Pop-ups, ghost-kitchens, whatever you like to call them; the rise of the home-chef and culinary artist daring to dream has been one of the best outcomes of the pandemic. As a result, we have some pretty awesome and trendy food pop-ups in Los Angeles right now. And not having a brick-and-mortar restaurant is actually part of the appeal.
Citizen Public Market (Culver City)
This weekend, June 11th to 13th, has got not one but two pop-ups happening at Citizen Public Market space. These are great for both take-out and dine-in.
Go-Go Gyoza and Go-Go Bird
From Executive Chef, Brandon Kida (Hinoki and the Bird) comes fast-casual Japanese-inspired fried fantasies! Enjoy Spicy Fried Chicken Wings with a Japanese cheddar biscuit, Fried Chicken Sandwiches with pickled slaw and a tasty Japanese ranch, and their famous Chicken Gyoza, topped with chili oil and soy sauce.
Hours are Friday to Sunday from Noon to 9 p.m.
Zooies specializes in gluten-free and sugar-free cookies that taste as good as they look along with the ooie gooie zooie full-fat versions. Menu highlights include the Classic Chocolate Chip and their Panda Cookie loaded with chopped Oreos. Hours are Friday Noon to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sqirl X Locura Pop-up (East LA)
From the chef that made Toast a meal comes a pop-up that will have you wishing you could have it for every meal. Available weekends only from 5 to 8 p.m., Locura Los Angeles from Chef Julio Alvarenga, features Mexican Italian fusion and some of the freshest tomatoes I've tasted in a while. You can order à la carte, or choose a prix-fixe meal at $56 per family.
Begin with a shared Starter like a Tomato Straciatella Salad or a Regler Farm Peaches; and if the peaches are anything like the farm-fresh tomatoes, you are in for a treat. The smell of the garden explodes in your nostrils as soon as you open the Tupperware.
Next choose a Pasta like a Ricotta Tortellone or the MUST HAVE Cavatelli with Beef "Birria" Ragu.
Lasly, you'll share a dessert like the Churromisu or a Dulce de Leche Cheesecake.
Place your order on Tock, available for only two more weekends June 12th and June 19th.
Bungus Bagus (Glendale)
Do you have a sudden craving for Balinese food? Well, sisters Tara and Celene are about to make you have them on the regular! Bungkus means package in Indonesia and here it is a portable meal wrapped in a banana leaf, with coconut curry chicken, steamed rice, mother-in-law egg, and those delectable spice combinations ($23).
Calabama (East Hollywood)
Your breakfast in a bucket? Well, I'm not talking KFC. During the pandemic, Cara Haltiwanger switched from selling her Southern-style egg and avocado breakfast sandwiches at coffee shops to directly out her window in Hollywood. The response has been as hot as the sauce.
Brique French Toastery (West L.A.)
Known for their "rock toast", Brique French Toastery serves up massive slices of hand-braided Brioche, lightly dipped in a custard coating, and topped with vanilla bean whipped cream, toasted coconut flakes, and peanut-butter coconut syrup. Try not to lick the phone with this one.
Order Info: Head to the website for details on your time slot and pick-up location. Slots open up for ordering at 9 p.m. every Sunday and you have to act fast with this one, or you're toast :)
Quarter Sheets Pizza Club (Glendale)
This "least authentic" Detroit-style pizza pop-up has amassed such a following that they've expanded from DM's on Instagram to Tock orders. While Chef Aaron Lindell's home base is in Glendale, the pizza club has also done some moonlighting at the bespoke RowDTLA for pie pick-up. The menu features a classic Red Top pizza ($25) as well as a rotating specialty pie like the Jewel City with ricotta, mozzarella, basil, Bill's Bees Honey, and Sambal Goreng from Bungkus Bagus (another pop-up $38). Don't skip on dessert here either, the Dark Chocolate Cream Pie ($10) and Quarter Sheet Cake ($12) regularly sell out on the baker's own website (Hannah Ziskin).
Order Info: Now that they're on Tock, the ordering has become attainable, but you'll still want to act immediately on Wednesday when slots open up.
Smokey Jones BBQ (Culver City)
If you're into great BBQ in your own home without all the work, then Smokey Jones BBQ is for you. This husband and wife team specialize in Heat and Serve BBQ boxes that are mess-free and a direct result of our pandemic lifestyle. The menu changes bi-weekly and currently features Santa Maria BBQ or Oak Smoked Meats. Each box also includes sides like Mackin' Cheese and Chocolate Chip Cookies from My Fave Cookie Company. Boxes feed 2-3 ($58) or 4-6 ($105).
AGL's Craft Meats (Various)
Get your brisket on with this BBQ food pop-up in Los Angeles that's big on the brewery scene. Highlights include the Brisket ($15) and Ribs "like a pillow" ($25).
Nana's Meatballs L.A. (Glendale)
Have you always wanted to have that meet in the middle moment with a plate of pasta a la Lady and the Tramp? Well Nana's Meatballs's L.A. has got the bowl of your dreams. This pop-up from New Jersey does two things expertly well: homemade pasta and meatballs just like grandma used to make.
Order Info: Place an order on their Insta Monday to Wednesday to have them by the weekend. Pick-up is in Glendale, and the cost is by donation (suggested $17 a plate).