True Food Kitchen

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My short trip in LA was at a close, but I got do dine out at one more spot before I left. I went to True Food Kitchen in Santa Monica. 

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With ten locations nationwide, they’re focusing on the anti-inflammatory diet with a wide, healthy selection of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options. And, at least at this location, they have one of my favorite features, an open kitchen. 

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To start, I shared their Vegetable Crudités (Tzatziki and Black Olive dips). Holy big bowl of vegetables. So, to be fair, the bowl is about half way full of ice to chill the vegetables, but there’s still a very hefty amount of delicious, fresh vegetables. Everything from broccoli rabe, to heirloom carrots, to watermelon radish slices, are all here ready to be dipped in the zesty and tangy sauces on the side. 

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For my entree, I ordered the Street Tacos with Sustainable Sea Bass (Avocado, Cotija Cheese, Tomatillo Salsa, Sour Cream and Anasazi Bean). The bean and cheese combo is served on the side, hot. I wasn’t sure if the intention was to put it on top of the tacos, but I ended up doing it anyway. I tried the tacos on their own to start, and while they were good, the bass was too under-seasoned to me. I was looking for a more savory flavor, but unfortunately wasn’t really getting that. However, once I added the bean and cheese combination, it helped to bring out the flavor and make it a bit more dynamic. 

The Shorts:
Name: True Food Kitchen
Location: 395 Santa Monica Place, Suite 172, Santa Monica, CA
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Yes, in fact, I might even just order the crudite as a meal for myself. I’d skip the tacos, but give some of the other items a try.
Would I recommend it? Yes, the openness of the space is relaxing, and the focus is on healthy eating, so there are loads of options to keep your body in check.

DK’s Donuts

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It’s a fact, one of my most favorite desserts is a delicious donut (or doughnut). So, it’s kind of a thing for me to at least check out one spot that’s really doing a great job at churning out some tasty fried dough (again, not sure why we can’t just settle on “doughnuts”…they’re made out of dough, not do, right?) So, I visited DK’s Donuts in Santa Monica.

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This family owned shop has been open for over thirty years, so, they have to be doing something right. And yes, they certainly are. From the outside, you might not think too much, it’s in a small strip-mallish type center, looks like a little bodega (for my NYC folk), nothing fancy. But inside, there are bakery cases full of sweet treasures. Oh, and they’re open 24-hours, and deliver! Why the hell don’t we have a 24-hour donut/doughnut shop in NYC (I see you, Donut Pub) that ALSO delivers? Well, LA does. They have an array of different types of donuts and baked goods, including their O-Nuts, their take on the Cronut. Now, since I haven’t had Dominique Ansel’s creation yet (I know, I know, it’s been around for like 20 years at this point), I didn’t want to start with this one (no offense, DK’s). But, I had a ton of other options to go for.

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First, I got their Peanut Butter Puff Donut (yeast donut, chocolate glaze, chocolate chips, peanut butter). So, this thing was the size of my entire hand (note: my hands are probably smaller than average, but, still, it’s an adult hand, so, the point is, it was a big donut). And, it was delicious. The donut was light and airy, and coated with the chocolate glaze, which was not overly sweet, giving this a really nice combination.

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Then, in the center, you have the peanut butter. And not like, a peanut buttery frosting or filling, actual, straight up, peanut butter. I could see how that might go either way for a person, love or not love, but I really enjoyed it. It’s thick and dense, and everything that peanut butter is, but when it’s combined with the light dough and the chocolate glaze, it’s a home run for me. 

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Then, I got The Original Ube Purple Yam Donut with Pistachios. This was totally unique to me, and I’m so glad I got it. It’s a cake donut, so it has a bit more heft to it, which I love, and glazed with a purple icing, topped with the pistachios. You don’t get a strong taste from the ube, but you do have the bright purple color, which makes it special. It’s a bit crisp on the outer edges, but perfectly cakey and (I hate this word but have to use it) moist on the inside. Basically, it’s super delicious and I’d eat this all the time.

The Shorts:
Name: DK’s Donuts
Location: 1614 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Hell yes. The donuts are delicious, the service is friendly, and the goods are really inexpensive ranging from 99 cents to around $2.50 an item. 
Would I recommend it? For sure, they’re definitely worth checking out. Side note, I voluntarily walked about 1.5 miles there and back (3 miles) to get these. It was well worth it.