True Food Kitchen


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. 


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. 


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. 


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.


Cantina Nipolitana


Italian food in Sao Paulo? Sure, why not. But, you can expect it to have a bit of a Brazilian flare. Bratalian? Whatever you call it, it’s going to be delicious if you’re getting it from Cantina Nipolitana in Jardins, São Paulo. 


Inside, you feel like you’re really in a family run Italian restaurant. No flare, no frills, just simplicity with a focus on the food. To start, the servers will walk around offering a Bread Basket with olives, tapenade, and eggplant. It’s optional, since they charge for this, it’s not complimentary. But, I highly suggest you get it. It’s only a few dollars per person, and well worth it. The tapenade and eggplant are especially delicious and the bread is light and pillowy. 


For my drink, I ordered a Caipirinha Pinga Especial ou de Pisco (cachaca, lime, Pisco). This drink was awesome. You start to feel a buzz after a few sips. That’s how you know it’s good, right? Caipirinhas are very traditional, but one with Pisco was extra special. 


For my entree, I ordered the Truta com legumes (trout, mixed vegetables, rice, Nipolitana potatoes). This dish was amazing. They filleted the fish right in front of me, which, is always great. It was so tender and light, it was some of the best trout, if not fish in general, that I’ve had in a while. The veggies were nice, they’re served this way as a standard mixed vegetable in Brazil. The potatoes were pretty special here too, they reminded me almost of a hush puppy, crispy, yet light on the outside and creamy on the inside. 

The Shorts:
Name: Cantina Nipolitana
Location: Alameda Campinas, 680 – Jardins, São Paulo, Brazil
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Absolutely. Everything here was delicious, drink included.
Would I recommend it? For sure. They have an array of dishes, something for everyone. You won’t be disappointed.