Restaurants at The Point, an iconic shopping mall in El Segundo, have responded to Coronavirus-related limitations by converting to takeout and delivery. Fitting to The Point’s chic and modern appeal, these eateries and drinkeries represent several of SoCal’s favorite new hautespots, as well as timeless brands that are in the same boat as far as retaining business amidst the pandemic.
For those in the South Bay looking to get a Taste of The Point during their quarantine, here’s a way to enjoy high-end pasta, farm-to-table sandwiches, organic bowls and even margaritas to-go:
Hopdoddy Burger Bar
Born in Austin, Texas with new life in California, Hopdoddy serves angus and American grass-fed Kobe beef, chicken and sushi-grade tuna, baked-from-scratch buns, hand-cut Kennebec fries, farm fresh salads, and handcrafted milkshakes. They’ve created a series of meal kits for those looking to replicate their meal with the freshness of dining in, as well as offered up their standard menu--including signature drinks--for takeout and delivery. Website here
Tocaya’s is bringing its signature ‘Modern Organic Mexican’ to households. Patrons frequent Tocaya for its tacos, burritos, bowls and salads that are rooted in traditional Mexican recipes and incorporated into versatile dishes that accommodate vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free dietary needs, among others. Tocaya is now offering prepped ingredient kits, family meals, as well as their standard menu for takeout and delivery. Website here
This celebrated eatery features scratch-made pizzas and pastas, as well as other decadent Italian favorites. They’re continuing to push their mission for guests to ‘savor every bite, sip, and moment’ by offering their menu for takeout and delivery. Website here
Known for fresh sandwiches, family-owned Mendocino Farms is offering its menu for takeout and delivery. Please note that during Coronavirus-related limitations, Mendocino Farms has modified its standard hours to close at 8pm. Website here
With culinary temptation a lot less accessible than usual, now may be as good a time as any to go on a juice cleanse. Pressed Juicery’s premium juices are available for takeout and delivery. Website here
The ‘Original Craft Coffee,’ Peet’s has been brewing since 1966 and seeks to continue providing a daily pick-me-up for regulars who have made their shop a home away from home, those meeting with other online vs. at one of their tables, and anyone who would otherwise stop by. Patrons can enjoy Peet’s to go, via mobile ordering. Website her
Taste of Italy will see its 11th year in Downtown Los Angeles, transforming the plaza surrounding the historic El Pueblo monument and across from Union Station into an Italian Piazza for one very special night. Benefitting the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles (IAMLA), Taste of Italy is set to bring it a who’s-who of Italian restaurants and wineries from throughout the city.
IAMLA provided a sneak preview of some of the tastes to behold at the festival, with a pairing menu at Hermosa Beach’s Sosta, a Taste of Italy participant. Opening last year under longtime South Bay Italian Chef Luca Manderino, Sosta showcases homey favorites alongside inventive creations. Crudo di branzino, heavenly prosciutto and seared ribeye were a few crowd favorites, but ultimately it was the house-made gnocchi al gorgonzola that took the cake. We can only hope that such velvety, melt-in-your-mouth potato pillows make their way to the main stage.
Wines served included Custodi Belloro Orvieto D.O.C. Classico, 2015; Tenuta Carretta Nebbiolo, 2017; and Cascina Adelaide Barolo, 2013. Expect pours from PRP Wine International, San Antonio Winery, Lyra Fine Wine Importers and Castoro Cellars, among others, at Taste of Italy.
Additional restaurants are set to include Factory Kitchen, Celestino Ristorante, Drago Centro, Colombo’s Italian Steakhouse and Jazz Club, Osteria Cal Mare, Brera and Black Market Gelato, among many others.
Taste of Italy is set to take place from 5 – 10pm on Satruday, Oct. 12, with an expected attendance of 2,500 people. Proceeds go to The Italian American Museum of Los Angeles, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to showcasing the ongoing contributions of Italian Americans in Southern California and the nation. IAMLA is located in DTLA’s Italian Hall, constructed in 1908 and is among the oldest remaining structures from Los Angeles’ historic Little Italy. More information and tickets for Taste of Italy available at IAMLA.org/Taste-of-Italy.
Caló Kitchen + Tequila hosts a distinctive ambiance where the intimacy of a small space meets the energy of modern LA dining. A one-lane walkway separates booths and a packed bar, with servers quite used to backing up or leaning in for patrons to pass in the same way a flight attendant would aboard an aircraft. Upstairs is slightly quieter, with the same artistic lighting calming the air and allowing you to take a breath, even if it’s to just enjoy the view of the shopping mall across the street.
Caló (Spanish for ‘slang’) puts an interesting accent on American Mexican favorites. The menu isn’t miles long like you’ll find in some full-service Mexican establishments, in the same way that the interior isn’t decked out with bright colors or filled with Mariachi music. Instead, Caló integrates a level of elegance in its ingredients to match its ambiance, while remaining both fun and indulgent.
Case in point with the shrimp and bacon tacos, profound in rich flavor and texture made all the better with a valentina cream sauce. Caló’s prime skirt steak nails it as well, bursting with a critical mass of umami that lusciously spills into a homemade tortilla. The carnitas, made with prime kurobuta pork and Mexican coca cola, can be cut with a spoon. And in traditional American Mexican fashion, Caló offers a few combination options that allow patrons to try a bit of everything—the seafood trio and Caló platter, to name a few.
Then, of course, comes the tequila part of the equation. Unsurprisingly, Caló has a meticulously crafted margarita menu, boasting everything from your traditional Cadillac to strawberry jalapeno and watermelon basil. Sadly, blended margaritas aren’t an option here [allegedly the bar doesn’t have room for a blender]. And if fruit pulp isn’t your thing, ask for your drink to be strained beforehand. Caló also boasts a healthy beer and wine list, including an intriguing and ever-so-subtle horchata beer.
Churros are undoubtedly the dessert of choice, filled with a traditional burnt caramel custard and served with chocolate sauce, thick house-made whipped cream and—for a touch of novelty—peanut butter for dipping.
Caló Kitchen + Tequila is located at 2191 Rosecrans Ave, El Segundo, CA 90245. Open 11a – 9p Sun – Thu, 11a – 10p Fri/Sat. Average out-the-door price for split appetizer, entrée, split dessert and 1 – 2 drinks is ~$85/person. For more information call (424) 269 – 2322 or visit CaloKitchen.com.
Benjamin Brown is a seasoned restaurant writer and hospitality consultant, serving up SoCal's hottest food news and reviews.