Chef Suzanne Goin and business partner Caroline Styne (Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern) have opened their third iteration of the Larder -- others are in West Hollywood and Brentwood -- at the intersection of Burton Way, San Vicente and La Cienega, a seemingly awkward location that surprises you with excellent parking (validated by day in an underground lot; valet at night). There's patio seating, a marble-topped bar and banquettes all around. By day, you approach the counter and order -- by night, there's table service.
Says Styne, "We just want it to be a place that can do a lot of things for a lot of people, throughout the day. We're up against such a residential neighborhood ... it fills a need for them. They can easily walk and get breakfast, lunch and dinner. We'll hopefully do Thanksgiving dinners to pick up, and we're doing a Father's Day barbecue to pick up and take home."
For picnics, they've got a handful of fat sandwiches (turkey & cranberry, brisket & horseradish cream) and half a dozen ficelles -- thin French baguettes piled with soppressata, burrata and radishes. Suzanne Goin can bake, and the Larder is just one more opportunity to gorge on monkey bread, homemade nutter-butters and salted caramel brownies.
But don't give the savory short shrift: A vegan "Cobb" salad is bright with acidity and makes the most of California produce, a veritable farmers market of baby lettuces, sweet potato, tomatoes, avocado, beets and chickpeas. The bucatini with lamb meatballs put a Moroccan spin on an Italian favorite: Feta and black olives are swirled with the fat, chewy strands of pasta. The turkey burger will make you forget about red meat.
And there are usually about a dozen options in the "vegetables and grains" category, ranging from quinoa and black bean salad to curried cauliflower -- you can make a meal out of three of them for $14.
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And should you be planning an international getaway for Christmas, get excited. A Larder outpost at LAX will be opening sometime around September. According to Styne, "It will definitely have a lot of self-service elements, grab-and-go sandwiches, prepacked picnic boxes that you can just grab and take on the plane with you."
Beats airplane peanuts any day.
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