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Kalifornia Kitchen (CLOSED)

Restaurants, American Tottenham Court Road
2 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

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Vegan entrepreneur Loui Blake’s plant-based eatery.

‘Because healthy is sexy’, runs the motto of Kalifornia Kitchen, a trendy new vegan joint in super-central London. The food certainly looks sexy, but then you’d expect nothing less of a venture from Instagram pro Loui Blake.

Is it healthy, though? Sure, some of it is. It just isn’t particularly inspiring. There are burgers, tacos, salad, falafel and a few other choices, plus a sort-of sides section with fries, guacamole and kale chips, all at a hefty £5 each, apart from kale chips, which are £6.

But we enjoyed our Klassic Kalifornia Burger, which featured the hyped ‘bleeding’ meatless patty from vegan brand Moving Mountains (it’s made with plant proteins and coconut oil). There were crispy onions, there were paprika fries: both good stuff.

The Sri Lankan curry, however, was a serious let-down. It was painfully bland, begging the question: why put a specialist curry on a menu of burgers and salads if it’s not in the least bit, you know, special?

Pecan pie and matcha cheesecake desserts were fine, but not memorable. Not least because there was only the merest hint of matcha in the cheesecake.

There were other blips, too. Service was polite and friendly, but patchy (we were served by four different people and had to wait an age for the bill), and menu labelling was unclear: part of a supposedly ‘all-day’ menu wasn’t available after 3pm, despite having no end-time printed.

Kalifornia Kitchen isn’t a terrible restaurant, but it feels like things haven’t been thought through, which when you’re paying prices that occasionally hit silly – £10 for pecan pie, anyone? – just isn’t on. Time to refine those Kalifornia dreams.


Address: 20 Percy St
Transport: Tube: Goodge Street
Price: Dinner for two with drinks: around £90.
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