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30+ L.A. Eateries in the Valley Offering Takeout/Delivery

April 3, 2020 by Christina Champlin
Photo by Versailles

It’s obvious that the hospitality industry is suffering tremendous losses at this time. Eateries have all turned into takeout and delivery only establishments due to COVID-19. Help them out by ordering takeout, curbside pickup, or delivery. On this list, find a wide range of over 30 Valley options. We’ve got delis, tacos, vegan cuisine, Thai, and even ice cream. Bon appétit!

[Expect this list to be updated as we get more news from restaurants.]

Looking for more restaurants to support? Check out our list of 50+ Local Restaurants Open for Pickup and Delivery.

In operation since the 1960s, Brent’s Deli in Westlake Village and Northridge is offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus grocery items for takeout and delivery. Both locations are taking phone orders.

Pablito’s Tacos, located in Burbank and North Hollywood, is offering contact-free pickup and delivery through its website with %15 cashback on all orders.

World Empanadas in Burbank is operating on takeout orders only.

Thai restaurant Lum-Ka-Naad is offering takeout and delivery at both its Northridge and Encino locations.

Versailles in Encino is serving its Cuban menu for takeout and delivery through the ChowNow app.

Olive & Thyme in Burbank is offering an evolving menu of salads, sandwiches, and other prepared foods through phone and email orders, plus delivery through Caviar.

Wanderlust Creamery in Tarzana has pints of ice cream for takeout and delivery via Postmates and UberEats.

Dave’s Hot Chicken in North Hollywood is offering pickup through online orders.

MacLeod Ale. Brewing Co. in Van Nuys is offering local beer and pizzas for delivery on GrubHub and takeout through web and phone orders.

Mexican seafood eatery Marisco Corona is offering its menu and homemade tortilla chips and salsa through GrubHub, Postmates, and Doordash. If you are looking to pick up, call them directly.

Dessert shop Happy Days Cafe is offering many sweet items, including stuffed churros, for delivery via UberEats, GrubHub, Postmates, and DoorDash.

Gasolina Cafe in Woodland Hills is offering curbside pickup and delivery. The public can also buy a meal online for a healthcare worker at select hospitals in the Valley.

Lebanese restaurant Hayat’s Kitchen in North Hollywood offers curbside pickup and delivery through phone orders.

Sweetsalt in Toluca Lake is offering takeout and local delivery with a limited menu of sandwiches, salads, and breakfast. Call ahead to inquire.

The Brothers Sushi, located in Woodland Hills, is taking phone orders and offering free delivery for orders over $75 within a 7-mile radius. Catch the latest specials like DIY hand roll kits, beautiful chirashi, or a Chefs Supreme Plate of 30 pieces of premium sushi.

CiCi’s is recognized for having one of the largest menus in the world. While souffle pancakes aren’t available right now, it’s still offering its many other pancake plates as well as breakfast and lunch items. Both Tarzana and Westlake Village locations are open for pickup, curbside pickup, and catering.

Hummus Yummy in Valley Village is offering its vegan Middle Eastern menu for pickup and delivery through its website.

Vegan eatery Sun Cafe in Studio City is offering takeout and delivery through its app, website, and phone orders.

Mercado Buenos Aires in Van Nuys has takeout and delivery of its Argentinian food menu as well as meats and housemade sweets from its market section.

Angel’s Tijuana Tacos serves everything from al pastor to carne asada at pop-up locations in North Hollywood, Sylmar, and Eagle Rock. Check its Instagram for hours and to inquire about delivery, too.

JINYA Ramen Bar is offering pickup and delivery at its Studio City and Burbank locations. Orders can be made on its website and a number of third-party apps.

Vegan Cajun eatery Krimsey’s in North Hollywood is offering pickup through its site and delivery through Postmates.

The Bellwether in Studio City is offering curbside pickup between 4-8 p.m. They have a promotion for 25% off wine and $10 specialty cocktails.

Healthyca in North Hollywood is offering $10 comfort meals Monday through Friday for pickup and delivery. Order by phone.

Old-school Cavaretta’s Italian Deli in Canoga Park is allowing 10 people at a time to step into its market. Call ahead to pick up sandwiches, salads, lasagna, and more.

Casual spot Larry’s Chili Dog is offering pickup through online and phone orders and delivery through Postmates.

Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks is offering curbside pickup and delivery of its slow-cooked barbecue and eclectic menu. There’s also a promo for 50% off beer and wine and 2-for-1 cocktails.

Kobee Factory in Van Nuys serves traditional Syrian cuisine. They are offering pickup and delivery through phone orders and apps like Postmates, GrubHub, UberEats, and Doordash.

Beas Bea’s in Burbank has takeout and delivery of its breakfast and lunch menu.

Vinh Loi Tofu in Reseda is offering its Vietnamese vegan menu for pickup by phone or delivery through UberEats.

Hummus Bar & Grill in Tarzana is offering curbside pickup and delivery through Postmates, Uber Eats, and GrubHub.

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Food, Lifestyle

Things You Can Do to Help L.A.’s Food Industry During COVID-19

April 2, 2020 by Christina Champlin
Kitchen View at Manuela / Photo by: Christina Champlin

To stop the spread of COVID-19, people around the world have been ordered to shelter in place. That’s bad news for the food industry. Since the rise of the virus, restaurants have been forced to permanently shutter, lay off employees, or survive on what little delivery/takeout business they can get. Billions of dollars will be lost and millions of people will lose their jobs. This is the greatest crisis the industry has ever faced.

Los Angeles is one of the greatest food cities in the world. This pandemic will destroy our food landscape in ways we can’t imagine. Try to picture an L.A. where you’ll never eat that dumpling, slice of pizza, or taco from your favorite place ever again. Heartbreaking, isn’t it?

In a time of uncertainty, all we can do is take matters into our own hands and hold onto what little power we have left. It’s time to spring into action. The restaurant industry is working tirelessly to support their employees and the business, but they need our help. Below is a list of resources on how to help. Pick and choose or tackle every single item, it’s up to you.

Pasta Sisters Bolognese / Photo by: Christina Champlin

Order delivery or takeout by calling restaurants directly. Avoid delivery apps, which can take up to a 30% chunk of the earnings. If you opt to pick up your own food, this helps restaurants save on time and gas. Do not pick up your own food if you are sick. If you must use a delivery app, find one that has waived fees like Doordash or Caviar.

Handy resources for restaurants offering delivery/takeout.

cake-monkey-mini-cakes
Cake Monkey Mini Cakes

Check out our list of 17 L.A. Bakeries That Need Your Help. Baked goods are usually pretty freezer-friendly. Consider buying in bulk, freezing, and thawing out when future pastry cravings strike.

Shop for groceries at a restaurant. Many restaurants, now closed to dine-in customers, have transformed into mini-grocers and pantries for takeout or delivery. Check out our list of 15+ Restaurants Where You Can Buy Groceries and Pantry Staples.

Purchase some booze from restaurants. Mayor Eric Garcetti has approved restaurants and bars to deliver alcohol straight to your doorstep. Many places have a lot of liquor in storage and now, they would appreciate it if you helped them drink it. There are lots of options to choose from. Grab a bottle of wine, a cocktail kit, or growlers of beer. Check out our list of 17 L.A. Spots To Get Cocktails, Wine, and Beer for Delivery or Takeout.

Purchase bonds from the Dining Bonds Initiative. Inspired by the war bonds sold during WWII, it’s basically a virtual gift certificate to participating restaurants and bars sold for 75% of its total value. For example, if you purchase a $75 dining bond, you’ll have $100 in credit to spend once things open to the public again. A glance at the list we spotted includes Coni’Seafood, E.P. & L.P., Genever, El Cochinito, and Barcito. Also, all 1933 Group venues are participating and donating 100% of their bond revenues to their staff. If you’re a fan of these places or had them on your list to try, this might be a good time to purchase a bond to use later. To purchase a bond, please call the restaurants directly.

If you can, donate money to organizations providing assistance to the food and beverage industry. Here’s a list of organizations to donate to:

  • The Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation: The COVID-19 crisis relief fund gives 50% of funds to individual workers, 25% to non-profits serving restaurant workers, and 25% to zero-interest loans for restaurants to get back on their feet.
  • The Restaurant Employee Relief Fund: Helps restaurant industry employees experiencing hardship due to COVID-19. 100% of the fund’s proceeds will go to providing grants to restaurant workers. 
  • California Restaurant Association: Provides restaurant employees with financial assistance during this crisis. Text RESTAURANT to 91999 to donate.
  • Children of Restaurant Employees (CORE): Provides assistance to food and beverage employees who have been diagnosed or who have a family member who’s been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • The United States Bartender’s Guild: Raising funds for its COVID-19 Relief Campaign.
  • One Fair Wage: Providing cash assistance to tipped and service workers affected by the pandemic.
  • The James Beard Foundation: Gathering support from corporate, foundation, and individual donors to provide micro-grants for independent food and beverage businesses.
  • VERVET: a local sparking craft cocktail company co-founded by L.A. bartender Hope Ewing, VERVET created the #CheersChallenge. It’s a social media movement aimed at raising funds for those affected. Participants are asked to share a virtual drink with a friend and commit to donating to a nonprofit that provides relief to the hospitality industry. For more information, head to cheerschallenge.com.

Get the government to help out. Remember, solutions can be achieved by group action! Below are some resources to get you started.

Contact Congress and tell them to support the National Restaurant Association restaurant recovery proposal. The package advocates for over $300 billion to save up to 7 million jobs through grants, loans, and deferments.

If you’re a chef or restauranteur in California, message The California Hospitality Coalition on Instagram with your full name, title, and the name of your operation to sign a letter to Governor Newsom. The coalition is calling on the Governor for the abatement of rent and mortgage payments for all restaurants and landlords starting April 2020, as well as for payroll tax in Q1 and Q2.

Petitions that need signatures.

Participate in the One More Helping gift card campaign. Purchase a gift card from a restaurant on the list and the restaurant will donate $1 of every gift card purchased to another vulnerable business community or worthy nonprofit, creating a ripple effect of support in the current challenging economic landscape. Visit www.onemorehelping.com to view participating restaurants, their cause of choice, and details on how to purchase gift cards. Share the campaign using the hashtag #onemorehelping. Gift cards in support of the One More Helping initiative will be available through May 31, 2020.

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Cool Spots, Culture, Food, Fun Stuff, Happenings, Lifestyle, News, Things To Do, Tips, Where to Eat

Mel’s Drive-In Carhop Service is Back!

April 1, 2020 by Christina Champlin
Mel's Drive-In Sherman Oaks
Mel’s Drive-in in Sherman Oaks. Photo by Chris Yarzab via flickr cc

In the face of COVID-19, Mel’s Drive-in is bringing some nostalgia to our social distancing lives by reviving its carhop concept. Available at all locations including West Hollywood, Sherman Oaks, and Santa Monica, you pull up, order by phone, and they’ll bring your meal right to your car.

Customers can choose to enjoy their meals in their parked cars or take them to-go. It’s straight out of a scene from George Lucas’s 1972 film American Graffiti, with the exception of cell phones and a pandemic, of course.

Mel’s is also offering some sweet deals. Kids 12 and younger eat free during school closures and adults get half-off on all milkshakes (vegan options available) with the purchase of an adult entree. This could be a good option for a family “outing” when the household becomes stir-crazy. Milkshakes can make everything okay, even if for just a few hours.

Keep up-to-date on all the latest news from Mel’s Drive-in on Instagram.

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Food

17 L.A. Bakeries That Need Your Help

March 30, 2020 by Christina Champlin
Cake Monkey Mini Cakes

Shuttered restaurants in Los Angeles are struggling to survive by operating as takeout operations, but we can’t forget about the many bakeries that are still open and in need of our help, too.

Baked goods are usually pretty freezer-friendly. Consider buying items in bulk for future sweets or carb cravings. Below is a list of bakeries still servicing Angelenos and a tip from Cake Monkey co-owner Elizabeth Belkind on how to freeze her delicious items.

“It is hard to generalize about freezing tips for all our goods, but the general rule would be to wrap items well in plastic before freezing them. To cut down on plastic use, freeze items in reusable silicone or rubber packaging, but choose the smallest fit possible. Don’t freeze a single cookie in a big Tupperware! It will get freezer burned. Most items can simply be brought to room temperature 30 minutes before enjoying them. Some items will need more time. Others, like muffins, scones, and croissants, will benefit from reheating in the oven or toaster oven for 5 minutes at 325 degrees. Our staff is happy to recommend freezing and reheating instructions at the time of purchase as well! Items that freeze well if you’re looking to restock are cakewiches, cookies, pop pies, and bars.”

Cake Monkey in the Fairfax neighborhood is offering coffee, cakes, and pastries. They also offer curbside pickup at the Beverly Blvd. location (call (323) 932-1142) and the North Hollywood location (call (818) 508-9579.) Keep up-to-date on specials through their Instagram.

Flipino-American sweets shop Creme Caramel in Van Nuys is offering their custards, coffee and a variety of pandesal breads. Contactless pickup is the only option at this time.

Proof Bakery in Atwater Village is open for walk-in service for to-go orders only. Email orders@proofbakeryLA.com for large orders. On the current menu are pistachio cherry croissants, cookies, tarts, and their signature sandwiches.

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse in Highland Park has turned into a neighborhood grocery store and commissary, selling deli meat, eggs, milk, fresh bread, and more. Toilet paper is offered through a pay-what-you-can system and the bakery has expanded its pay-what-you-can section of groceries for those in need. If you stop by, Mr. Holmes will give you a free bread starter kit with instructions to make your own bread. They’re also shipping the kit for $25 for those who can’t make it in.

Cuban bakery and cafe Portos is now shipping bake-from-home versions of its popular pastries including Refugiados (cheese and guava pastry), cheese rolls, and even savory options like potato balls, chicken empanadas, and meat pies.

Milk Bar is shipping nationwide, but lucky for us, we have a location in Mid City. You can get your sweets delivered through UberEats, Caviar, and Postmates. Everything on the regular menu is available from confetti cake and the famous Milk Bar Pie to a personal favorite, the Cornflake Marshmallow Chocolate Chip cookie. Catch founder Christina Tosi on Instagram Stories for epic Milk Bar hacks, too.

Dominique Ansel Bakery located in Beverly Grove is offering takeout and delivery via the Caviar app. Did we mention this is the place that created the infamous cronut? Try the original today!

Open since 1965, the Phoenix Food Boutique has 14 locations serving Asian desserts like fresh mango mochi, custards, silken tofu, egg tarts, and sweet sticky rice. They also offer a large menu of savory food, including fried noodles, soups, rice dishes, and appetizers. Call in your order for pickup or download their new app on iOS and Android, Phoenix Food and Dessert, to get 20% off your first pickup order.

La Monarca locations are stocked with grab-and-go pan dulce, fresh pastries, and coffee beans. Get delivery via Postmates or order curbside pickup.

Clark Street in Echo Park is open and serving quiches, breads, and pastries. They are also offering a bread starter and free delivery in certain locations with a $15 minimum purchase.

Republique located in Mid City is offering lunch and dinner packages on Tock. Margie Lorenzana-Manzke’s phenomenal baked goods are also available for takeout and delivery via Postmates, GrubHub, and Caviar.

The Bagel Broker in the Fairfax District is offering delivery and pickup. Call (323) 931-1258 to make your order.

Sidecar Doughnuts locations are open for takeout and delivery on Postmates.

Gigis Cafe in Westlake offers Cuban pastries, Mexican breads, and a food menu of Cuban dishes, plus tamales and tacos. Available for pickup by calling (213) 483-6152 or delivery via UberEats.

View this post on Instagram

🍓 Fresh Strawberry Scones! 🍓 Also available for Bake-at-Home! ❤️📷 Photo and support by our dear friend @letmeeatcake ! We cannot thank you enough for your support over the years, Nastassia! 🙌🍊❤️ #Repost @letmeeatcake ・・・ Today is the #greatamericantakeout happening nationwide to support the restaurant industry 🍽. I'm doing my part to support some of my fave small businesses like @clementinefoods 🍊. This spot holds a special place in my heart and I've been frequenting it since my college days @ucla . Not only did I grab lunch to-go, but I was also able to pick up stables for dinner this week, pantry items like eggs, and some frozen bake-at-home sweet treats to enjoy later 🍰! I know it's been a week of non-stop talk about this, but it's so important in this time to really take care of each other where we can. What’s happening to restaurant industry doesn't just affect the restaurant owners and their staff, it bleeds into the farmers, the food purveyors, the laundry service, valet, graphic designers, musicians, florists, writers, marketers, and the list goes on in this fragile hospitality ecosystem. So one simple way to support (especially your local SMALL BUSINESS) is to order take-out or delivery (and most options are contactless). See more about my take-out adventures today and other ways you can help #saverestaurants over on my Stories 👆🏽💓.

A post shared by Clementine (@clementinefoods) on

Clementine in Century City is offering fresh baked goods as well as bake-at-home options. They have curbside pickup, delivery to the local Century City area, and takeout. Pre-ordering online is available and they take phone orders at (310)552-1080.

Drago Bakery in Culver City has several European-style breads, cakes, and fresh pastries such as chocolate croissants and muffins. Call (310) 280-6004 to make your order for takeout.

Maury’s in Silver Lake is recognized for its delicious bagel sandwiches. Get them for pickup or delivery via Caviar and ChowNow.

Village Bakery in Atwater Village is offering family meals, fresh-baked breads, pastries, dry goods, and eggs. Curbside pick up and delivery orders (within a 5-mile radius between 4-6 p.m.) can be made by calling (323) 662-8600.

Winston Pies in Brentwood and West Hollywood is open for pick up delivery through their website. Check out their Instagram for specials like hand pies, galette and unique house made pie creations.

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Culture, Food

17 L.A. Spots To Get Cocktails, Wine, and Beer for Delivery or Takeout

March 27, 2020 by Christina Champlin
The Raymond 1886 cocktails

Sheltering in place doesn’t mean forgoing happy hour. Mayor Garcetti has approved restaurants and bars to deliver alcohol straight to your doorstep.

Many places have a lot of booze in storage and now, they would appreciate if you helped them drink it. Below are places where you can grab a bottle of wine, a cocktail kit, and local beer. Bottoms up!

Hippo in Highland Park is hosting Thirsty Thursdays. Between 1-3 p.m., you can put in an order for custom cocktails to-go. All you need to do is answer three questions. Spirit of choice? Shaken or stirred? One word of inspiration? Then, they’ll whip up something special that you can pick up anytime after 5 p.m. All cocktails cost $11 each. If you want a variety of drinks for the fridge, consider the five-pack of to-go cocktails (pictured above) for just $38. Call (323) 545-3536 or send a request via Instagram DM @Hippohighlandpark.

Onda in Santa Monica is offering a large selection of wine, beer, and cider for takeout and delivery. They also have a ‘Mystery 4 Pack of Wine!’ put together by the sommeliers Erin Rolek and Mackenzie Hoffman. Get four bottles of red, white, or a mix of both for $100. Pre-batched margaritas are also available for pickup and delivery from Postmates.

The San Fernando Brewing Company in Northeast LA is offering to-go and delivery service on a variety of 22 oz bottles and 16 oz cans. They’ll also fill any growler, any size on-site.

Broken Spanish in DTLA is offering batched cocktails that serve three people (or three rounds to yourself if you are flying solo). The restaurant’s signature drinks, like the Broken Spanish Margarita ($18) and El Zocalo ($19), are available, plus bottles of El Silencio Mezcal and wines from Corona Del Valle in Baja Mexico, Argentina, and more.

Manuela in the Arts District has created five pre-batched cocktails for purchase with food for to-go and delivery orders. Drinks include Old Fashioneds, Whiskey Pimms, and the Archie, made with beet-rested Loft & Bear vodka, oro blanco, and lemon.

OTTO sake bar in Echo Park has daily selections of bottles available for delivery. Call (213) 900-4900.

Ronan in the Fairfax District is offering bottled cocktails to be enjoyed in the comfort of your home. Available on Postmates and by calling (323) 917-5100.

The Thirsty Merchant in Valley Village is offering wine starting at $15, beer, growlers, 2-for-1 cocktails, and Frosé to-go.

Boomtown Brewery in the Arts District is offering their beers and growlers for pickup.

Playa Provisions in Playa del Rey is now offering house-made cocktails including premixed margaritas in assorted flavors, various mules, and barrel-aged old fashioneds. They also offer assorted beers and wines, like a bottle of specially blended Playa Provisions Roxy Red or Playa Provisions Rose, Boomtown Brewery Limelight IPA, Henri Bourgeois Sancerre Les Baronnes Blanc, Union Sacre Confidential Cabernet, and more. Add to any pickup or UberEats order by calling (310) 683-5019.

Carbon Beach Club in Malibu is now offering beer, wine, and cocktails with all curbside orders.

Urban Plates locations are offering 50% off all bottles of wine. Available for take-out and curbside, no-contact pick-up.

Same Same in Silver Lake will be marking down all wine purchases for anyone who orders directly from the restaurant. Bottles start at $21.

Cocktails served in reusable mason jars from The Raymond 1886 in Pasadena are available for delivery through GrubHub, DoorDash, and Postmates. Wine and beer are also available. For 10% off your bill, call the restaurant directly at (626) 441-3136.

Vintage Wine + Eats in Studio City is offering 40% off bottles of wine to-go (50% for Wine Club Members). Neighborhood delivery is available for orders of six bottles or more with 24 hours notice.

Madre, located in Torrance and Palms, is offering alcohol delivery with a food purchase of equal or greater value. Options include a $15 beer kit with michelada mix that serves six, a six-pack of beer for $12, wine, and signature Madre cocktail mixes.

Nick + Stef’s Steak House in DTLA is offering $25 bottles of wine from their wine cellar. Available for curbside pickup or delivery through the Caviar app.

VERVET, a local sparking craft cocktail company, is giving a portion of proceeds from deliveries to UCBG Bartenders Fund and the Restaurants Relief Program.

Check out Cellars.LA, too. It’s an aggregator of restaurants selling off their inventory.

Put all the purchased booze to good use. Get expert drink recipes to level up your at-home-happy-hour by following Cocktail Academy on Instagram and supporting their #atipforatip initiative. Each post will feature a cocktail recipe from a bartender you can virtually tip. Cheers to that!

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Food, Lifestyle

15+ L.A. Restaurants Where You Can Buy Groceries and Pantry Staples

March 26, 2020 by Christina Champlin
Vintage Studio City market spread

[Update: March 31] The Los Angeles Department of Public Health recently cracked down on some restaurants for not having a proper license to sell groceries. They are, however, allowing restaurants to offer grocery items as part of their menus for takeout, pickup, and delivery. Many restaurants have also put “no-inside” policy into place to prevent the public from browsing and touching items. Please place your orders ahead of time by phone or through a delivery app.

In a time of social distancing, the grocery store seems to be one of the last places where not everyone is concerned with staying six feet apart. Grabbing items that might have been touched by several strangers can also bring a lot of anxiety, too.

If these are the type of thoughts that go through your mind when you’re fighting for the last can of beans at the grocery store, consider going to a restaurant instead. Many restaurants, now closed to dine-in customers, have transformed into mini-grocery and pantry grab-and-go stores. Some of them even offer delivery. You’ll find fewer people and restaurant-quality items, plus you’ll be supporting restaurants at a time when they need all the help they can get. Below is a list of fantastic restaurants turned local bodega. Enjoy!

[This is an ongoing list updated regularly. Check in once in a while to find a store near you.]

Little Dom’s in Los Feliz is now a temporary grocery store, offering farmers market produce, meats, and canned and packaged goods from the restaurant’s deli, plus wine, beer, and cocktails.

Go Get Em Tiger locations are now pantries selling coffee beans, eggs, oats, rice, bread, and more alongside prepackaged gget items like baked goods, soup stock and chicken salad. Preorder of pantry staples for pickup is available through the “go get em tiger” app for iOS and Android.

Porridge and Puffs in Historic Filipinotown converted to a grab-and-go store that sells provisions and composed meals, including the current menu of porridge, plants, puffs, and PINCH takeout items.

WOOD in Silver Lake is offering grab-and-go and delivery of items like produce, pantry staples, and make-your-own versions of their pastas and pizzas. Wine and beer are half-off, too.

L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele in Hollywood is selling wine at 20% off and has opened up a pickup and delivery market with cheese, fresh fruit, homemade pasta and sauces, and vacuum-sealed ready-to-cook proteins like slow-cooked meatballs and steaks.

Homestate in Hollywood is offering pantry and ready-to-eat items including eggs, dry beans, flour, coffee, beer, wine, margaritas, and toilet paper.

Vintage Studio City has converted to a market offering fresh baked bread, eggs, preserves, produce, wines and even toilet paper. They also have daily take home meal kits.

A selection of The Original Farmers Market tenants are now grocery and pantry stores. Those who prefer to shop from home can support the establishments by purchasing a variety of groceries and prepared meals for delivery through mercato.com.

La Monarcha Bakery locations are offering grab-and-go items like flour tortillas, coffee, cookies, all types of milks, pastas, beans, and even household staples like toilet paper.

The Butcher’s Daughter in Venice has transformed into a “Butcher’s Bodega” offering essentials such as groceries, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and more.

Birdie G’s in Santa Monica is offering curbside pickup, delivery (through ChowNow and Postmates), and takeout. The menu is expansive with deli meats and dozens of dry goods like flour, yeast, and Koda Farms chickpeas to name a few. There’s also a sauces, pickles and ferments list that will definitely level up your home-cooked meals.

Mickey’s Deli in Hermosa Beach has a grocery store filled with essentials such as toilet paper, laundry detergent, water, and an “isolation starter pack” which includes prepackaged dry pasta and a jar of their homemade sauce for $11.99 available for pickup.

Izakaya Tonchinkan in Arcadia is selling gorgeous fresh fish like tuna belly, mackerel, and yellowtail at market price. They’ll also slice or filet the items for you. Basically, you can have one incredible sushi moment at home. Get updates on the latest catches on the restaurant’s Instagram Stories. Call (626) 461-5078 for questions and to purchase.

101 Coffee in Franklin Village is now a bodega, offering items like bread, eggs, dry goods, dairy, meats, and produce. Additionally, they’ll be offering cocktails and liquor bottles from MiniBar for takeout and delivery from noon to 5 p.m.

Sweeetfin is now a fish market offering a selection of premium-grade raw fish with or without marinade. A selection of their sauces and bases will be sold in bulk. You can place orders until 4 p.m. for next-day pickup at all locations.

A number of L.A. restaurant’s are working with Thao Family Farms offering their Peak of Harvest Produce Boxes for $40.

Poppy + Rose in DTLA is operating as a grocery pickup spot every day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. In stock are eggs, fruits, vegetables, butter, steel cut oats, brown rice, flour, toilet paper, and paper towels. Call ahead to order at (213) 622-0176.

Tesse in West Hollywood is now a market place stocked with farmer’s market fruits and vegetables, fresh baked bread, cheeses, a variety of red meat and chicken breast. Paper towels, gloves, and toilet paper are also available. Reserve your items online via OpenTable for pick up or use Postmates to get items to delivered to you.

Tender Greens is offering now offering a variety of grocery boxes to be picked up at all their California locations.

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Fun Stuff, Happenings, Things To Do

KCRW Created an Online Trivia Club

March 24, 2020 by Christina Champlin

National Public Radio member station KCRW is launching an online trivia club and they need players. If trivia night at local bars is something you miss during these “shelter-in-place” times, consider joining the online club.

The club runs March 24 through April 19, Mondays through Fridays at 4 p.m. sharp. Players simply log in to the live page and answer away. Each day’s game takes only five minutes to play.

Players will be ranked publicly within the community. The top-ranked players from each day will be invited to an all-star match where they’ll mentally fight for the title of KCRW Trivia Club Champion. No word on if there’s a physical prize, but the title of Trivia Club Champ sounds pretty sweet.

Sign-up for KCRW Trivia Club Live is free and can be found on the official page here. You can join at any point throughout the run and play as often or as little as you like.

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Cool Spots, Culture, Fun Stuff, Lifestyle, sightseeing

16 Awesome Zoo and Aquarium Livestreams to Boost Your Mood

March 23, 2020 by Christina Champlin
The Aquarium of the Pacific / Photo by: Christina Champlin

Let’s face it. We need mood-boosting animal entertainment now more than ever. Long before “sheltering in place” became a thing due to COVID-19, most of us were happily tapping our screens, laughing at hilarious dogs and other animals living out their best lives on the internet.

Consider turning to animals once again to alleviate boredom, anxiety, and even loneliness. For what it’s worth, these animals live with zero awareness of what we humans are going through, which is a nice distraction for the time being.

Below are some awesome zoos and aquariums keeping curiosity alive by offering live cameras, social media videos, and more for the public’s viewing pleasure. Check out heartwarming clips like penguins roaming free and exploring fellow ocean friends. Get an up-close look at the genuine reactions of a curious Patagonian mara interacting with otters and meerkats. Above all, thank these institutions for finding creative ways to bring nature to us all online!

The San Diego Zoo livestreams 10 of its zoo sites, including koalas, baboons, and polar bears. Panda fans can also enjoy archival footage of Bai Yun and Xiao Liwu recorded January through April 2019. The zoo also hosts special livestreams on its Facebook page.

The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach has both on-demand videos and scheduled interactive live programming. Visit its Aquarium Academy page for all the latest content and livestream dates.

The rockhopper penguins of Shedd Aquarium in Chicago have become viral superstars while touring the aquarium they call home. Stay up-to-date on what the penguins and other animals are up to on Shedd’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages.

The Cincinnati Zoo is streaming a different animal every day. Tune in on Facebook Live at 3 p.m. EST.

The Houston Zoo offers six live streams where viewers can move the camera with a button in the lower-right corner of the screen. It can be a bit glitchy and you may have to wait your turn with the rest of the internet. Either way, it’s still fun!

Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington has 24-hour webcams available for its giant pandas, lions, elephants, and naked mole rats.

The National Aquarium in Baltimore offers three livestreams to the public. Blacktip Reef, Pacific Coral Reef, and Jellies Invasion go live during opening hours while previously recorded livestreams play after hours.

Fort Worth Zoo in Texas is sharing both educational and entertaining videos of its animals on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. One standout character is Hector, a Patagonian mara. So far, he’s made friends with three river otters and a family of meerkats.

The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta offers a variety of 24-hour livestreams, including belugas, whale sharks, piranhas, and more.

Wild Earth on Twitch hosts daily safari livestreams from South Africa during sunrise and sunset.

EarthCam has teamed up with The Miami-Dade Zoological Park and Gardens for a close-up look at the zoo’s meerkat habitat.

Vancouver Aquarium offers four live cams to the public. This includes sea otters, an underwater otter cam, jellyfish, and penguins.

Elmwood Park Zoo in Pennsylvania is offering “Zoo School” on Facebook Live weekdays at 11 a.m. EST to educate kids about wildlife.

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What an ottertunity! For the first time ever, our Sea Otter Cam is featuring rescued wild sea otters!! Link in profile, more info below! This week, you’ll see four young rescued female otters with flipper tags (the tags will help our sea otter tracking team identify them in the future.) They’re practicing their diving and foraging skills before returning home! Usually our guests can’t see the wild sea otters in our care because we don’t want the otters to get comfortable around humans. For the next couple of weeks with the Aquarium closed, these otters will be able to dive, explore under rocks and in tunnels and generally act otter-ly like themselves. They’re also practicing the skills they learned from their surrogate mothers — our resident sea otters! Most of the young animals were rescued by our Sea Otter Program team after they stranded. They’re part of our unique sea otter surrogacy program that pairs our resident animals with orphaned pups to provide maternal care and teach the pups skills needed to survive in the wild. We also rescue injured or sick adult otters and rehabilitate them for a healthy return to the wild. Tune in next week as well, when you’ll get to see our resident otters and super surrogate mothers Kit and Ivy with two of the pups under their capable care! Thanks to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for granting us this special exception to our Marine Mammal Enhancement permit, # MA-032027 that governs our work with wild sea otters, so we can stream our Sea Otter Cam while these young animals are housed in the exhibit! Also, we will be doing a narrated show at 2:30pm PST with the otter cam on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Twitch! Hope to sea you then! #montereybayaquarium #seaottercam #nowwithwildseaotters #sopawesome

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Monterey Bay Aquarium in California has 10 live webcams set up. Each cam is designed to go live at a certain time and re-runs play during down hours. Check out the 1 million-gallon Open Sea exhibit cam for one of the most diverse colonies of open-ocean animals found in an aquarium.

It’s a penguin party over at Penguin & Puffin Coast at the St. Louis Zoo. The live cam happens every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CDT. Afterward, the zoo will air previously recorded footage.

The Melbourne Zoo and Werribee Open Range Zoo are livestreaming their snow leopards, zebras, lions and more.

Bonus! Visit explore.org to find an array of live animal cams from all over the world, including South African elephants, newborn puppies, and fluffy rescue kittens.

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Culture, Free Museums, Lifestyle, Tips

20 Ways to Enjoy World-Class Art for Free Online

March 22, 2020 by Christina Champlin
Carlos Cruz-Diez, “Chromosaturation,” at Palm Springs Art Museum / Photo by: We Like L.A.

In the coming weeks, most of us are going to be spending a lot of time at home. The default to boredom may be “Netflix and chill,” but we can’t forget our most iconic cultural institutions. Our beloved Getty, LACMA, Broad, and MOCA have all been forced to close due to COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy what these institutions and countless others around the world offer online. With just one click, you can be transported into a museum for a virtual tour. Many institutions also have robust YouTube channels with insights into some of the greatest minds in the art world. The opportunities are boundless.

Although sitting at home in sweats isn’t ideal, treat these online experiences like a special occasion. Get creative and sip on some wine while listening to The Metropolitan Opera. Munch on popcorn while watching incredible performances. Or, set up a screen share with some friends and virtually explore a museum as a group. It’s all free.

Museums around the world are also using the hashtag #museummomentsofzen on Instagram to post art that helps relax the viewer. Others are using hashtag #museumfromhome to post artwork, videos, and, occasionally, silly updates—like the adorable rats over at the California Science Center exploring on foot inside clear hamster balls.

If nothing else, take a moment to appreciate all the institutions that have taken the time throughout the years to log and upload content.

1. A theater artist from Toronto created The Social Distancing Festival. Set to launch on March 21, 2020, the page gathers livestreams and videos of all types of performances for the public to enjoy.

2. The Getty Museum put together a starter kit of online art, books, and videos to help keep the public’s artistic spirit alive.

3. Southern California Institute of Architecture‘s (SCI-Arc) YouTube channel is perfect for design and architecture fans. There are videos of gallery exhibits, interviews with leaders in the design field, and stunning student works from SCI-Arc’s EDGE Fiction & Entertainment Masters of Arts program.

4. The Museum of Contemporary Art’s (MOCA) YouTube channel features videos relating to current and past exhibitions, interviews with artists, and every episode of MOCA’s punk documentary series “The Art of Punk.

5. The Hammer has an archive of videos from lectures, conversations, forums, and performances dating back to 2014.

6. California African American Museum‘s (CAAM) YouTube channel features short videos of exhibiting artists, past projects, special programs, and curator discussions.

7. The Grammy Museum is offering digital programs, exhibits, and educational content—some of which the public’s never seen before. This includes artist interviews, slideshows, lesson plans, playlists, and more. Look for updated programs every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday here.

8. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) in New York is among the most revered art institutions in the world. Its Digital Digest is a selection of videos, articles, and online resources created by The Met. The public can learn about famous painters, discover art-making activities for the whole family, and enjoy concerts by musicians around the world.

9. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York’s YouTube channel has in-depth content covering aspects of the art world we don’t normally see. Observe what it takes to run a modern museum in the documentary series “At the Museum.” Learn how conservators take care of artwork. Or, watch creative thinkers describe a single piece of art at MoMA. This is a chance for the public to put themselves in the shoes of people who live and breathe art.

10. The Metropolitan Opera will stream a different opera from its collection each night. Performances kick off at 7:30 p.m. EST and will remain online for 20 hours from March 16-22.  

11. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York created a page on its site offering the Guggenheim experience from home. The public can take a tour of the UNESCO World Heritage site built by Frank Lloyd Wright, view artworks from the collection, or watch short interviews with contemporary artists who’ve been featured at the Guggenheim.

12. The British Museum in London has an online interactive timeline that lets people explore artifacts from past civilizations around the world. You can filter by different topics—including “living and dying,” “religion and belief,” and “trade and conflict”—all from different eras.

13. Natural History Museum in London is home to over 80 million specimens ranging from meteorites to spiders and giant squid. You can get a close look at some of these specimens on the museum’s YouTube channel.

14. Every week, The Tate in London offers new content on its YouTube channel. Learn how great artists create their work, including the prolific Ai Weiwei’s large-scale installation Sunflower Seeds (2010) and a time-lapse video of Yayoi Kusama creating the Obliteration Room.

15. The Royal Opera House in London has a YouTube channel filled with performances, masterclass videos, rehearsals, and past livestreams.

16. The Louvre in France offers “visites en ligne” a.k.a. virtual tours of the iconic museum. The museum also has a YouTube channel with videos of past exhibitions, conferences, and a 2016 YouTubers project where the museum gave creators carte blanche to make videos “on the museum, its works, its history, and its imagination.”

17. The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam carries the largest collection of works by Vincent Van Gogh. Online, the public can view over 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and over 750 personal letters.

18. The Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City is where artist Frida Kahlo lived and died. Today, it’s home to a museum honoring her artistic legacy. Digitally access over 70 of Kahlo’s personal items, including artworks, attire, her studio, her kitchen, and more.

19. The Israel Museum in Israel offers virtual tours of its massive collection of archaeology, Jewish ritual objects, fine arts, and contemporary works.

20. The Vancouver Symphony livestreamed its final performance during BeethovenFest. It’s available to view and listen to here.

Some other ideas…

And if this list isn’t enough, head to the Google Art & Culture page where you can take a virtual tour of over 2,500 museums and other cultural spaces throughout the world.

When you’re tired of looking at creations by some of the greatest artists in history, turn your attention to the Museum of Bad Art. The museum is dedicated to preserving, collecting, and celebrating unfortunate works. A tour of these works can be found on the front page.

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Culture, Food, Lifestyle, News

An L.A. Chef Started a Petition to Save the Service Industry

March 17, 2020 by Christina Champlin
Easy’s / Photo by: Christina Champlin

COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on the restaurant industry. Our local government has announced measures to keep people away from crowds—and other people in general—to slow the spread of the virus. This means empty dining rooms, permanent closures, and restaurants forced to operate on delivery only. It also means a lot of service folks are out of work. Seriously, the food and beverage industry is in a desperate place right now, and they need our help. We’re not talking about just ordering take-out. This is bigger.

Yesterday, Hail Mary Pizza owner David Wilcox drafted a petition on Change.org titled “Aid and assistance for all service industry employees and operators affected by COVID-19.” The petition asks Governor Gavin Newsom, Representative Nancy Pelosi, Mayor Eric Garcetti, and Senator Kamala Harris to provide some key relief measures for service industry workers.

Wilcox calls for rent and loan abatement for employees, the elimination of payroll tax, and the immediate suspension of loan and debt payments. He also asks for assistance for owner/operators, including financial bailout for product loss, rent and mortgage abatement for operators and landlords, insurance aid, and financial aid that will not accrue debts during the COVID-19 epidemic.

On the petition page, several service workers, chefs, and owners left comments about why they signed the petition.

“I own restaurants and employ 400+ hard workers who will not survive without paychecks. We need funds to pay their health insurance benefits and they need unemployment benefits immediately,” James Beard Award-winning chef Mary Sue Milliken commented.

Several comments are from employees who are out of work, their livelihoods at stake due to closures. Other comments shine a light on the harsh reality that the service industry—an industry so many of use, enjoy, and rely on—is not protected by our government.

“Restaurants are an essential industry and have no safety net,” Alex Brounstein commented.

Aside from this petition, the public is also pressuring delivery platforms to suspend their commission fees. For now, we aren’t aware of any platforms doing this. So, to make sure restaurants aren’t losing even more money, you can call and place your orders directly. This prevents delivery platforms from taking a cut of the earnings. A little effort on the public end can go a long way during these trying times. We all can do our part.

While ordering food from your favorite spots is still a solid way to show your support, you can also buy gift cards to use later. And, sign Wilcox’s petition. Signing shows our solidarity with the service industry when they need us the most. At press time, the petition has surpassed 3,000 signatures.

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Food, Happenings

Where to Eat for Valentine’s Day in L.A. (2020)

February 10, 2020 by Christina Champlin
Rosaliné Green House Patio. Image via Rosaliné

The most commercial romantic holiday of the year is almost upon us. And if you’re feeling the need to impress, then a special dinner will undoubtedly be in order. But where? That’s where we’re here to help.

Below is a collection of Valentine’s Day deals, menus and multi-course affairs taking place in Los Angeles for V-Day 2020, whether it’s going fancy in Beverly Hills, snacking on Sonoran-style BBQ, or picking up a heart-shaped pizza to go. No pressure though. Just saying, you’ve got some options.

[RELATED: 16 Unique Things to do in L.A. for Valentine’s Day (2020)]

Places to Eat for Valentine’s Day in Los Angeles

1. Savor a Peruvian Valentine’s Day menu at Rosaliné in West Hollywood. Chef Ricardo Zarate has dreamed up a four-course tasting that includes a welcome amuse croquette, a ceviche selection, and main dishes like Carapulcra a la Nortena, a sun dried potato stew with braised cape grim beef short ribs and mint chimichurri; Sudado de Branzino Parrillero, wood grilled loup de mer filet with crispy seafood sudad, crispy pewees and yuzu; and Zarate’s famous Chaufa Paella to share. The meal ends with alfajore de dulce de leche for dessert. The menu cost $85 per person. –> More information

2. Love & Salt in Manhattan Beach will offer a “Sharing is Caring” Cichetti menu where you can score three shareable Italian savory snack plates for the humble price of $30. The restaurant will also serve their regular menu on Valentine’s Day. Cichetti menu includes Uni Lardo Toast, Sicilian chickpea fritters, Fried Oxtail with salsa verde, Savory Clams, Pulpo Fritto and more. –> More information

3. Michael’s Santa Monica will serve a four-course prix fixe menu for Valentine’s Day. Executive chef Brian Bornemann will start the meal with two plates to share, including a yellowtail aguachile and flowering pea tendril salad, there’s also an option to add roe-adorned oysters for an additional $15 a person. Pasta and main courses include choices ranging from black truffle risotto to caviar cappelletti and a dry-aged prime rib with Barolo jus. The night ends with dessert selections of passion fruit pavlova and dark chocolate Averna mousse with candied hazelnuts. The Valentine’s Day menu cost $99 per guest and a wine pairing option is available for $55 per person. –> More information

4. Spago in Beverly Hills is pulling out all the stops for a romantic Valentine’s weekend tasting menu. Available February 14-15 couples will enjoy a four course tasting menu with several amuse bouche in between. Course selections include Japanese Kampachi & Santa Barbara Uni, Hand Made Agnolotti Pasta with Black Truffles, Lacquered Duck Breast and much more. Live music on all nights by Brenna Whitaker and her nine piece band will make things extra special. The Valentine’s Day tasting menu cost $180 per person. –> More information

Salazar Riot Rose Cocktail. Image via Salazar

5. Sonoran-style BBQ hot spot Salazar located in Frogtown will offer one day specials for Valentine’s Day. Executive Chef Jonathan Aviles and his team will shake up bright red mezcal and tequila cocktails, while serving up prime rib with papas con queso with tomatoes and a red velvet heart cake for dessert. All item are a la carte and Salazar’s regular dinner menu will also be available. –> More information

6. Echo Park’s Adamae will host a ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love: An Echo Park Dinner Party’ in celebration of Valentine’s Day. Chef Matt Cheek will be preparing shared plates and special desserts while the bar pours up bubbly and drinks from a ‘slow jam’ cocktail menu. A curated playlist of timeless love songs will make the night extra romantic. The dinner party costs $95 per couple. –> More information

7. Rossoblu will offer some food and cocktail specials for the Valentine’s night. Dishes include a Beet and Mascarpone Tortelli; Dry-aged Beef Carpaccio topped with black truffle, poached quail eggs and Parmigiano Reggiano; Champagne Risotto with Maine lobster and coral butter; Tagliolini with sea urchin; and a Torta d’Amore Rabarbaro Italian love cake for two. –> More information

Image via Lucifer’s Heart Pizza

8. If you’re looking for an adorable mid-day surprise for your honey consider stopping into Lucifer’s Pizza to pick up a heart-shaped pie. Available at all four locations from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. any large, regular crust pizza can be converted into heart shaped at no additional charge. Keep in-mind personal size pizzas and gluten free dough are not included in the offer. –> More information

9. DTLA’s Otium Valentine’s Day tasting menu will offer unique dishes including White Polenta Castelmagno Ravioli and Veal Osso Bucco with preserved orange risotto and pistachio, rose and a pomegranate lychee mousse. The meal cost $125 per guest and vegan options are available. Live music and a photographer will capture your special moments that evening. –> More information

10. The world famous Italian pizza transplant da Michele will roll out “Love is in the Air” Valentine’s Day specials. Executive Chef Antonio Giordano has created festive themed dishes that include a Red Pappardelle pasta, Heart Shaped Ravioli, Shrimp Lover Salad with champagne vinegar, Lobster Salad with lemon vinaigrette and more. –> More information

11. Jame Enoteca in El Segundo will host a four course prix fixe menu for $75 a person. Diners will start with an antipasti, move to a pasta then a protein and end with dessert. –> More information

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Food

Smorgasburg Los Angeles Returns with New Vendors for 2020

January 8, 2020 by Christina Champlin
Smorgasburg LA
Smorgasburg LA. Photo by Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

Outdoor foodie market Smorgasburg LA debuts its 2020 lineup this Sunday. After a three-week holiday hiatus the market returns bigger than ever with over 90 food and shopping vendors popping up every Sunday at ROW DTLA, starting Jan. 12.

I’ve always been a sucker for market settings where I can sample foods that span a wide spectrum of flavors, and on this point the 2020 Smorg roster looks like it’ll fit the bill. Below I’ll call out to a few new additions and what they have to offer for the new year.

Burmese Please – The pop up previously held a two month residency at Smorgasburg last summer to huge success. Now they’ll return as a full time vendor. Run by Jessie Nicely a co-founder of Compound Butter an art magazine inspired by food, Burmese Please features a menu of Burmese specialties like tea leaf salad, roti and mohinga. –> More information

Chinese Laundry – One of the original vendors of Smorgasburg during its Los Angeles launch, Chinese Laundry returns to the market offering roasted duck and live hand pulled Biang Biang Mian. Chef Leo Lamprides has made a name for himself by live hand pulling noodles on the streets of Highland Park during their popular Live Noodz pop-up. –> More information

Dante’s Fried Chicken – Once started as an underground delivery service in Brooklyn during 2004, Dante’s has since become TV famous and now Smorgasburg will be the only place you can munch on their famous fried chicken tenders plus vegan friendly “tastes like chicken tofu nuggets” and biscuits made fresh out of the fryer. –> More information

Los Cochinitos – A specialist in traditional Michoacan style carnitas makes its debut at Smorgasburg. The carnitas are slowly cooked in its own pork lard for four hours. On the menu you’ll find pork butt, pork skin, stomach, ear, tripe, heart, tongue, kidney, snout and more. All parts will be available in tacos or in a torta ahogada covered in tomato sauce with a side of homemade spicy salsa. –> More information

Mano Po – From the team who brought us grilled Maine lobster pop-up Lobsterdamus, Mano Po is a Filipino concept inspired by flavors of the founders home country the Philippines. On the menu are two items; the Manila BBQ Chicken, mesquite grilled and incapsulated with sweet, salty, and citrus flavors served with java rice and pickled papaya; and Chicken Inasal, a coconut vinegar marinated chicken grilled over mesquite charcoal and served with garlic rice and pickled papaya. –> More information

Paratta – This halal South Asian street food concept specializes in their namesake, the paratta. The flaky buttery wrap of halal meat and vegetable takes cues from the flavors of both India and Pakistan. Though initially started as a food truck, this will be the first time Paratta gets a booth at Smorgasburg. –> More information


Smorgasburg LA runs weekly at ROW DTLA, 777 Alameda St. from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is are no fees to attend the market. On Sundays the ROW DTLA parking garage offers one-hour free parking (no validation required), and two hours for $2. See all the parking rates here.

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