Monthly Archives: October, 2015

Food for Thought: El Segundo Had a Farm EIEIO

With the recent debuts of True Food Kitchen & Sausal, El Segundo is emerging as a solid dining destination for the farmers market-loving foodie set.

TFK4

True Food libations and flourless chocolate cake

Located at the new THE POINT shopping complex, TFK changes its menu seasonally to source the best ingredients for its dishes (and never any processed foods, high fructose corn syrup, MSG or artificial sweeteners). While a variety of salads, pizzas and sandwiches are offered, fish is the star here: for starters, Irene and I shared the Wild Caught Albacore Tataki with Snap Pea, Avocado, Radish, Carrot-Miso & Yuzu Dressing ($12), and the Edamame Dumplings, Daikon Radish & White Truffle Oil ($10). Irene’s main protein was the Sustainable Steelhead with Cauliflower Stir Fry, Gai Lan, Shiitake, Chili & Tamari ($24), while I chose the featured fish, a delicious Miso Cod with Shiitake & Asparagus (market price). From the Libations, Presses & Punches column, the mixologists are on their game because Irene’s Cucumber-Citrus Skinny Margarita ($10) and my Cherry Bourbon Sour ($11) were perfection in a fancy glass. For dessert, we ooohed and ahhhed over our gluten-free, vegetarian Flourless Chocolate Cake (72% Cocoa, Vanilla Ice Cream, Almond Butter & Caramel, $7).

Miso Cod

Miso Cod

There’s also a diverse Kids Menu; shortly after our El Segundo dinner, we took the kiddies to the Santa Monica location for lunch and they loved it. Veggie Grill veterans, T, A & X enthusiastically dug into their Turkey Sloppy Joe ($6), chopped salad (Romaine, Broccoli, Carrot, Cherry Tomato, Radish, Mozzarella & Dill Ranch Dressing, $5), and chopped salad, respectively.

We also took the kiddies on the Sausal outing. Located on Main Street in downtown El Segundo, Sausal is named after Rancho Sausal Redondo (Round Willow Ranch), the vast farmstead that once encompassed El Segundo and most of the South Bay. Their “Nuevo Rancho” cuisine blends traditional Hispanic ingredients with contemporary farmers’ market fare, with the menu borrowing inspiration from the foundational elements of Rancho cooking: wood fire, smoke and slow-roasting.

Sausal dessert

Sausal dessert

My Beef & Goat Birria ($19.50) embodied the soul of this restaurant: a rustic bowl of slow-simmered, mixed meats in a chili broth bath that could be eaten with a spoon or scooped out to construct tacos with the tortillas, cilantro-onion relish, and jicama slaw. Irene’s choice of entrée was even more umami than mine: Pork Chili Verde with Sweet Corn Elote ($18.50) with monterey jack cheese, chipotle cream, fancy pico, lime & tortillas. Xander raved about his Beef Brisket Barbacoa ($11.50) — long cooked beef, black beans, cotija crumbles, red brick arbol salsa, frizzled onions served on two tacos — while Athena also chose wisely with her Crispy Fish tacos: beer-battered wild-caught pacific lingcod, fancy pico, crushed avocado, charred tomato crema (also $11.50). And grilled salmon lover Troy had his go-to item.

Sausal1

Xander’s Beef Barbacoa tacos

Apps (Angry Mussels: house chorizo, garlic, chili broth, hominy w/grilled sourdough, $18; Fresh Ceviche Mixto: wild Mexican white shrimp, calamari, lingcod, lime, cumin, sweet corn, citrus, celery, yellow habanero salsa, $11.50; Oxtail Picadillo Empanadas: spiced meat pies in flaky buttery crust, tomatillo sauce, $12) and dessert (Raspberry-Stuffed Empanaditas w/Mexican Lime Icing and a Bittersweet Chocolate Fandango w/Vanilla Milk Gelee, $7.50 each ) were big hits as well so this neighborhood corner restaurant was an overall festive experience.

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