Rewild at Nurture
2949 Federal Boulevard
Open 3 to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday; happy hour is 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday
For more info:
What we saw:
Shiitake crudo at Rewild.
Nurture is a "wellness marketplace" that opened in May 2020 in a former elementary school. It houses around sixty businesses centered on the theme of self-care, offering everything from fitness classes and physical therapy to salon and spa services. But you can also simply stop by for the concept's food offerings, which have recently expanded.
In June 2020, Nurture debuted its daytime offering, dubbed Nest Cafe
, which serves up pastries, smoothies, coffee, a bar program and larger plates like dosas and tartines on thick slices of bread from Reunion
. The space is open and bright, which makes it ideal for breakfast, lunch or a work break from the office (whether that's at home or you're back to mingling with co-workers).
Now, though, you can also stop by Nurture for happy hour or dinner. After a series of successful pop-ups, Nurture introduced Rewild, a nighttime concept.
The Ash Labneh Carrots are a standout.
As with Nest Cafe, the Rewild offerings are veggie-heavy, but executive chef Juan Tapia adds unexpected flavors and textures that elevate the fare way beyond the average bowl of greens. He wants this to be the kind of food that energizes you instead of weighing you down, but he's also not afraid to add indulgent elements, like the creamy burrata on the plum and radicchio salad ($16).
Mixing elements like salt, heat, acid and sweetness, Tapia and his team have created a menu that's full of unexpected hits. There's a play on crudo ($12) made with the unique combination of shiitake mushrooms and thinly sliced grapes for a deeply savory bite balanced by sweet bursts. The dish is doused in spicy oil and served with thin, crispy chips made from the dosas served at breakfast and lunch.
Larger plates like the Spanish roasted half chicken ($28) with a Fresno-apricot barbecue sauce and dill aioli, are heartier, but you could certainly make a meal of the small plates — particularly the carrots ($14). If carrots don't get you excited, it's time to reconsider. When they're expertly roasted to the point of being caramelized and even crispy at their thin tips, as they are here, this root vegetable becomes a lot more interesting. Add creamy labneh made with ash from the charring process, a spicy harissa gastrique and hazelnuts for crunch, and suddenly carrots are something you'll be craving all summer long.
What surprised us:
The cocktail program. Again, Nurture proves that health is all about balance. While it carries a selection of zero-proof spirits and can make pretty much any of its cocktail options booze-free, it doesn't shy away from going strong, as with D.D., Rewild's dill-heavy take on a martini. (All cocktails are $12.)
Like Tapia, beverage director Clairessa Chaput introduces unexpected elements for a vegetal (in a really satisfying way) spin on boozy concoctions. Rum infused with sundried tomatoes and apricots makes an appearance in the Sunkissed in Havana ($12), which is ideal for those who like a sweeter drink.
The Rockette made with arugula is ideal for summer.
But in our search for the perfect summer sipper, a new front-runner has emerged. While spritzes are great, most of us could use something a little stronger these days — and fruity, sweet options can be too cloying. Enter arugula. The peppery green lends a vibrant color to the Rockette, which also includes Caprock gin, lime and agave. It's supremely refreshing and seems even vaguely healthy to sip — all while still packing a punch.
A wellness marketplace may not be the first place you think of for drinks with friends, but Rewild isn't just for those seeking out healthy options. It's also serving straight-up interesting and tasty food and drinks that just so happen to leave you feeling, well, nurtured.