As of last week, Montana Avenue has become home to the Westside’s ultimate foodie/health conscious haven: Kye’s. With a space offering an abundance of natural light, minimalist yet Santa Monica modern rustic design elements, positively epic branding accents, and a few tables for seating, Kye’s is the perfect little neighborhood spot to stop in for a quick (breakfast/lunch/dinner) bite where you may satisfy just about any kind of craving. Impressively enough, Kye’s does not just cater to just one health movement, what they offer in gluten free options they match with paleo, vegan, green, organic, and farm-to-table options, etc. Woah, right? Well it doesn’t end there, just how Kye’s caters to all diets, they also cater to all palates; from those with just genuinely love rabbit food to, yes, even the burger and brownie lovin’ palates like my own.
When we think “health conscious” most of us tend to associate that with “boring” – generally speaking a salad is not nearly as exciting as a bowl of pasta, amiright. But at Kye’s, I can tell you first hand that after taste testing 6 “KyeRitos”, 2 shakes, and 2 sweet treats later… there is nothing boring about what innovator/owner Jeanne has created for her one-of-a-kind menu. Delicious food at Kye’s does not come at the cost of a lack of nutrients, your first meal here will make you wonder how we’ve managed to “enjoy” eating healthy for so long without a place like Kye.
In a world completely saturated with overdone and overworked cuisines, it’s relatively difficult to create something completely new as it’s all likely been done before in one form or another. But Jeanne, being the molecular biologist/Chinese medicine Dr./health foodie that she is has gone ahead and invented a brand new food item she’s patented as the KyeRito – the burrito like anchor item that makes up most of the Kye menu. The KyeRito is sold in a Kye original “slip pack”, and though you’ve never seen anything like it and will likely have no idea what to do with it upon being served one, do not panic, either Jeanne, the flat screen playing a “how to”, or one of the staff members will be be happy to show you proper KyeRito handling. The KyeRito comes in four categories: breakfast, deli style, classic comfort, and Asian-inspired. I’m naturally drawn to anything that looks like a giant sushi roll so the Asian-inspired KyeRito (namely the Sweet Chicken) was my first choice, but I have to say the Nori Burger, the Ruben, and the Bean Taco were huge pleasant surprises.
With each new item I tried, I couldn’t believe what it actually was made up of; it was difficult to wrap my head around so few “healthy” ingredients being used to make something that tasted so much better than expected. Case in point: the Fresh Mint Shake. If you hadn’t read the ingredients you’d think, “this is a really yummy, unique mint milkshake?” It doesn’t necessarily taste like a diner shake, but it doesn’t taste like an unsweetened green smoothie either. What makes the Kye Fresh Mint Shake special and delicious is actually a blend of almond milk, mint, spinach, coconut ice cream, Chinese yam, and agave. Basically mind blowingly delicious AND guilt free.
This is one restaurant, one brand, one idea I pray for rapid expansion on; the principle, the product, the taste, the convenience are all factors that have lead me to become Kye’s biggest fan – and I’m not even a part of any diet restriction they cater to. Healthy or not, the food at Kye is incredible, accessible, and downright addicting.
Location: 1518 Montana Ave, Santa Monica CA 90403 Call: 310-395-KYES (5937) Hours: 7 am – 8 pm | Tuesday – Sunday