Nestled in a monstrous outdoor shopping mall called The District, snuggled in next to a multiplex cinema and a clothing store is a little place called Native Foods Cafe. This seems to be the most unlikely of places for a vegan restaurant, let alone one that focuses on Southwestern food., but it is a great restaurant in Tustin, California.
It was the dinner hour on a Saturday night, but not as busy as I expected. That could have been due to the weather. When we walked in I realized that it was the typical order-at-the-counter-seat-yourself style bistro. I actually went on a vocal rant about this later on, after our visits to other vegan eateries. (Why do vegan restaurants assume the clientele wants to seat itself with a number on the table?) The restaurant itself was decorated in earth tones, rich browns, and deep reds and orange. Some white was thrown in to break up the color scheme. I remember some avocado green as well.
We settled in with our drinks and waited for the food. The Partner ordered the Rockin Moroccan bowl, and I decided on the Portobella and Sausage Burger with Sweet Potato Fries (one of my little known addictions is sweet potatoes). When the food was delivered, it was hot, gorgeous and very delicious. The Bowl came with tofu, quinoa and loads of veggies bright, crisp and not over-cooked. My “burger” was scrumptious. I love pesto in all its forms, and loved the pumpkin pesto on this tasty sandwich. The dishes we dined on followed through with the restaurant color scheme of oranges, browns, and a little yellow.
Chef Tanya Petrovna has really outdone herself with this great restaurant concept. And it’s obvious she’s doing great busines, Native Food Cafe is opening three new restaurants in Chicago, IL this coming summer.
You can read a little more about Native Foods Cafe food here, and while your visiting, check out the menu. If you go on a weekend, expect to compete with movie-goers and diligent clothes shoppers for parking, and possibly longer lines to get a table to eat this outstanding food by this very active vegan Chef.