15 Best Takeout Windows in Los Angeles
Takeout windows certainly aren't anything new, but over the last few years they've blown up in L.A. as quickly as the food-truck movement previously did: A new generation of chefs has followed in similar, low-overhead footsteps by offering quick grab-and-go meals, many with quite the gourmet flair. Here is some of the best food in L.A. coming from windows, from modern twists on Filipino fare to deeply indulgent breakfast biscuit sandwiches.
Unit 120 window with Easy's Burgers and Isa Fabro's pastries
There's so much going on at Chinatown's Unit 120 that it's often hard to keep track of the chefs who are building up their brand through Eggslut chef-restaurateur Alvin Cailan's culinary incubator space — and that's part of what makes it so exciting. Blink and you just might miss the next big thing. Currently, Jeremy Fall (Nighthawk) is staking out the takeout window portion of Unit 120 until the end of November with his Easy's Burgers concept (Thursdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Pastry chef Isa Fabro (formerly of Orsa & Winston), who's made a name for herself with her Hawaiian-Filipino hybrid donuts, will continue to sell her sweets once November hits. Follow her Instagram for updates on her upcoming schedule, and expect some other pastries like her chocolate malt crumbles, dubbed "milo malas," on the way. Also at the start of November, Amboy (the ones behind those delicious banana leaf-wrapped whole grilled pompano over rice) will be back at the window on Tuesdays from 6 to 10 p.m. with a new Filipino dish: lechon manok, crispy chicken that comes with rice and crab sauce. Remember that these popups are fleeting. "All will end after Dec. 31, and then we reconfigure for the new year," says Cailan.
727 N. Broadway, #120, Chinatown; unit120.com.
The McB sandwich with lox, red onions, capers and cream cheese
Outside a nondescript window at the Hi Hat music venue in Highland Park, you'll find dedicated fans queuing up for Belle's Bagels in the mornings. They're here because these aren't your ordinary bagels; the doughy wheels go through a 48-hour fermentation process and then are hand-rolled by co-owner Nick Schreiber. The result is a dense and chewy disc that isn't quite New York– or Montreal-style. The schmears are special blended flavors of beet or charred scallions with Sierra Nevada cream cheese, and the bagel sandwiches are stuffed with handmade lox. Make sure to get here early because they sometimes sell out early.
5043 York Blvd., Highland Park; (323) 208-9408, bellesbagels.com.
Takeout window at Leona in Venice
One of the most adorable openings of the year was Leona's cookie window, which has a rotating cookie menu daily from noon to 9 p.m. A white brick-lined wall with a wooden heart-shaped screen serves as the façade of tiny takeout window. A handful of take-away specials, usually burgers and sandwiches, also is scrawled on a chalkboard, as well as chef/owner Nyesha Arrington's so-good-they're-addictive cookies. Take our word for it and try the sweet-and-salty miso chocolate chip cookies.
123 Washington Blvd., Venice; (310) 822-5379, leonavenice.com.
Outside of Red Window in Studio City
If you're walking down Ventura Boulevard and see a closet-sized brick building with a window trimmed in cherry red, then you've arrived at Red Window. This tiny coffee shop is owned by Australian husband-and-wife duo Dan and Leah Pringle, who are fans of San Francisco's Four Barrel coffee beans, which they serve here. At Red Window, you'll find flat whites (which folks Down Under created), as well as cappuccinos done "Aussie-style," meaning chocolate powder dusted on top.
12953 Ventura Blvd., Studio City; redwindowcoffee.com.
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