Healthy New L.A. Fast Casual: Kye's Handheld Paleo-Friendly Wraps

By Krystal Hauserman, Foodable Contributor

The Paleo diet (short for “Paleolithic”), popularized by Dr. Loren Cordain, has become increasingly popular in the United States in the last several years. In a nutshell (pun intended), the philosophy is that we should be eating the way our Stone Age hunter-gatherer ancestors ate.  

Now before you roll your eyes at the thought of another fad diet, know that there is some very serious scientific evidence and hundreds of thousands of years of human evolution to support the idea that the majority of our diet should be focused on fresh vegetables and fruit, lean meats and fish, and nuts. Out with the starches, dairy, grains, and highly processed, sugar-laden foods found in the center aisles of the grocery store (yes, even the health food stores!).  

Though some people have the mistaken impression that “going Paleo” means breakfast plates filled with nothing but bacon, eggs and butter, the reality is that it should look more like a frittata chock full of farmers market veggies and topped with fresh herbs. The exciting part of the Paleo way of eating is that it encourages you to try new foods (kohlrabi, anyone?), and to get creative in the kitchen. The Paleo principals are as flexible as you want them to be. So yes, you can still enjoy your sushi with rice and soy sauce on occasion.

What About Dining Out on a Paleo Diet?

As a food lover, it is unlikely you will be content to forego trying new restaurants and quit your day job to source ingredients and prepare three Paleo meals a day. Sure, a lot of restaurant items can be adjusted to make the dish Paleo-friendly -- steamed veggies for rice, sweet potato instead of regular, burger wrapped in lettuce. But some of us hate being “that guy.” You know, the one the wait staff  bemoans as high-maintenance. There has to be a better way.

New Fast-Casual Concept Kye’s Offers Paleo Options

Kye’s delivers Paleo-friendly, gluten free, super-food dishes in a fresh and modern storefront on hip Montana Avenue in Santa Monica. The meat is carefully procured and the produce is organic and local whenever possible. The signature item, the “KyeRito”, is the brainchild of owner Jeanne Cheng -- who holds degrees in molecular biology, traditional Chinese medicine and spiritual psychology. Her scientific background shines through when you see the ingenious packaging and patent pending “slip-wrap technique” that keeps the nori that envelopes the KyeRito crispy and fresh. Cheng tested over 50 varieties of nori for her superfood “burritos,” and the winner is light and crunchy with the perfect amount of toasty goodness.   

Food presentation at Kye's | credit: kyesmontana.com

Food presentation at Kye's | credit: kyesmontana.com

For your morning fix, try the Breakfast Taco “Paleo style” -- a delicious blend of South-of-the-border ingredients like chipotle, pico de gallo, and cilantro mixed with fresh scrambled eggs and wrapped in nori. Prefer something sweeter? The Breakfast Smoothie whips peaches, bananas, and three types of nutrient-rich kale with creamy seed and nut butter, coconut yogurt, flax milk and almond milk. Don’t miss the house cold brew iced organic coffee, made with an exotic blend of cinnamon, cardamom, coconut milk and a kiss of maple syrup. This special coffee pairs beautifully with the house-made kabocha squash pies.   

For lunch and dinner, Kye’s offers additional tasty options like the KyeRito burger, featuring grass-fed beef mixed with Swiss chard, homemade ketchup and mustard, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and avocado. Those looking to satisfy their sweet tooth can feel good about ordering the Coco Cacao Energizer, a chocolaty blend of cacao nibs, coconut, banana, cashew, cinnamon and sea salt. Kye’s plans to extend their menu over the next few months, so be on the lookout.  In the meantime, Paleo enthusiasts, and those just wanting to enjoy a quick, healthy, nutrient-rich meal, have a fun new option.