Restaurant openings are always newsworthy in the food-loving community, but when you get the rare opportunity to visit a restaurant during its soft opening events, it feels like there is an extra-special, electrifying sense of excitement in the air. I work with a few of the investors so news of this opening has been a-buzzing for a while now, and we were very excited to be invited to celebrate the grand opening a day early. Tomorrow (May 22nd), Real Food Daily will be opening to the public its third storefront, bringing fresh and healthy vegan cuisine to Pasadena in addition to the current locations in Santa Monica and West Hollywood. The Pasadena RFD is simply beautiful with its indoor and outdoor dining areas, wood finishes, vibrant green walls, open kitchen, and inviting bar counter. We were welcomed by hearty handshakes from Rob Jacobs and radiating smiles from Ann Gentry, the founder of RFD who has developed quite a following in Los Angeles for her focus on seasonal ingredients and 100% vegan menu.
We saw many familiar faces and of course, we couldn’t help but first admire the shiny, brand-new kitchen!
SEA CAKE Butternut squash, yam and sea vegetable croquette, pesto, sweet chili aioli. A wonderfully seared vegan “crab” cake, served with a smile. :)
(Left) NORI MAKI Sweet brown rice, shiso, tempeh, avocado, carrot, collard greens, umeboshi, tamari dipping sauce, wasabi, pickled ginger
(Right) WABI SABI ROLLS Cabbage, cucumber, carrot, mint, cilantro, rice noodles, rice paper, wasabi dressing
(Right) Kale & Cuke (kale and cucumber lemonade) – it was so popular that they ran out of the kale puree sometime during the event!
(Right) Açai Berry Iced Tea – another delicious and refreshing drink option!
Of course, we HAD to try the desserts! There was an incredible selection; I think we were gawking at the display case for a few solid minutes before finally making our selections.
We wanted to try them all!
Mixed berry cheesecake – vegan and gluten-free, made with a tofu “cream cheese” and swirled with berry flavor!
(Left) Penny, one of the oh-so-friendly staff members, also hooked us up with the Apple and Raspberry Kanten – apple sauce thickened with agar agar and layered with dried cranberries and raspberries. For those with nut allergies, that crumbly topping is toasted walnuts.
(Right) Chocolate coconut squares and walnut truffle. The coconut squares are wonderful, and I don’t even like coconut! Martin tried the walnut truffle and enjoyed the soft center.
Our friends Cassandra and Brian surprised us with plates of more desserts that they were able to track down!
It was a fun event and a fantastic opportunity to experience firsthand the passion that the RFD team feels for their product. We managed to track down Ann and all in all, we got the impression that she feels optimistic that vegan cuisine will be warmly received in Pasadena. We agree and think they’ll be very successful with this third location! If you’re in the area, be sure to check them out!
Check out Real Food Daily on the web at realfood.com!
899 East Del Mar Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91101
Even though it’s a new location, visit their Yelp reviews!