Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Native Pre-opening Extravaganza

When I received an invite to the Native Foods in Westwood's pre re-opening dinner, I was excited. I've always had a love-hate relationship with Native Foods. Their concept is fantastic and I love that most of the diners are not vegan. At the same time, since their food is pleasing omnivore palates, I have found it difficult to eat, since many of their food is too greasy and oily. Nevertheless, I wanted to support this amazing restaurant for helping to change the world by exposing and converting omnivores to veganism. I also love that they truly appreciate their customers, which was evident in this event in which they invited their loyal customers to dine for FREE. The portions were generous and they allowed each customer to order an appetizer, entree, side, drink and dessert. Here is some of the food that we ordered:

The nachos are my favorite dish at Native Foods and I could seriously eat this dish every day. The freshly baked chips were loaded with toppings. The beans gave it a hearty taste, while the taco meat added a savory flavor. The cashew cheeses were rich and decadent. The guacamole added a lovely sweetness and slight bitterness and was very creamy. 

We also had an order of the Chicken Fingers, which was fantastic. The faux chicken strips were slightly chewy and had a lovely breading. They resembled the real thing quite well. 

Next, we had the Tempeh Cakes. These were made to resemble crab cakes. They were soft and had a subtle "fishy" taste that was not overwhelming. These were delicious. I was not a fan of the sauce, though, as it was too creamy and heavy. 

We tried the french fries, which were pretty good. They were a little too oily and needed a bit more seasoning.

We also had an order of a side of kale. This was lovely and was well-cooked. It had a lemon flavor and was perfectly bitter. 

As one of our entrees, we had the Ensalada Azteca Salad. I really enjoyed this as it was very sweet and refreshing. The flavors were light and heavenly. 

We also had the Spicy Meatball Pizza. I wasn't a fan of the pizza bread, as it was too doughy. The meatballs were also too dense and difficult to digest.

Next, we had the Greek Gyro. The vegetables were well-cooked and the lemon garlic sauce and hummus were quite decadent. Nevertheless, the vegetables needed more seasoning, as they were tasteless.

We also had the Bangkok Curry Bowl. I really did not enjoy this at all. The tofu was the best part, as it was delicately fried and had a meaty taste. The vegetables were difficult to eat, however, as they were flavorless and the sauce was minimal. 

We ordered some parfaits for dessert, which were very decadent but too sugary. 

Overall, I really loved that Native Foods hosted this phenomenal event and am so happy they are growing. I am hopeful that they will work on improving the quality of their dishes, especially their bowls. They have great potential to be spectacular and show the world how delicious vegan food is.

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