I love finding new places to dine out that are supporting the local, Sonoma County fermentation scene. Downtown Petaluma has a cafe called Native Kitchen and Komucha Bar, where you can order from a menu of totally organic and biodynamic foods as well as kombucha on tap. The menu is a selection of small plates, salads & wraps, and what they call “skillets,” where the food comes out in a giant cast iron skillet. The majority of the their menu items come from Coyote Family Farm and Green String Farm, both in Petaluma.
My trusty photographer and friend, Jenny Rustad and I were the only people in the restaurant, which I love. That’s why I always dine at weird hours (lunch at 3 or 4, dinner at 9). I get all the attention and information I need from the server, and no one looks at us crazy when we spend 10 minutes taking pictures of our food before we actually eat it. We started off with a kombucha flight, of all small production, local brands such as, Marin Kombucha and Lev. Like any wine country native would do, I treated it like a wine tasting and took notes…
Oak Aged Original: By far the lightest, most mild of all the flavors. Pineapple aroma with very subtle acidic finish.
Apple Juniper: Sour candy on the nose, really mild palate, almost “diet” tasting.
Citrus: Very bright lemon aroma, very dry palate.
Pinot Sage: Sweet, floral nose, bright ripe fruits, but a dry finish.
Ginger Berry: Strong strawberry on the nose, spicy palate.
The ginger berry was by far my favorite. What I still can’t figure out is how all these flavors were so light! Light in color, light in aroma and flavor, where as my homemade booch is vinegary, deep in color and very rich in flavor. I’ve asked some kombucha makers why this is, but haven’t received a direct answer. Some say it has to do with shortening your fermentation time. Others say, it’s because the kombucha is kegged.
Not only does Native serve kombucha on tap, but they also have a menu of kombucha “mocktails,” which were beautifully presented kombucha drinks mixed with herbs, juices and garnishes. We had the Ginger Mule and The Grapefruit. We snacked on a plate of pickled vegetables and hummus. I love that they serve house made gluten free crackers with it! Normally I have to opt out on the crackers.
The atmosphere of the place is very relaxing and quite adorable. It’s a nice blend of hippy vegan cafe, and old timey diner. I will definitely be back to try the rest of the menu and the mocktails.
Visit www.nativekombucha.com for more info.