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Walnut Creek Magazine

Clean Food First

Nov 16, 2016 06:50PM ● By Fran Miller

Clean Food First


BY Fran Miller

Trendy, nutrition-oriented places are popping up downtown and drawing health conscious diners with their creative entrees and unique philosophies. On the heels of the fast, fresh food movement driven by chains like Veggie Grill and Yalla Mediterranean, these new eateries offer relaxed ambiance and attract a fit and health obsessed clientele.



Imagine a long line of cafeteria delights displayed behind glass and prepared with fresh ingredients in intriguing combinations—persimmon and black kale with hazelnuts, roasted cauliflower with golden raisins and curry vinaigrette, ahi tuna and avocado poke with icicle radish––complimented by hot options like chicken chili, twelve-spice braised duck and white truffle mac & cheese. 

At Lemonade you can fill your tray with an array of salads, hot and cold sandwiches, plus soups, sides and desserts. This casual and affordable restaurant invites time-crunched, food savvy guests to ‘eat colorfully’ and mix-and-match; a properly assembled plate is vivid, nutritious and delicious. With multiple locations across the state, Chef Alan Jackson founded Lemonade in LA because he wanted to raise the quality bar in the fast casual industry. “Lemonade is a perfect fit for the California lifestyle,” says Jackson.


Vegetarians, vegans and gluten-free diners can all find something at this eco-friendly spot. Want to try before you buy? Staff will happily provide a taste from the seasonal menu. And true to its name, Lemonade pours an array of fresh and refreshing flavors. Save room for a Pick Me Up—sweets like lemon meringue and chocolate mint grasshopper pie—served trifle-style in glass jelly jars. 1348 Broadway, WC,



While you can still devour a big pretzel during a shopping break at Broadway Plaza, True Food Kitchen offers a new healthy alternative. The brainchild of best-selling cookbook author Sam Fox and world-renowned integrative medicine pioneer Dr. Andrew Weil, True Food Kitchen reflects the region’s local character in an upscale and sustainable environment. While the mini-chain puts nutrition first, flavor is not neglected in dishes that promote an anti-inflammatory diet. Cocktails like the Thai grapefruit martini are juice-driven, and even the desserts are crafted to promote optimum health. The menu is less about calorie counting and more about wholesome body fuel—butternut squash flatbread-style pizzas topped with smoked onion and dried cranberry sport real cheese, and the tacos come stuffed with steak and Greek yogurt

Nutrient-rich ingredients are prepared in simple formats and cater to gluten-free, organic, vegetarian and vegan diets—charred cauliflower, Chioggia beet bruschetta and roasted Brussels sprouts with hazelnuts; grain bowls with miso glazed sweet potato, turmeric, snow pea, grilled Portobello, avocado and hemp seed. 4 Broadway Lane, WC,



Urban Remedy takes healthy eating to another level. In its apothecary-like space, employees direct customers to foods for specific nutritional needs. Urban Remedy’s fresh, organic, non-GMO, ready-to-eat meals, snacks and juices are packaged and ready for take-out—soba noodles are loaded with Napa cabbage, carrot and green onion are tossed with sesame almond sauce, and zucchini replaces pasta in the fettuccini pesto. Other convenient items include cold press juices, nut milks and incredibly creative and delicious meal replacement shakes. Cleanse six-packs (a one-day supply) are pre-selected for optimal efficiency.

Founder Neka Pasquale, a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and certified Chinese nutritionist based in Marin County, believes a healthy diet can transform your life. She began her business by creating her own recipes and juice blends for her patients. After witnessing the changes in their health and overall wellbeing, she launched Urban Remedy and soon caught the eye of supermodel Cindy Crawford who was so impressed with the products and Pasquale’s passion and knowledge, she became a partner and brand ambassador. “We combine the best superfoods in perfectly crafted recipes to ensure the best nutrients for your body,” says Pasquale. “And we believe that when we deepen our connection to food, we unleash its power.” 1320 Locust Street, WC,

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