The endless influx of American hamburger and pancake chains onto Japanese shores is perpetuating the stereotype that the American diet is basically nothing but an artery-clogging combination of grease and lard peppered with artificial flavors, but for American expats sick of being asked “Do you love hamburger?” by Japanese acquaintances, help may be on the way.

Rumor in Japanese foodie circles has it that the next American food chain to come to Japan may just be True Food Kitchen, an Arizona restaurant focusing on so-called “anti-aging” recipes made from healthy, natural ingredients.


Since one of our reporters just happened to be stateside recently, she took pilgrimage to Phoenix to see what all the fuss was about.

True Food Kitchen is the brainchild of noted healthy living guru and Harvard-educated nutritionist Dr. Andrew Weil, who underneath the wicked mountain-man beard he’s been rocking for years, must certainly look 30 years younger than he really is. The chain’s menu items are, according to the website, compliant with an “anti-inflammatory diet” that is purported to rejuvenate the mind and body. With burgers, sandwiches, pizzas and other calorie-dense items on the menu, the Fountain of Youth this is not, but the chain strives to strike a balance between taste, freshness and overall nutrition value.

Tucking in for her review, our reporter ordered a sandwich, a hamburger, a pizza and drink; an enormous order that sort of defeats the purpose of visiting a health food diner, but we’ll give her a pass in the name of being thorough.

Our reporter gushed over the TLT (tempeh-lettuce-tomato) sandwich and the Bison Burger, and noted the pizza, which is technically on the kid’s menu, can run with the best gourmet pies and is big and tasty enough to satisfy an adult too.


Oddly, she made no mention of how healthy or how much younger she felt post-meal, but after consuming three enormous anti-aging dishes by herself, we’re surprised she didn’t return to Japan as a babbling infant.

If you find yourself around the Phoenix area, we highly recommend True Food Kitchen for a great taste of America’s burgeoning gourmet health food scene. The TLT our reporter tried will set you back around US$12, while the Bison Burger comes in at $16.

▼ The TLT (we’ll forgive you if you have to look up what tempeh is. We did.)


▼ The Bison Burger


▼ The interior of the restaurant is well-lit and spacious.





Photos: RocketNews24

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