A new food as medicine concept aims to nourish local appetites.
A few months ago, Lan Thai (aka Chef Lando) opened Enclave inside JuneShine’s production facility in Scripps Ranch. Chef Lando describes her first restaurant as a “wellness gastropub” with a food as medicine concept that bridges the healthcare and culinary worlds.
Aligning her restaurant with the hard kombucha brand was a natural fit, since JuneShine’s focus on producing beverages with low sugar, healthy probiotics, and all organic ingredients is consistent with her values and vision.
Besides, she was sold on the space from the moment she spied a window in the kitchen.
The enterprising chef was born in a refugee camp in Thailand after her parents escaped Vietnam in her father’s fishing boat. When Lan was six months old, the family arrived in the U.S. as refugees and eventually purchased a plot of land in Lakeside that would become a farm.
Growing up, she would accompany her father to ethnic enclaves in San Diego, like cash and carry grocery stores, to barter, sell, or trade goods. These places continue to be a great source of inspiration for her.
“I go in and everyone is speaking their native language and it’s so cool. It’s like travelling in your own backyard,” she explained. “We’re so lucky to have that in America. I don’t think people truly realize that America is the land of immigrants.”
Lan’s goal with Enclave was to provide a place where people could go out to eat delicious food and feel better than when they walked in.
“I’m tired of the food industry truly destroying Americans. We’re almost at fifty percent of Americans that have at least one chronic illness…I don’t like that we’re normalizing sickness,” she said. “Food isn’t supposed to make you feel fatigued. It’s fuel, it’s replenishing. I want to get people to understand how we’ve been brainwashed by the food industry.”
The wellness-oriented menu was designed by two certified nutritionists and features functional foods with anti-inflammation properties that improve gut health.
Eighty percent of produce served at Enclave is sourced from Sage Hill Ranch Gardens, a biodynamic farm in Escondido. Lan says the farm’s fertile and nutrient-dense soil results in better tasting and more nutritious vegetables.
Freshness is also a feature of the partnership with the local farm. Lettuce is harvested on Tuesday or Friday mornings, so the greens in your salad are a maximum of four days old.
Popular appetizers include the tropical salad made with spring mix, cruciferous slaw, herbs, mango and a zesty dressing with macadamia nuts and ginger, and Korean fried chicken wings made with gluten-free batter.
Heartier perilla leaf tacos stuffed with Vietnamese-inspired grass-fed organic brisket or pho shitake au jus are another favorite. And the chicken “Tika-ish” tacos made with Green Glaze collards are a delicious gluten-free option that might change your perception of the hearty green. Unlike most varieties, the mild flavor of the collard greens she sources lend itself to raw presentations.
For dessert, don’t miss the cassava coconut cake. It’s vegan and lands like a feather.
“We feel like we’re not trying to do anything different,” she said. “We’re just going back to our roots, but at a level where everything is nutrient-dense.”
In the new year, Lan is looking forward to hosting more food as medicine workshops featuring medicinal foods like bone broth, moringa, and fermented foods, as well as a F.A.M. dinner with Chef Stephani De Palma of Addison in January.
The space also serves as a storefront for the company’s food as medicine meal delivery service that caters to new mothers, ketogenic, paleo, whole 30, anti-inflammatory, and gut healthy lifestyles.
Inside Juneshine, 10051 Old Grove Road, Scripps Ranch