Casual, family-friendly Rosti Tuscan Kitchen serves Italian specialties with entire separate vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free menus.
SANTA MONICA, Ca—Arugula & fig salad, penne with asparagus, and pesto hazelnut pie are just a few vegan options at Rosti Tuscan Kitchen in Santa Monica, California.
Italian is an easy choice for many vegetarians because many pasta and pizzas can be meatless. Rosti goes an extra step offering separate menus with vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.
Busy owner Kevin Goldfein took time out to answer questions about his unusual—and welcomed—spin on tradition.
Why did you decide to create vegan, gluten free and vegetarian menus?
At Rosti Tuscan Kitchen in Encino and Santa Monica, I started getting frequent requests from guests with dietary restrictions and I wanted to accommodate these individuals. I then decided to expand my menu and added gluten-free, vegan, heart-healthy, and vegetarian choices to better cater to my diverse clientele.
Tell me a bit about your background.
I started my hospitality career waiting tables in a Los Angeles Restaurant called Miyagi’s in 2000. I then earned a Masters Degree in Business Hospitality & Management from Cornell University in 2003. Following Cornell, I held a variety of hospitality positions at Harrah’s Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, China Grill Management in New York City, and the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills. From 2005 to 2007, I launched, operated and sold a restaurant company in Downtown Los Angeles called The Loose Leaf Salad Company. Most recently, in 2008, I formed a new hospitality management company called KBG Dining Group which purchased Rosti Tuscan Kitchen.
Why did you open an Italian/Tuscan restaurant?
I decided to own Rosti because Italian food has become a staple in the United States. It has become almost as popular as American food; all types of people enjoy pasta and pizza.
Since Californians like to eat healthy, I wanted to own a restaurant that offered wholesome, very light Italian dining and Tuscan food.
How often do guests ask for the gluten free menu? The vegan? The vegetarian?
Guests ask for gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian menus all of the time, every day.
What is most popular on your menu? Most popular on vegan or vegetarian or gluten free?
Pastas and pizzas are the most popular items on our menu. The most common dishes ordered on our vegan and vegetarian menus are the salads and pastas. Pizzas are ordered the most on our gluten-free menu because it’s usually hard to find a tasty, gluten-free dough.
Is there a very different taste or texture to the gluten free pastas or pizzas?
There is a slightly different taste and texture to the gluten-free pastas and pizzas but we found a product that is very close to the real thing. While you can notice the difference, the thin-crusted pizza is still delicious and when the pasta is cooked the right way, you may not even notice that it is gluten-free.
What’s the best thing that’s happened in your business this year?
I signed a new lease in Calabasas and we will be opening a third location in the fall. We are very excited to be expanding the Rosti brand.
What’s coming next on your menu?
We have new additions coming out when the Calabasas location opens. A few of our new dishes include: Insalata Alfredo salad, Northern Style Chicken Parmesano, Southwest BBQ Chicken Pizza, and Risotto Il Forno.
Arugula & fig salad $13.50
Arugula & endive lettuces, dried figs, toasted hazelnuts, caramelized onions & goat cheese, tossed in our honey balsamic dressing.
Chopped steak salad $14.50
Shredded romaine, grilled steak, gorgonzola crumbles, cherry tomatoes, caramelized onions & our basil herb dressing.
Penne with asparagus $11.99
In a hazelnut-marsala wine sauce. Add shrimp or chicken $4.50.
Pollo al mattone $10.50
Rosti's famous brick pressed chicken marinated in garlic, rosemary & sage.
Grilled Vegetable Sandwich $9.99
Grilled Eggplant, Zucchini and Tomatoes with Balsamic Drizzle
Mushroom & Onion Pie $11.50 / $16.00
Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions, & Fresh Thyme
Pesto Hazelnut Pie $12.00 / $16.50
Fresh Mozzarella, Cherry Tomatoes, Hazelnuts and Pesto
Rosti Tuscan Kitchen
931 Montana Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90403