Could the old adage, “location, location, location” be wrong when it comes to restaurants? Could it go the way of Netzero and “long-distance” calls?
Urban Plates, the chef-driven restaurant offering made-from-scratch meals using ethically sourced ingredients, has now opened a new “digital kitchen,” to dramatically increase its footprint in Pasadena, at least.
It’s like ordering from your favorite restaurant just like you’re used to, but there is no actual restaurant. It could be the wave of the future, long after we emerge from the pandemic.
Admit it. Sometimes your crib is your favorite place to eat. The staff and clientele are friendly, if sometimes moody and loud, but give them a great menu, and the place jumps.
“This is about optimizing our footprint, to maximize accessibility,” according to Saad Nadhir, founder of Urban Plates. “We’re on a mission to make craveable, wholesome food accessible to all. Our digital kitchens allow Urban Plates to fit into smaller spaces, allowing us to serve more communities. With more and more occasions happening outside of restaurant dining rooms, this approach is right for the times.”
The new digital kitchens operate precisely like an Urban Plates restaurant with a chef and the same from-scratch recipes, but they don’t live anywhere.
Urban Plates currently has an existing restaurant location in Pasadena, and the new digital kitchen in Lincoln Heights offers the same cuisine, using grass-fed beef, sustainably sourced seafood, cage-free chicken, and the freshest produce available.
The new North Los Angeles digital kitchen has delivery only, and serves nearby communities like South Pasadena and Glendale, along with a handful of other communities north of Downtown LA.
And yes, we tried it. We ordered the Chimichurri grilled steak, as well as the fresh grilled salmon, with sides of fresh fruit, mac and cheese, along with mashed potatoes, and brussel sprouts.
The food arrived early, and was warm when it arrived. A minute and-half in the microwave brought the bountiful meals to serving temperature. And they were bountiful. The servings are generous, and as we transferred them from the delivery containers to dinner plates, things took on a whole new quality.
It’s not pizza, and it’s not Chinese food. Its fresh delicious meals delivered quickly at a reasonable price. And now they’re in your neighborhood, when Domino’s seems even more ordinary than usual.
We cleared perfectly empty plates from the table and enjoyed fresh-baked chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies for dessert. Even later in the evening there was chocolate cake, which we had with coffee and music. All from Urban Plates, except for the music.
Delivery orders can be placed via Postmates, DoorDash, and Uber Eats, and for pick up at the West Los Angeles location (in addition to all restaurant locations) via the website or the Urban Plates application.