Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’re probably aware of the drama surrounding Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle company. From the iconic jade eggs to the exploding vagina candles, Goop’s reputation has been pretty messy since its launch in 2008. Ghost kitchens, virtual restaurants that only serve to-go and delivery orders, also have a not-so-great reputation. Horror stories of frozen food, messed-up orders, and exuberant fees abound. So when I heard that Goop had launched a ghost kitchen, I couldn’t wait for the juicy rant-reviews to roll in. Think $35 clear broth spilled in the delivery bag, $60 salmon salad made with wilted iceberg lettuce and tinned fish. But the complaints simply didn’t come. Instead, people seem to…like it? In interviews, profiles, and podcasts, L.A. people just keep saying something along the lines of “I hate to admit it, but Goop Kitchen is actually really good.” After hearing/reading this sentiment expressed by respectable people at least 10 times, I began to wonder. Is Goop Kitchen actually good? And if so, why?

What does Goop Kitchen serve?

According to their website, Goop Kitchen is a purveyor of “Good, clean salads and bowls.” Menu highlights include the “Curry Chicken Salad Summer Rolls” ($13.95), “Summer Salmon Bowl” ($17.50) and “Cameron’s Summer Crunch Salad” ($13.95), which is apparently all Cameron Diaz keeps in her fridge (along with wine, duh). These summery and fresh options do sound pretty tasty, and to top things off, the “Turmeric Spiced Chicken Bone Broth” will only set you back $8.95, nowhere near the $35 of my prediction.

Is Goop Kitchen actually good?

Sure, people are praising it on podcasts, but that could be a fluke. For unbiased reviews from a wider sample size, I turned to the internet's favorite harsh but honest review site: Yelp. The Beverly Hills location of Goop Kitchen averages 3.5 stars on Yelp, which is pretty solid. Most Yelpers seem to agree that the food is (as advertised) good and clean, although some complained of small portion sizes and long delivery waits. One Yelper lamented in their one-star review that the Chop Salad ($17.50) “makes Goop Kitchen look more like POOP kitchen.” But having seen the picture of the Chop Salad on Goop’s menu, it’s hard to argue that they didn’t know what they were in for. False advertising, it is not.

For context, an L.A. location of Mr. Beast Burger (another celebrity branded ghost kitchen) gets only two stars. Yelpers complained of burnt buns, inedible patties, and poor customer service. It’s gotten so bad that Mr. Beast himself is suing his ghost kitchen partner for damaging his brand. This is the kind of behavior I would have expected from Gwyneth, to be honest. Clearly Goop Kitchen is doing something right. But what’s the secret to its success?

Why is Goop Kitchen actually good?

Since its launch in 2021, Goop Kitchen has been led by the same chef. Kim Floresca has an impressive resume, with over 20 years of restaurant experience. Even more impressive (and I believe key to Goop Kitchen’s success) is the consistency. Having a strong and reliable leader is critical in any work environment.

For a restaurant to thrive, the people working there need to care about the food (I’ve watched The Bear, so I’m basically an expert) (JK, please don’t come for me). Unfortunately, this isn’t the case in many ghost kitchens, which often suffer from high turnover, lack of transparency, and hazy concepts. Goop Kitchen has found success in a consistent leader and a defined mission. Their goal is to provide good, clean food to the L.A. people who need a convenient meal but aren’t rich enough to hire private chefs, like (for example) underpaid Hollywood writers. And honestly, it seems like they’re getting the job done. I hate to say it but…maybe Goop Kitchen is actually good.