vegan version of a BLT made with tempeh bacon. The tempeh was extremely crispy, which I found to be a bit jarring at first, but after a while I became convinced that the chefs at True Food Kitchen have it right. Aside from this one experience, the best vegan BLTs that I have tasted have consisted of thin, floppy strips of smoky-flavored tempeh, served with lettuce and slices of ripe, juicy tomatoes on toasted bread. The BLT at True Food Kitchen had a whole extra layer of texture, provided by the crispy tempeh, that I have heretofore been missing.

I was especially impressed with the dessert menu, which was about 50% vegan. I decided to order the Apple Crisp, which was served warm with a scoop of dairy-free maple ice cream. The other vegan options were a dairy-free organic chocolate pudding and a pomegranate yuzu sorbet. The waiter also informed me that they usually have a few other flavors of vegan ice cream and sorbet, which are available by the scoop.

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