The Palo Alto True Food Kitchen is opening at the former site of Bloomingdales, which was demolished and completely rebuilt as part of a massive renovation of the upscale El Camino Real shopping center.
True Food Kitchen's menu draws from an anti-inflammatory diet espoused by one of its co-founders, physician Andrew Weil, who is known for his work in integrative medicine. The diet emphasizes fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, whole grains, seafood, healthy fats and other items.
The anti-inflammatory diet is a "way of selecting and preparing anti-inflammatory foods based on scientific knowledge of how they can help your body maintain optimum health," Weil explains on his website. "Along with influencing inflammation, this natural anti-inflammatory diet will provide steady energy and ample vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids dietary fiber, and protective phytonutrients."
At True Food Kitchen, this manifests in the form of dishes like butternut squash pizza with smoked onion, almond ricotta and dried cranberry on a homemade spelt-and-flax crust; or the "Ancient Grains" bowl with miso-glazed sweet potato, turmeric, charred onion, snow peas, grilled portobello mushrooms, avocado and hemp seed. There are also soups, salads, pizzas, sandwiches, desserts and more. The menu rotates regularly with the seasons and sources from local, organic produce.
A summer menu item at True Food Kitchen: heirloom tomato bruschetta with almond ricotta, garden herbs and Arbequina olive oil. Photo courtesy True Food Kitchen.
Needless to say, the restaurant serves plenty of gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan dishes, but there are still meat options, like grilled chicken, beef short ribs and burgers. Check out the San Diego location's full summer menu to get a better idea here.
Booze-wise, True Food serves beer, wine and cocktails. There are also natural "refreshers," like the "Medicine Man" with sea buckthorn, cranberry, pomegranate, blueberry, honey and black tea. (Refreshers can also be combined with alcohol to make cocktails.)
The Palo Alto location will serve lunch and dinner daily, and brunch on weekends.
Co-founder Sam Fox, owner of Fox Restaurant Concepts, opened the first True Food Kitchen in Phoenix, Arizona, in 2008. Today, there are 12 locations throughout Arizona, California, Colorado, Texas, Georgia and Virginia, with four more outposts planned to open throughout the country in 2016.
Palo Alto and another Northern California outpost set to open Oct. 18 in Walnut Creek mark True Food Kitchen’s 14th and 15th locations, respectively.
"The active neighborhoods of Palo Alto and Walnut Creek are a natural fit for a brand like True Food Kitchen, which caters to individuals who embrace healthy living, respect simple, seasonal ingredients and consciously seek out food that doesn’t sacrifice quality, nutrition or taste," Fox said in a press release. "I guess you could say that Palo Alto and Walnut Creek are a lot like True Food – passionate communities driven by a healthy lifestyle – and that appealed to us."
True Food Kitchen is one of several new eateries that has or will open this year at Stanford Shopping Center:
• Pink Posy Bakery (opened April 2016)
• Tender Greens, fast-casual salad chain (opening Wednesday, Aug. 31)
• 3potato4, vegan baked French fries (opening September)
• Go Fish Poke Bar, poké bowls (opening late September/early October)
• Minamoto Kitchoan, artisanal Japanese desserts (estimated to open mid-December)
• Cafe at new Anthropologie (store estimated to open late November)