10 Best Take-Out Restaurants in Los Angeles
|Gjelina Take Away|
Gjelina Take Away is perhaps L.A.'s most well-known walk-up only food spot. Much like the more robust sit down space next door, Take Away offers market-driven California fare with a Mediterranean flourish. You'll find the usual cabal of grilled cheeses, an upscaled banh mi and the necessary-for-the-area veggie combo on the sandwich side of things, but most folks in the neighborhood known to skew towards the pizzas. The slightly chewy squash blossom is a highlight, while the thicker, bacon-y guanciale fills a porky void left in the wake of all those fresh vegetables. The best part about walking in Gjelina Take Away? Walking back out, food in hand, to stroll down Abbot Kinney while the lingering smells have tourists turning their heads. 1427 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice; 310-392-7575.
Flickr / Guzzle & Nosh Sandwiches at Ink.Sack
Is the sandwich the perfect take out item? Order correctly and you won't have to worry about your food getting too cold, or too soggy, or spilling everywhere because you tripped on a jagged slice of sidewalk. Michael Voltaggio's Ink.Sack on Melrose takes the standard-bearer for take out success and puts it through a centrifuge, cooks it sous vide side and adds chicken skin on top. These are fancified sandwiches, to be sure, but they haven't lost the quintessential elements of bread, meat and cheese. The reuben is made from slowly cooked beef tongue, and the bacon element of the familiar B.L.T. has been replaced with salty, crispy, dehydrated chicken skin. Order two of the diminutive sandwiches if you really want to be satisfied, or just one if you want to maintain that Melrose figure. 8360 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; 323-655-7225.
Anne Fishbein Ribs at Bludso's
At the original Bludso's in Compton, you wait. You wait and you wait and then eventually someone's name gets called and you're one step closer to feeling the weight of a meat-heavy styrofoam container in your hands, the taste of smoke on your lips. If there are stools to be found inside the small, tiled ordering room, no one uses them. Everyone stands at the curb here, waiting to hear their name called, craning to find out if all that brisket and all of those ribs mean that your order is up, or if they belong to the next guy. The truth is, there's no telling.
Everyone gets lots of meat at Bludso's, because Kevin Bludso says so. His Texas-style pit mastery practically demands it, and once you pop open the styrofoam lid to reveal his personal pile of smoky, spiced beef and swine, it'll all make sense. Standing there on Long Beach Boulevard, quickly running out of napkins and gasping for air between dives in the barbecue pool, Kevin's thinking really starts to make a lot of sense. The only thing smarter is to call in your order before you pull out of the driveway. 811 S. Long Beach Blvd., Compton; 310-637-1342.
4331 W. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles, CA