Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Produce Driven Fast Casual Comes to Culver City with Picnic LA

Last month Edible Skinny was lucky enough to experience the new delectable world of Picnic LA.  Picnic LA is a fast-casual, produce-driven concept by Brad Zions (Lemonade), Elliot Silver (Vice F&B), and Noah Ellis (Vice F&B, Red Medicine) located at the corner of Culver Blvd. and Duquesne Ave. in downtown Culver City.  From Roasted Beets with Cara Cara Orange, Black Currant, Fried Garlic, and Shiso (a fabulous combination with a super tangy bite to it!) to Mary’s Chicken Leg “Tagine” with Caramelized Lemon, Tahini-Leek Sauce, and Parsley this is the world of the craft flavor profile combination.    If Restoration Hardware ever decided to start a restaurant, Picnic LA’s food would be their dishes!

The blue and white bedecked restaurant features a menu of elegant foods prepared simply, with an emphasis on seasonal veggies and composed salads, along with roasted free-range chicken, beef, and other proteins.  Its menu is dynamic, seasonal, and features flavors seen across the diverse city we call Los Angeles.  
Chef and partner Alex Resnick (not to be confused with Alex Reznik of Top Chef) previously worked with Ellis at Red Medicine and is heading up the seasonal, largely market-driven menu full of ins and outs in flavors and styles.  Resnick takes food seriously the way an IRS agent would approach doing his own taxes.   For Resnick, it’s all about the details. 

My absolute favorite dish was their Green Lentils Du Puy with Spicy Mustard Vinaigrette and Crispy Shallots, while my guest (Miss Julia Reed Nichols) adored the Farro & Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pickled Shallot, Peanut, Thai Basil, and Mint.  These are dishes as intricate as the Alt-J song they’ll accompany at the Hollywood Bowl. 

The masterfully branded eatery will also feature a retail component with picnic kits and accessories, foodstuffs, wines, and other specialty items curated by Silver and Ellis.  Leveraging the latest in hospitality technology, the restaurant is designed from the ground up to make in-store ordering, order ahead, and pick, and delivery as fast and convenient as possible for guests.  “Picnics on Demand” are available for take-out and delivery, making it easy for guests to picnic at the beach, the Bowl, or the back yard.  

And don’t forget to leave some room for dessert!  Picnic LA’s Pineapple Clafoutis was fantastically moist and peppered with thyme for that perfect sweet savory combination.    Other sweet tooth offerings included Picnic LA’s Key Lime Pie Bar with Graham Cracker Crust and made with Sour Cream and Dark Chocolate Pot de Crème made with Valrhona single origin dark chocolate, toasted coconut, and crunchy feuillentine.  Yummm (with 3 Ms!!!)!

So if you’re looking for that perfect 20 minute meal (other than Chipotle…) or require the perfect symphony of flavors for your trip to the LA Philharmonic, Picnic LA just might be the local neighborhood spot for you!  

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