Santa Clarita residents are now able to dine on the same meals prepared for Oprah Winfrey at a reasonable price with the introduction of Lyfe Kitchen in Valencia.
“Love your food everyday,” the acronym for Lyfe Kitchen, seems to be what inspired Mike Roberts, former global president of McDonald’s, to create the eco friendly health food franchise.
Lyfe Kitchen buys their food semi-locally from Ventura and a little farther.
Lyfe Kitchen’s menu was created by Food Network star, Jeremy Bringardner, vegan chef, Tal Ronnen and Winfrey’s former chef, Art Smith. Some of the popular items on the menu are the quinoa crunch wrap, the Thai red curry bowl and Art’s unfried chicken.
The biggest complaint one of the managers, Jackie Alvarado, hears is that the portion sizes are small, but she says that because of the calorie and sodium constriction there is a limited amount of food they can serve per meal. Lyfe Kitchen is dedicated to providing healthy food to their customers so they only allow up to 600 calories and 1,000 mg of sodium per meal. The quinoa crunch wrap is the highest calorie dish they serve at 591 calories and the sweet corn chowder is the lowest Calorie dish at 164. This doesn’t seem to bother everybody. “The food is to die for,” said Elizabeth Kerr, a customer. “I have not found one thing on the menu that I haven’t liked. I even tried the vegan and vegetarian options and they were both excellent.”
Lyfe Kitchen has a modern, fast, casual atmosphere about it, which I noticed as I waited to meet with Alvarado.
As you walk in, the first thing that catches the eye are the herbs grown in planters that look like a stand-alone wall. After you pass the herbs, the restaurant opens up with floor to ceiling windows that let a lot of natural light in and an orange, gray and white color pallet among the walls and furniture. Quotes about good food nourishing the body are painted sparingly on their walls as well. With mostly recent pop tunes playing in the background, Alvarado described Lyfe Kitchen’s atmosphere as relaxed and upbeat. Everyday at noon, they experience their lunch rush, but around 3 p.m. it is slow enough that customers can come in with their laptops and study for a couple hours in peace.
“The atmosphere is also very upscale and trendy,” Kerr said.
Lyfe Kitchen strives to be an “eco-friendly facility.” Especially their to-go containers: they are all made from recycled material, said Alvarado. Also, the furniture is recycled plastic because the company wants to leave the smallest carbon footprint possible.
Lyfe Kitchen’s target market is women ages 18-49 because they believe that if they enjoy the food and their experience at Lyfe Kitchen, then they will come back and introduce their friends and family to the restaurant.
“We get the younger kids from high school to all the older people that just have to eat a certain way or that have, like, restrictions on their diet, so it’s kind of nice because on the weekends we see a lot of younger kids coming in and enjoying it, “ Alvarado said.