It’s a Picnik!

New sausage restaurant to open at former 168 site

Thursday, March 6, 2014 | 10:39 pm

Picnik owner/chef Eduardo Ruiz

Fresh off their successful “Pop-Up” venture at Ixtapa a few weeks back, owner Jack Huang and Corazon y Miel chef/owner Eduardo Ruiz are set to open a new restaurant in the former Colorado Boulevard home of Asian fusion restaurant 168, which will cease operations.

The new restaurant, Picnik, will open Saturday, March 15, 2014, at 168 W. Colorado Boulevard.  The restaurant will be located in the outdoor patio and bar section of the soon-to be reconfigured property.

For this venture, Ruiz will team with Chef Michael Puglisi, formerly of Bouchon Beverly Hills to offer a selection of customized, hand crafted sausages, sourced from, family owned and operated farms, and prepared fresh daily, on premises.

Executive Chef Ruiz will oversee all food and menu creations, including the customization of sausages, side dishes, and salads. Although the house made sausages deliver the core menu offerings, Ruiz also plans to include a sandwich of sardines in oil with shaved fennel, a rotating vegetarian offering, and a follow up to his legendary Pan con Chompipe – the Picnik Pork Shank sandwich, a signature offering similarly gargantuan to the Pan con Chompipe, prepared in the style of traditional German beer halls.

The restaurant’s debut line of handmade sausage will include a “Peasant Sausage” made with leeks, wine and herbs; Jägerwurst (smoked onion and garlic); merguez made with ground lamb; chorizo; both sweet and spicy Italian sausages; bratwurst; chicken sausage and more.

“We’ll be offering an old world approach to butchery and sausage making. Everything will be twisted and cased by hand daily, and butchered on site,” states Ruiz. All sausages will be served on French-Vietnamese style baguettes. Whole Duroc hogs and pork products will initially be provided by Beeler’s Farm in Iowa, a 150-year-old family farm that maintains the highest in ethical farming standards

“The luxury of this project is that we’re sourcing the absolute best ingredients, in order to offer the best possible product in a casual environment,” adds Ruiz. Toppings will be simple, including sauerkraut, pickled red cabbage, sautéed peppers and sautéed onions. Sides will include classic accompaniments, such as hand-punched fries, macaroni and cheese and potato salad.

Picnik will also offer an initial collection of two dozen tap beers, featuring a mix of local craft brews, European selections, and occasional hard to find rarities.

Picnik opens March 15 at 168 West Colorado Boulevard.

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