Restaurants across the country are getting creative to continue doing business during the Coronavirus pandemic. And while people are already yearning to return to the comforts of restaurant dining rooms, there are many unique opportunities that those seeking ‘a meal out’ should take advantage of.
Here’s a few notable eateries around town that are showcasing special menus for patrons to enjoy at home:
Ayara Thai, Westchester
This famous family-owned Thai restaurant has enhanced its takeout and delivery menu with meal kits for families, as well as special kids menus, that showcase its age-old family recipes. AyaraThai.com
The Butchery; Brea, Costa Mesa, Crystal Cove and San Diego
As grocery stores are routinely running out of meat, The Butchery’s shelves are fully stocked with a variety of high-quality beef, pork, poultry, pre-marinated meats, locally-made sausages, ground beef prepared in-house, and a full deli case of charcuterie meats and artisan cheeses. Their selection also extends to specialty grocery items like marinades, spice blends and seasonings, deli accompaniments, and a curated assortment of hard-to-find craft beers and wines. ButcheryMeats.com
Coastal Kitchen, Dana Point
Coastal Kitchen is offering take-out menu options from 4 – 8pm nightly. Starters and salads, entrees and sandwiches, and famous desserts can be ordered by calling (949) 449-2822. CoastalKitchenDanaPoint.com.
Five Crowns, Corona Del Mar
Part of the illustrious Lawry’s group, Five Crowns is offering a family-style prime rib dinner for parties of 4 – 6. Meals can include the Five Crowns’ famous prime rib, Atlantic salmon or roasted turkey, as well as creamed corn, creamed spinach, mashed potatoes and bake-at-home Yorkshire pudding. Customers can also order high-end wines by the bottle. Five Crowns’ standard menu is available as well. As an added bonus, all take-out orders receive 20% off, with valet pick-up available. TheFiveCrowns.com
Gabi James, Redondo Beach
This South Bay eatery has added cleverly-named family meals to its takeout and delivery menu. “Netflix and Grill,” “Forking Cabin Fever” and “Cluck Indoors” feature specialties such as skirt steak and filet mignon, chicken and ribeye, Gabi James potatoes and chocolate bread pudding. GabiJamesLA.com
Georgia’s Restaurant, Anaheim & Long Beach
This spectacular Southern soul eatery is offering family packages at both of its locations, featuring everything from 8-Piece fried chicken dinners to smothered pork chops, catfish and blackened chicken pasta, all with soulful sides and their legendary cornbread. Georgia’s Long Beach is offering Curbside Pickup all day until close, and delivery through Grubhub. Georgia’s Anaheim is available for delivery through DoorDash, Grubhub and Uber Eats. Georgias-Restaurant.com
Here and Now, Downtown LA
This beloved neighborhood bar Here and Now will be offering delivery of its full food menu through Postmates. Favorites include their Here and Now burger with signature Boyle Heights sauce, roasted shishito peppers and Habanero Chicken Wings. HereAndNowDTLA.com
Il Pastaio, Beverly Hills
This Italian fine dining establishment will allow guests to order many of their favorite Drago Family dishes to go. To place a take-out order directly, please call Il Pastaio at 310-205-5444 and feel free to utilize Il Pastaio’s curbside pickup as the City of Beverly Hills has made it possible for guests to pull right in front of Il Pastaio during this time. IlPastaioBeverlyHills.com
Little Dom’s, Los Feliz
Modern Italian restaurant Little Dom’s and adjacent Little Dom’s Deli will be offering breakfast, lunch and dinner takeout and delivery via Caviar. Aside from everyday classic Italian favorites, new items have been added such as a daily $25 three-coursePanDOMic menu that includes soups, sauces, jams, and bottles of wine and beer. LittleDoms.com
Mama Terano, Palos Verdes
Specializing in rustic, homestyle Italian dishes, Mama Terano is offering its entire menu for curbside pickup. Customers simply need to submit their payment information when ordering and call the restaurant at 310-377-5757 when they arrive. MamaTerano.com
Old Vine Kitchen + Bar, Costa Mesa
Old Vine Kitchen + Bar is now offering “Heat and Serve” meals to-go that consists of everything from cinnamon rolls and chile verde quiche to lasagna with fresh baked focaccia. Old Vine’s six for sixty wine packages are also available for pickup, and come complete with tasting notes and suggested food pairings. All menu items serve six people, and orders must be placed 24 hours in advance by calling (714) 545-1411, or by emailing email@example.com. OldVineKitchenBar.com
Piccalilli, Culver City
Cali-Asian restaurant Piccalilli will now be offering takeout Monday – Saturday from 11am - 8pm. Menu items include favorites such as brussels sprouts with Korean chili, corn nuts and scallions, whole shrimp and sweet potato with Japanese curry salt. Modified menu favorites include the confit pork shank sandwich and the bangkok chicken katsu sandwich. PiccalilliLA.com
SHU Sushi House Unico, Bel Air
Guests will be able to order many of SHU’s favorite Japanese-Italian fusion dishes to go from 4 – 9pm. To place a Take-Out Order directly, please call SHU at 310-474-2740. ShuSushi.com
Tacos Tu Madre; Westwood, Larchmont, Los Feliz, West Hollywood
Guests can treat themselves to a variety of twisted Mexican favorites, for both takeout and delivery. Breakfast burritos, Korean BBQ tacos, fried chicken tacos and vegan bahn mi bowls are just a few of the items offered up. TacosTuMadre.com
The Raymond, Pasadena
The Raymond 1886, Pasadena’s beloved craftsman cottage, is offering take-out and delivery for families to share at home for lunch and dinner during the week, and for brunch and dinner on the weekend. They’re offering a 10% discount on all takeout orders when calling the restaurant directly 626-441-3136. The Raymond 1886 will also offer delivery through DoorDash and Grubhub, and they’re working on becoming available via Postmates. TheRaymond.com
The Side Door, Corona Del Mar
This cozy gastropub, also part of the Lawry's group, is offering 20% off takeout orders from their seasonal comfort food menu, with dishes such as chicken pot pie and prime rib sliders.
Master’s of Taste will be celebrating its 5th year on Sunday, April 5, but it’s hard to believe that such an iconic event is still relatively new in the food festival realm. Held on the field in Pasadena’s historic Rose Bowl stadium, Master’s of Taste brings together dozens upon dozens of LA’s most highly-sought restaurants, as well as a slew of wineries, breweries, distilleries and other beverage purveyors. There’s even an entire section dedicated to dessert. Collectively, these chefs, winemakers, beer brewers, bakers, ice cream makers and everyone in between are known as “The Masters” of culinary, drink and sweet.
This year’s Master’s of Taste 2020 Host is Chef Vanda Asapahu, Owner and Chef of the famed Ayara Thai in Westchester. Chef Asapahu’s role represents many milestones: she’ the first female chef to be given the title of Host for the event, and Ayara Thai is the first mom-and-pop establishment to be represented in this way. Cooking for Master’s of Taste since year one, Asapahu was once one of only two female chefs at the entire event. She sees year five as ‘a year for the ladies,’ where female representation is set to dramatically increase.
Ayara Thai’s legendary family recipes and deep, profound flavors are joined by the likes of many masters in their own right. Michael Hung of Faith & Flower—last year’s host chef—will be back, as well as representatives from Momed, Celestino and Bacchus Kitchen among a long list of others. Drinks will include Obvious Wines, Ascension Cellars, Mt. Lowe Brewing Company, Humm Kombucha and cocktails made from hotspots such as The Raymond and Preux and Proper. Sweet masters will include Penny Oven, Butter Cake Shoppe, My/Mo Mochi and specialties from Mi Piace.
Equally important Master’s of Taste’s mission to fight homelessness. 100% of proceeds go to Union Station Homeless services, which just last year was able to house more than 1200 previously homeless men and women. The event raised over $500,000 in 2019 with its first-ever sellout crowd.
The event is likely to sell out again this year and bring in more than 3,000 people. Get your ticket to feast for a cause while they last at MastersOfTasteLA.com.
Meat on Ocean is the steakhouse LA has been waiting for, where new-age and old-school come together to showcase time-honored fine dining in a way that that long-time Angelinos and visitors alike can revel in. This is more than a restaurant, instilling in its guests not just a dining experience, but for many a timeless moment where the senses unite under completely new sights, sounds, aromas, and of course, tastes.
Part of the experience is their gargantuan dining room that essentially encompasses five restaurant atmospheres in one, ensuring that no two meals are the same. Each section of this massive open-air space caters to a different audience. Classic plush red booths under longhorn displays line one wall, paying homage to the classic steakhouse. Further down that same wall is more modern décor, for those seeking something newer with the same intimacy. Large group tables line the restaurant’s center, adjacent to a long bar that pays homage to a spot where you’d order a dirty martini, yet churns out cocktails that compete with any modern mixology program. Meat on Ocean then seamlessly transitions to a hybrid of indoor and outdoor seating, where tables closest to Ocean Ave. enjoy a windowless escape with a full roof over their head, as well as gorgeous ocean views with the Santa Monica Pier in the backdrop.
Patrons are not just diners at Mean on Ocean, but also audience members, many with a full view of the market-style display of wines stacked in wooden boxes, as well as the butcher’s area, where the day’s cuts are prepared. Even the smell is reminiscent of a rural European marketplace, where fresh meats, cheeses and wines are exchanged with love and care.
Then you find the aging room, custom-engineered with the sole goal of developing the perfect dry-aged steak. Kept to 35 degrees and 85 percent humidity, this fortress is sealed with steel doors and lined with fans that circulate Himalayan salt-infused air to accentuate flavor over time. Staff members put on special clothing before entering, so as to not contaminate the meat with foreign smells by simply walking past them. Steaks age in here for up to 75 days. Good luck finding another room like this in any restaurant, let alone one that could otherwise rest its laurels on simply being close to the beach.
The aging room is just the beginning, however. Meat on Ocean has developed a mind-blowing seven-stage cooking process to ensure that every bit of refined flavor reaches its full potential on your plate. A team of chefs guide each steak through a journey across ovens you won’t find in most restaurants, ranging from several hundred to more than 2000 degrees, to make sure color, temperature and consistency are nothing short of perfect, regardless of how you like your steak cooked.
By now it should be no surprise that Meat on Ocean serves one of the greatest steaks you’re going to get in Los Angeles, and short of a trip to Japan’s Kobe region, likely one of the greatest steaks you’re going to get…period. Biting into a Meat on Ocean steak is other-worldly, whereby literally months of preparation and countless levels of detail hit you all at once. Many fine steakhouses will have a crust, a finishing ingredient or a single cooking technique that defines their signature flavor, but at Meat on Ocean, it’s a full process, a lifespan, so to speak, that raises the bar to a level simply unattainable for most.
A robust menu doesn’t keep itself to steak, however. As if its meat preparation process wasn’t enough, Meat on Ocean is under the King’s Seafood umbrella—the same owner of the illustrious Water Grill right down the street. That means fresh, sustainable seafood achieving another almost unfair level of quality, prepared with an equal level of culinary mastery. One bite of their Chilean Seabass, or their sensational octopus, and you’ll easily understand.
The intrigue doesn’t stop there. Meat on Ocean takes advantage of every part of the meat it sources, reduces excess fat from their beef into a tallow, and incorporates that tallow into many other aspects of the menu. This means beef tallow fries, exceptionally buttery meatballs and so much more.
And yes, of course Meat on Ocean makes nearly every dessert in-house, including a decadent bread pudding and a rotating ice cream menu. And that cocktail program? No syrups involved, just pure muddling and mixing of fresh berries and other ingredients.
Filling a restaurant the size of Meat on Ocean, in one of the most expensive areas on the planet, would be a daunting task for virtually anyone in the business. But now that you’ve gotten a glimpse of the way this place runs its show, there should be no doubt as to why Meat on Ocean is packed every day of the week. Just make sure to book in advance, and specify which part of the restaurant you’d like to make yours for the evening.
Meat on Ocean is located at 1501 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401. Open 11:30a – 11p Sun – Thu, 11:30a – midnight Fri – Sat. Avg. out-the-door price for appetizer, entrée, side, split dessert and 1 – 2 drinks is ~$145/person. For reservations and more information call (310) 773-3366 or visit MeatOnOcean.com.
Benjamin Brown is a seasoned restaurant writer and hospitality consultant, serving up SoCal's hottest food news and reviews.