My niece insisted that we take our family, visiting us in Scottsdale for several days, to True Foods to celebrate her mother’s birthday. She had "heard so much about it." There were 13 of us. I tried to make a reservation for lunch but True Foods was not very accommodating. (the conversation went something like this: "We usually don’t take lunch reservations." “Even for 13 people?” I asked. "You'll have to sit at our community table. It seats 10." and "No, we can't seat you outside.")
Fifty percent of my family is vegetarian and we're real foodies. We travel a lot so we've had vegetarian and vegan food throughout the US, India, Canada and Europe. We base reviews on food, service and ambiance. We don't care how trendy a “concept restaurant” is or whether they follow Buddha's or Aunt Minnie's dietary guidelines.
Quit bluntly the food at True Foods in North Scottsdale was awful. The quinoa burger was hard, flavorless and dry. So was the bun. The onion tart was merely warm flat bread with very little on it. We also tried Panang curry, several pizzas, salads and the starters. The food was so bad that we wondered if it was leftover from the day before. The drinks were not impressive either and took forever to be prepared. The menu descriptions were much better than the drinks tasted.
Vegan and vegetarian food does not have to be dull but it should be well prepared and fresh, especially when a restaurant boasts of locally sourced or organically, biodynamically or sustainably farmed.
As for the ambience: The tables were awkward. The chairs were uncomfortable and the space was flooded with such harsh noise we couldn't hear the person next to us. The drink blenders were obnoxious.
The waiters started with a pretentious, canned spiel about Andrew Weil. Throughout the service, we had trouble getting their attention. Their attitude was somewhat like we were lucky to be eating at True Foods.
It's actually a silly concept restaurant with bad food. It certainly wasn't worth the tremendous parking hassle at the North Scottsdale mall location. For a better meal, go to the Persian Room nearby. There are plenty of flavorful, vegetarian options. The restaurant itself looks like a sultan's boudoir. The service was very accommodating. A table for 13 was no problem. You just won't be able to have a Kale-Apple-Cucumber-Celery-Lemon-Ginger drink but so what.
We might give the Camelback True Foods location a try but we're not hopeful.
Cons: A silly concept restaurant, Dried out, stale, flavorless food, Unpleasant ambience