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New 'Picnic LA' Restaurant In Culver City Is Like A Gourmet 'Lemonade'
Move over Lemonade because a bigger and better sheriff is in town. Picnic LA is a fast-casual, produce-driven concept by Brad Zions (one of the early partners of Lemonade), Eliot Silver (Vice F&B) and Noah Ellis (Vice F&B, Red Medicine). The concept, which officially opened its doors on November 30th in Downtown Culver City, features a menu of constantly rotating seasonal vegetables and composed salads as well as proteins like roasted free-range Jidori chicken, beef, Scottish Salmon, dessert, and other creations put together from scratch by chef Alex Resnick, formerly of Red Medicine.
The venue space itself is beautiful and minimalist- a corner location in the former L’Epicerie Market space with floor-to-ceiling windows, ample light, and a great view of the street for people watching. The interior is modern with tons of open space that is sprinkled with rustic picnic-esque elements that run throughout the eatery. The blue and white picnic square tablecloth theme extends from their merchandise to the silverware. All of Picnic LA’s ingredients are harvested from local farms making them extremely fresh.
“People are paying more attention to eating clean, healthy meals," said Elliot Silver. “Picnic LA is quintessentially California with dishes drawing from its people that come from all sorts of cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds. The menu and the dishes are constantly changing. You’ll always been surprised."
And there’s no comparison to Lemonade for those wondering. Picnic LA’s menu embodies California and its unique diversity. Expect dishes inspired anywhere from right here to Southeast Asia or even France. There’s also many vegetarian-friendly, vegan, and gluten free options.
Stand out dishes thus far include:
-Farro & Roasted Asparagus Salad with pickled shallot, peanut, thai basil and mint
-16-month proscuitto di parma & fuyu persimmon with rosemary and jalapeño
- Olive oil-poached Sushi Grade Salmon with avocado-arbequina vinaigrette
-Jidori Turkey Larb Lettuce Wraps with lemongrass, lime, thai chili and fresh herbs
- Toasted barley & butternut squash with sunflower seeds, harissa, and cilantro
-“Vietnamese Coffee” Pot de Crème with sweetened condensed milk, chicory, toasted coconut, and praline
Patrons go down the buffet style line and choose their desired dishes. The food is served in a tray cafeteria-style with the seating reminiscent of picnic tables. There are currently three Prix Fixe Lunches available: the "Salmon, Vegetables & Grains" which comes with olive oil poached salmon, any two vegetables, grains, pulses, or snacks, and a bottled water for $17.95, the "Meat, Vegetables & Grains", which includes one protein of your choice, any two vegetables, grains, pulses, or snacks along with a bottle of water for $16.50, and the "Vegetables, Grains, & Pulses", which includes any three vegetables, grains, pulses, or snacks with a bottle of water for $14.95.
Picnic LA also created custom to-go bags and boxes that stack up like Tetris pieces, which they coined “Picnics on Demand”for those that wish to take their food elsewhere to eat. Pick up orders are available in 15 minutes or less with delivery options coming soon. The eatery will also feature a retail component complete with picnic kits, accessories, and California pride apparel. And unlike Lemonade, Picnic LA is much more organized. They have a separate line for pick up so patrons don’t get caught up in the hodge-podge of people ordering. Beer and wine will be available shortly. For now there’s an assortment of bottled beverages that include Kombucha, cold brew coffee, among others.
The most unique drinks on the Picnic LA menu, however are the cold pressed juices from California Juice Co. that Chef Alex deliberately sought out after trying their tasty flavors. The Miramar with pineapple, tangerine, apple, strawberry lemon, and mint has been a fan-favorite so far. The juice taste better than other cold press out there. The juices are all sourced locally in Oxnard at the Deardorff Family Farms where the fruits and vegetables go straight from picking to the press. And it’s not easily attainable either, since California Juice Co. only partners with a number of big corporations like Just Fab, Dreamworks, Linkedin to offer subsidized juices, delivered daily into the office, as part of a corporate wellness initiative. The website will be constantly updated with pictures of the newest dishes as soon as they come out for easy ordering so check picnic.la for the latest.
Picnic LA is located at 9900 Culver Blvd., #1B in Culver City, (310) 838-3388.