Tustin, CA 92782
Vegan Chef: Tanya Petrovna
Why is eating healthy so difficult? It's expensive, hard to find, inconvenient. So when an organic/vegan/vegetarian restaurant opened nearby, I was ecstatic! (I'm not vegetarian, but I like healthy). This innovative Chef Tanya's mantra is "fresh and local foods using organic ingredients whenever possible." And her foods are homemade each day.
Ensalada Azteca (9.95) - Fresh avocado, cucumber and jicama salsa atop organic quinoa, romaine and mango lime vinaigrette. Topped with currants, toasted pumpkin seeds and cilantro.
I've eaten here 3 times already, and all 3 times, I ordered this Ensalada Azteca (I know, unadventurous). But the salad has so many different layers of flavors and textures. Crunchy jicama, sweet currants, smooth avocado, citrusy dressing, and other fresh ingredients make this a hearty salad that made me full and satisfied.
Portobello and Sausage Burger (9.95) - Juicy grilled portobellos, homemade Seitan sausage, pomodoro, caramelized onions, sweet roasted garlic, creamy pumpkin seed pesto and mayo.
I was a little hesitant to order a faux meat item for the first time in my life. This portobello and sausage burger was actually made of seitan, a wheat gluten. I am happy to report that the seitan was actually pretty good. It was almost as though I was eating real meat, though not quite. The flavors of the seitan, portobellos, onions, garlic, pesto, and mayo went well together. I am not going to say this was one of the best burgers I have ever had, but pretty good considering it is a vegan burger.
Native Foods also has a rewards card and when you sign up, you get a free drink. By the way, Native Foods does not serve any soft drinks! They have some very nice refreshing lavender lemonade, watermelon fresca, and native ice tea, which are sweetened either with organic sugar or agave. I enjoyed the lavender lemonade the most. Beer and wine are also available.
We recently attended one of Chef Tanya's tasting demo at the District where she introduced her recipes of possible new items for her menu. Throughout the whole demo, she kept emphasizing going meatless one day a week which would greatly reduce our carbon footprint... Anybody dare to try this with me?