Trending “It” Ingredients at your Favorite Restaurants
In the world of food, as everywhere else, trends come and go. A lot of them take over our Instagram feeds by storm and then sort of fizzle out. But every once in awhile, rich, versatile veggies finally get a long overdue thumbs up and century-old spices mark their breakout roles. Those are the kinds of changes we look forward to seeing—and eating, of course. Here are some local restaurants making good use of those ingredients in superior dishes, from sustainably harvested fish to cauliflower polenta.
Gratitude Kitchen & Bar – Chia Seeds + Buckwheat
Avocado toasts are delicious and all, but let’s face it—they’re no longer breaking news. Instead of sticking with the familiar brunch staples, try Gratitude’s chia seed overnight oats, which is concocted with the buzziest of spices (aka turmeric), almond milk, cinnamon, dates, ginger, cardamom, orange zest. Alternatively, opt for their buckwheat flax pancakes. Buckwheat, a seed that’s chock-full of minerals, fiber and protein, has been making its way to our hearts and breakfast lately—and we’re not complaining.
Wash it down with: the Ayurvedic Latté, made with ashwagandha root, an adaptogen. Adaptogens, which are credited with reducing stress and a slew of other health benefits, are now a major buzzword in the wellness sphere.
True Food Kitchen – Cauliflower
It’s true that this institution keeps it pretty real with its peak-season ingredients. Go here for a choice of cauliflower-based dishes, because in case you haven’t noticed, those white florets are having a bit of a moment lately. Start off with the charred cauliflower app, and then order a bowl of cauliflower polenta—which packs in asparagus, snow peas, edamame, snap peas, yellow squash, watermelon radish, miso, cashews and chili thread.
Wash it down with: the matcha horchata, whipped up with cinnamon, matcha, vanilla, and most importantly, the trendiest of trendy milk alternatives: oat milk.
Vibe Organic Kitchen & Juice – CBD + Turmeric
More cauliflower? Is that what you said? We don’t blame you if you’ve taken a liking to this cloud-like vegetable. It’s got a pretty impressive, guilt-free nutrient profile. During brunch time, find it in scrambled form in a breakfast bowl at Vibe Organic Kitchen & Juice—purveyor of organic, plant-based and gluten-free fare. The place also rustles up a mean plate of “chicken n’ waffles,” with baked-and-breaded cauliflower “fried chicken” and buttermilk waffles—all drizzled with a wild mushroom gravy and sriracha maple syrup.
Wash it down with: any one of their coconut-milk based smoothies, but if we’re being honest, the Ironman—cold-brew coffee, cacao nibs, almond butter, banana, hemp seeds, cordyceps, cinnamon and sun warrior protein—is a blend truly fit for a superhero. Optional, but totally trending add-ons include CBD and turmeric.
Olea Newport Beach – Sustainable Seafood
Eating for a healthy planet has never been more important to the well-being of our oceans—or more in vogue. Now, it almost feels like a movement, thanks to restaurants committing to making more sustainable seafood options. Take, Olea, for example, which offers sustainably harvested Chilean Sea Basson the menu. The main event here is fish, of course, but make no mistake: the throne upon which it rests—Russian banana potatoes, English peas, fava beans and frisse—is pretty kingly, too.
Wash it down with: the wittily named “Espress Yo Self,” which features Licor 43, Kahlúa, Baileys and craft-made vanilla and espresso spirits. (The craft craze might’ve kicked off with beer, but now the storm’s, um, brewing in the spirits world as well).