Lighten up winter’s gray days (literally) with the healthy new spot that kicks off your New Year eating resolutions with ease. Combining farm fresh with family friendly, a new dining option is making take-out guilt free, dining in a delight, and picnicking a, well, picnic. Picnic LA in Culver City offers curb side car pick-up service and makes everything from fennel salads to pineapple clafoutis palatable to even picky petites.
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Picnics for the Picky
Choices are always welcome, but when your little people are picky eaters, choices are salvation. That’s why this picnic model lends itself so naturally to families. Three frameworks are in place to sate a solo eater, a family, or playdate where a dozen (surprise!) drop by.
The Petite Picnic comes with three dishes. Choose any three grains, veggies, or legumes. The Everyday Picnic comes with four dishes, and the Chef’s Picnic, four options plus a choice of snack. Options abound from farro and Brussels sprouts to tagines and brisket tamales. Want something a la carte? Sure, no problem. Want two salads and call it a day? That’s good, too. They’re easy and breezy, as picnicking should be.
How quick? Pre-meltdown quick. (Fifteen minutes.) Order on-line as soon as you realize this isn’t the night you want to cook for the fam (or company), and a quick fifteen later, picnic’s ready for pick-up. You don’t even have to get out of the car. Toddler konked out on the way over and preschooler’s too preoccupied to unbuckle? We’ve been there. Picnic LA is designed for such scenarios. Order on-line or from phone (easy), pull up to the curb on Duquesne, and give them a buzz. They’ll bring it all out to you, no waking the kid, no disrupting the tantrum, get on home (or come summertime, to the beach or playground) and dinner/lunch/snack is served.
Eating Better? One Resolution to Check Off
Farro and roasted Brussels Sprouts. Toasted barely and butternut squash. Roasted beets and Chinese broccoli. Great alternatives that’ll open their minds to the wondrous world outside of mac & cheese and pizza. New Year, new possibilities. It is deliciously easy to eat deliciously well (and varied) here.
Patience is a Virtue
But not one your young have mastered. That’s why the cafeteria style set-up here works so well for the kid crowd. No waiting, no ordering. If you haven’t ordered ahead, you just pick, pay, sit and start eating.
The menu’s going to change regularly, because one day the tangerines are going to be ripened to perfection and other days the atlas carrots are going to define the day. That’s how it works here. What’s growing and gorgeous is what ends up on the menu. Kid require a bit more forewarning than that? Their website is updated practically by the hour. Feel free to check ahead and see what’s cookin’.
Their Bread and Butter
Literally, their bread and butter could be their bread and butter. It’s that good. Their bread comes from a nearby bakery and the butter is house made. And from that house made butter they use the buttermilk for the dressing that accompanies the radishes. That’s the kind of detail one might expect at French Laundry. Not the kind of place you can bring the kids and get it delivered curbside. Get an extra order to bring home and toast for breakfast.
Parking is a Picnic
Free parking in the structure just behind the restaurant, entrance on Duquesne. Indeed it’s true. Picnic is where parking is a picnic. Great for that inevitable El Nino (it’s here)—park in the covered garage, enter dripless and dry through the back door, and watch the rainfall from the cozy comfort of their tables. It’s practically a movie. Ceiling to floor windows in a sun washed corner space. Dinner and a show, coming right up.
When Summer Hits
LA Picnic is a tribute to the city that never says it’s too cold to eat outside. And if it’s picnic paraphernalia that’s needed, they stock that too. Flannel blankets (kids get cold, and parents are wired to know they will as much as they insist they won’t), unbreakable tumblers (um, yeah) and all kinds of alfresco outfitting. Cute baseball caps, too. So if you feel the need for a winter picnic, they’ve got you covered. If you’re the wait-until-summer type, you can dine in (or at home) and wait for the perfect sunshiny day. They’ll be here, waiting.
9900 Culver Blvd.
What’s in your picnic basket? We’d love to learn your favorite to-go spots for gathering goodies to dine outdoors (or on the picnic blanket in the living room at home!)
—Written and photographed by Jolie Loeb