Trendy 'food halls' feature restaurants, groceries and gifts

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'Food halls,' the latest culinary trend, offer customers the opportunity to dine, order takeout, buy groceries and shop for gifts all under one roof.

There are plenty of coffee shops, wine bars, pizza counters and high-end grocery stores across Southern California, but something new is cooking in the world of food. Restaurants are adding high-end groceries and other items to create something coined a "food hall."

"We like to call it a gourmet market place cafe," said Melina Davies, owner of Olive & Thyme. "If you've been in Europe and you know what the European food culture is, it's really a one-stop shop."

"I would call it a hybrid restaurant," said Gary Arabia of GC Global Cuisine Marketplace.

"We were inspired by Italy and the Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco," said Chris Barnett, executive chef for Stir Market.

Davies felt Burbank lacked a spot to get gourmet food for dinner parties as well as a place to have a great meal.

"You can get coffee, you can get wine, you can get cheese, you can get a gift. You can do all of that in one location," Davies said.

Along with all of that, her restaurant serves short rib sandwiches, substantial salads and more.

Often, a "food hall" offers the diner an opportunity to try a product that they don't serve in the restaurant but really like, along with sampling some of the things that they do serve for easy takeout.

"So you can come in the morning and have an espresso with a pastry," said Stir Market co-owner Mimi Mok.

"We have our rotisserie element, we have our seasonal salad market case," added Barnett.

Mok and Barnett have great grocery goodies as well. For brunch, they offer trendy avocado or fruit toast and other tasty items.

In Studio City, there's GC Marketplace, which stands for Global Cuisine. Restaurateur Gary Arabia's shiny new venue was once an old grocery store.

"We make everything here," said Arabia.

His culinary boutique offers Neapolitan pizzas, coffee, olive oil, cheese and more.

L.A. isn't alone in the concept, Orange County is home to the Anaheim Packing District and Santa Ana's 4th Street Market.

Getting great food anytime just got easier.







Related Topics:
foodfood coachrestaurantsfarmer’s marketscoffeewinegift ideasgourmetLos AngelesOrange CountySan FranciscoAnaheimSanta Ana
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