As our battle with Covid-19 rages on, we are finding ourselves living more and more back inside the box.  Meal kits are the new normal – an expanding way for restaurants and chefs to find creativity and competition in a time of crisis.

According to, a study published in The Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, the pandemic has brought on an increase in family meals. The study showed that more frequent family meals were associated with better dietary and family functioning outcomes.

It confirmed that family meals keep us connected.  Seventy-one percent (71%) of people who have been eating more in-person meals (and 70% having more virtual meals) agree that “I feel more connected to my family since the pandemic has started.”  More than one-third recognize that they eat better and 40% say that the food they eat is more balanced or healthier than the food they eat when alone.

Socalo meal kit (Michele Stueven)

Some restaurants are more familiar in this space than others and have elevated complete packaged and portioned dinners with all the bells and whistles into a delightful and affordable option to dining out.  An increasing number of restaurants may have one or two kits representing their menus. In addition to pickup and delivery options, as well as dine-in and cocktails to go, has  a variety of family meal kits including a special for Labor day – and is our meal kit pick of the week.

The precise kits are made with from scratch and include a quesadilla kit, brunch kit, meat and vegetarian taco kits as well as their standout chicken enchilada kit. The perfectly portioned enchilada bag of goodies includes cooked chicken poblano enchiladas made with organic yellow corn tortillas hand rolled with tender organic chicken, poblano crema, roasted corn, wild mushrooms and Mexican cheeses. Also included in the package are organic red rice, a huge baby gem TJ Caesar salad with  creamy cilantro garlic dressing, guacamole and chips, macha and quemada salsas. It’s a stress-free dining experience at $65 that feeds four.

Socalo chicken enchiladas (Michele Stueven)

The Labor Day kit includes fully cooked cumin glazed baby back ribs, roasted corn salad, Mexican coleslaw, grilled sweet potato, pineapple salsa, broccolini, red beans, corn tortillas, guacamole and chips, salsas quemada as well as macha and brownie bites for dessert.

The kits feed two, four, or six people and can be ordered ahead of time for pickup or delivery. You can order them hot or to reheat at your convenience. All the items come in reusable and dishwasher safe containers.

Honorable Mention: dineLA restaurant week is in full swing and Socalo is offering three course lunches for $15 and dinners for $45, including signature items like vampiro, steak and jackfruit tinga tacos.

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