Native Foods is one of those reliably yummy places for vegan cuisine that has been around since 1994, and lucky for us all, they are expanding from their six Southern California spots into more cities. A San Diego restaurant is coming soon — they are scouting out a location.
This dining gem was founded by Tanya Petrovna, who is working on her third cookbook. The restaurants’ recipes are all Petrovna’s. With tempeh and seitan made from scratch, and organic ingredients when possible, it is hard for vegans to complain. I have also eaten at Native Foods in Los Angeles and Palm Springs with people who are not vegetarians and were quite satisfied with their meals.
Today I had the pleasure of going to Native Foods in Aliso Viejo, Orange County, a great halfway point for meeting loved ones coming from Los Angeles.
We started our feast with an appetizer of artichoke and veggies with pesto dip, and a refreshing drink — hibiscus and wild berry tea. Next came the entrees — we all chose tempeh dishes. I had the Veggie-Mighty-Vita Burger (say that 10 times fast) with secret sauce (like a thousand island dressing). My parents had the Gandhi Bowl, blackened tempeh with organic veggies, cranberries and more; and Baja Surf Tacos, “fish” tacos with guacamole and “surfer sauce.”
After all that healthy chow, of course there was room for dessert, namely the Strawberry Shortcake (which tastes like almond) and the Chocolate Love Pie. The soy-free cupcakes looked tempting too.
Not only do they satisfy herbivores with healthy vegan cuisine and great service, but Petrovna also teaches classes on healthy eating to youth, and they have an informative newsletter, a YouTube channel, and an active blog!