Zero sentences into this post, I’ve already learned a lot. “Imposter” and “impostor” are both accepted spellings. And im-pasta is a pun that I made up, and you may hate it but I’m standing by it.
True Food Kitchen is a restaurant in Newport Beach, near outdoor rich-person mall Fashion Island. (Everything in Southern California is a mall.) (But in its defense Fashion Island is really beautiful, and when I was in high school it was the display site for one of the coolest things ever– Project Playhouse.) (Looks like it might be housed elsewhere now, no pun intended.) (I leave the puns for the pasta.)
My mom and OC-sister had been to True Food before, and the whole family happened to be home (including St. Louis-sister), so we all headed over. It’s a very cool indoor-outdoor space (we sat outside), with an open kitchen area upstairs. (My mom said that the main kitchen is in the basement… spooky.) (Nothing has a basement in OC… double spooky.)
When we got to the restaurant, I found out that all of the food is prepared based on Dr. Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid.
Apparently, I should only be eating 2-3 servings of pasta per week? Whoops.
Hilariously, if you click on the picture and zoom in, you will see that there is ONE type of food you can eat in unlimited quantities. Not fruits. Not veggies. Not some other third thing. Indeed, the only food that you can eat is unlimited quantities is COOKED ASIAN MUSHROOMS.
Not uncooked mushrooms. Not European mushrooms. Just cooked Asian mushrooms. As many as you want.
Good thing I like mushrooms. Pass the shiitake!
I was planning on ordering something salad-esque, but one item on the menu popped out at me (not literally): Spaghetti Squash Casserole. I have wanted to try spaghetti squash ever since I heard about it during my freshman year of college (c. 2005), but I don’t actually have a pot big enough to boil one in. (I’ve never seen spaghetti squash in the store– only at the farmers’ market. They are HUGE.) (That’s what she said.)
So I HAD to order it, and see if spaghetti squash is as spaghetti-esque as I’d heard.
But first, we had some other stuff.
I was getting over an illness and wanted the closest thing to Gatorade. So I ordered a Cucumber Refresher, AKA Cucumber & Honey Lemonade. I didn’t really like it, because it tasted more like a cucumber than a honey lemonade. In a weird way.
My mom ordered the Hangover Rx, AKA Coconut Water, Orange Juice & Pineapple. That was better, but still not amazing to my tastebuds. (But it gets points for looking like a pineapple.)
I don’t know– I usually love cucumbers and lemonade (respectively), so that should have been a slam dunk.
Mom and Nicole (St. Louis-sister) also ordered hot tea, which was presented very nicely. The little dish contains honey.
The appetizer was much more delightful to my palate than my drink. Hummus and pita, and the hummus was all decked out with Greek-style veggie niceness.
And now– to the spaghetti squash. You can see in the top picture that it came with a layer of cheese on it, which I removed. (I try to eat cheese sparingly because I have genetically high cholesterol. It doesn’t really seem to be helping because the high cholesterol is GENETIC, but… whatever.)
As an aside, whenever I take cheese off of my food and put it off to the side, whatever male is sitting at my table offers to eat it. I always think discarded cheese looks kinda nasty and clumpy, but… if it makes them happy. (MEN!)
Anyway, the squash looks a little more spaghetti-ish in the pictures than it did in person. It looked kinda clear, like when you cook onions. And it was veggie-crunchy, as you might expect from a veggie. Not the same consistency as pasta. But I thought it was fine. It just wasn’t a miraculous pasta replacement.
Weirdly I had a bit of a food coma after that, but maybe it was from the grease of the cheese having been on top? Or I have the weakest digestive system ever?
Or maybe the desserts had something to do with it…
Flourless chocolate cake a la mode. Gluten free. Given all that, it was pretty awesome.
And apple-cranberry crumble with dairy-free maple ice cream. I actually like dairy-free ice cream (I always try to go dairy-free on at least one of my scoops at Scoops.) (Even though apparently soy is bad for us now?) (Whoops.)
Okay, so that was True Food Kitchen. I would definitely go back, although I think it’s one of those places that’s trendy for the gimmick moreso than for the food? But it was a pleasant environment and the food was nice, so… whatever. And it was totally reasonably priced, considering that it was Fashion Island-adjacent.
As far as spaghetti squash goes, I’m glad I tried it. Not sure if I’d go out of my way to make it myself (I think you have to boil it for hours?), but I’ll check back in with myself if I ever acquire a giant pot. (I also want to try to make my own pasta sauce, so that could be a fun double-project.)