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Best LA Pop-Up Restaurants

April 13, 2021

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The very nature of a pop-up restaurant is temporary, so we can't guarantee that restaurants that are popping up right now will be serving pop-up food in the future. But we can take a snapshot of Los Angeles' current pop-up dining scene and tell you what's on the menus.


Crafted Kitchen in the Arts District

With thousands of square feet and a variety of different kitchens, Crafted Kitchen has become something of a home base for some of LA's best pop-ups. The restored brick warehouse, complete with a charming patio, has seen a surge of top restaurants serving here as COVID-19 shutters traditional dining venues.

Who's been popping up? Paratta, which specializes in Desi cuisine and South Asian street food, for one, with wagyu beef kebabs, chicken tikka, and lachha paratha rolls among its delights. Moo's Craft Barbecue has been spotted serving up its tangy East Texas fare, and Burmese, Please has been bringing its beloved curry dishes to the Crafted Kitchen—just to name a few.

 

Sara's in East LA

An East LA institution for more than half a century, Sara's Market in City Terrace has become an epicenter for pop-ups and food trucks in recent days. Owner Sara Valdes posts the schedule on their Instagram account. A few folks that have popped up recently include Philly Jay's Cheesesteaks and the pop-up 2 Jewish Girls from New York City, who claim to serve the "most delicious matzoh ball soup since your bubbie made it for you!" And the self-dubbed "patio pop-up" Gate 14 is serving vegan delicacies at Sara's Market.

 

Psychic Wines Hosts Moyosubi

Each month Psychic Wines, a wine shop in Silver lake that specializes in organic vintages, welcomes Moyosubi to serve its popular omusubi (Japanese rice balls). Delight in delicacies such as the tamari-cured egg yolk rice ball, along with salmon, mushroom, and beef sukiyaki selections. You can pre-order by DM-ing Moyosubi on Instagram and feel good knowing that 20% of the proceeds go to the Soul Fire Farm and its mission of an equitable food system.

 

Broken Spanish Back in Hollywood

Foodies all across Los Angeles lamented last summer's closing of Broken Spanish, serving Mexican fare with Southern California flair in Downtown Los Angeles. COVID-19 meant an end to indoor dining with their signature dishes such as crispy pork-belly chicharrón with heirloom ayocote beans and a side of spicy salsa. But Broken Spanish is back as a pop-up, with a month-long stay at the multi-use space NeueHouse in Hollywood, running to the end of March 2021. Broken Spanish's website keeps us updated on where it will pop up next.

 

Bootsy Bellows for More Than Celebrity Spotting

Bootsy Bellows, a well-known nightclub on West LA's Sunset Strip, has been hosting several pop-ups in recent days. One of the most popular is Carla Cafe, a long-time favorite for gourmet sandwiches in Los Angeles. You can only get one kind of sandwich on each different pop-up day, with favorites like pesto chicken, garlic aioli chicken, and their trademark tuna chop often in the rotation. You can get more information and order on their Instagram page.

 

South African Barbecue in Venice

With the welcoming down-home feel of an airy farmhouse, Dudley Market in Venice has been doing more than offering some of the area's best seafood of late. It's also home to some great pop-ups, notably with Birdeye serving weekly South-African-style barbecue, spicy dishes like flame-grilled chicken smothered in traditional peri peri sauce.

Exterior of Dudley Market in Venice, CAPhoto Credit: Dudley Market / Facebook

 

Detroit-Style Pizza in Downtown LA

What's Detroit-style pizza? Well, it's a big thick pie, rectangular in shape, and topped with two layers of Wisconsin brick cheese, plus pepperoni or some vegan toppings. It's at once crunchy, chewy, and doughy, and you can get one when Dough Daddy pops up in Downtown LA. And make sure your order includes a few of Dough Daddy's unique craft cocktails, such as spicy margaritas and bourbon-and-strawberry Kentucky Bucks.

 

Breakfast from a Bucket?

Yup! Folks all across Los Angeles have been traveling to a nondescript East Hollywood apartment building on Sunday mornings to get breakfast sandwiches lowered to them in a bucket. Really. The oversized cheesy delights are dropped from a fire escape in a red bucket, often along with Calabama's signature homemade hot sauce. Self-described as a "Southern Breakfast Sandwich Pop Up," Calabama keeps us updated on their Instagram page.

Some of the best places to eat in LA aren’t places at all, at least not until they pop up. So, keep your eyes online for info on when amazing Los Angeles restaurants will be serving their next pop-up meals.

Written by William McCleary for Knockaround.

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