The 15 million employees who work in more than a million restaurants across the country are getting hit hard by the coronavirus crisis. The National Restaurant Association is anticipating restaurant sales to decline by $225 billion during the next three months, which will lead to the loss of between 5 and 7 million jobs.
Restaurant owners like Shallom Berkman, owner of Urth Caffé, say sales have dropped significantly, and it’s forcing them to reduce hours for employees. To adapt, they have switched their entire operations to servicing takeout and delivery options.
“We have been receiving a lot of understanding from our employees and guests alike, as we all adapt to stay strong for better days ahead,” Berkman says.
Hailey Kwon, owner of Dots Café, says they are supplying family dinners and selling ingredients to the community. “Hope we can stay open,” she says.
“Not sure how people are gonna get back up,” says Kei Okumura of Sugarbird Sweets. “My friends have already shut their doors for good. They’ve worked on this for the past 30 years and overnight their business is gone.”
The easiest way to support your neighborhood restaurants is to order delivery or takeout. Worried about safety? According to the Centers for Disease Control, the USDA and multiple health agencies, there is no evidence thus far that COVID-19 has spread through food or food packaging.
More of your dollars will help the restaurant if you order directly from the establishment. Food delivery apps sometimes take a sizable commission from the order, although DoorDash and Grubhub recently announced that they would reduce or eliminate their cut for restaurants temporarily.
So there’s no need to deprive your taste buds. To whet your appetite, we have put together a list of East West Bank client restaurants that are currently open for takeout and delivery.
Urth Caffé serves heirloom, shade-grown certified organic coffee, fine tea, health-conscious meals and baked goods. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, owners Shallom and Jilla Berkman source ingredients from family farms and work directly with growers. Some highlights of the menu include the Urth pot roast sandwich, farmer’s salad, sunrise pizza, lasagna and roasted turkey panini. Vegan and gluten-free options are available. Urth Caffé has nine locations in Southern California, as well as locations in Las Vegas, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Dubai. Most locations are currently open seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Check the Urth Caffé website for addresses and hours.
Noodle World Jr. is a Pan-Asian restaurant chain where you can order your favorite noodles from Thailand, Vietnam, Japan and China. Popular dishes include rare steak pho, BBQ pork and wonton soup, garlic noodles, shrimp pad thai, tonkotsu ramen soup, Singapore noodles, yakisoba and also rice dishes like mint leaf chicken and lemongrass pork. John Mekpongsatorn opened the first Noodle World restaurant when he was 21 years old, and in 2013, he unveiled a fast-casual version of the restaurant, Noodle World Jr.
“It’s a concept that I felt was unique,” he says. “Why do you have to go to a restaurant that serves only one type of Asian food? Why isn’t there a place that does everything?” There are seven Noodle World Jr. locations throughout Southern California, and three full service Noodle World restaurants, as well as one location in Oregon. Check the Noodle World website or check Yelp for addresses and hours.
Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop is a chain of restaurants that brings local, fresh and organic ingredients to a fast-casual setting, using fresh local ingredients combined with gourmet cooking techniques. Chef and restaurant owner Jonathan Rollo was a general manager for the Patina Group for a number of years before opening his first Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop. The menu evolves with the seasons, making sure to bring the highest quality produce to the table. Popular dishes include the spicy avocado veggie burger, pesto chicken panini, angus burger and baked spaghetti with Tuscan kale salad. Currently their Century City, Venice and Costa Mesa locations are open for delivery from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Dots Cafe has lunch specials to go in a bento box with sandwich, green salad, pickle and fresh baked mini cupcake. Also notable is the breakfast quinoa bowl, French toast combo, avocado toast, risotto balls and pastrami melt. Owner Hailey Kwon founded the café as a neighborhood gathering place after successfully launching a cupcake business.
“The vision was always to have a community restaurant where people can come together, have dessert together, have sandwiches and food and celebrate different moments in their life,” she says. Dots Café is currently open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
You can still satisfy your most exotic ice cream cravings at Mashti Malone’s. Tucked away in a mini-mall right off of Sunset Boulevard in the heart of Hollywood, California, this venerable spot for foodies and dessert lovers is run by two brothers, Mashti and Mehdi Shirvani. For the last 40 years, they have been scooping out some of the most surprising flavors ever known to taste buds, long before artisanal ice cream became a thing.
Alongside classic flavors such as chocolate chip, rocky road, and strawberry, they also make Middle Eastern-influenced flavors such as ginger rosewater, pomegranate sorbet, saffron pistachio, dates and Persian cucumber. Mashti Malone’s Ice Cream is available for takeout and is also accessible on numerous delivery apps. They are currently open from 2 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday, and until midnight on Friday and Saturday.
Buttermilk cream cheese with sprinkles, bacon and date, matcha white chocolate, fig rosemary, dark chocolate chip—these are just a few of the unique scone flavors that Sugarbird Sweets is known for.
“They’re crunchy on the outside and moist in the center,” owner Kei Okumura says. The scones are baked fresh every day, and can be delivered the same day. Sugarbird also started to offer frozen scone and cookie dough online that you can bake at home when the sweet tooth hits you.
“We have pushed really hard on our online delivery service for frozen scone dough, and it’s going great so far,” Okumura says. They are offering free delivery within 10 miles of 90031 for orders of more than $48 with code: BEWELL. Orders must be placed before 10am for same day delivery. Sugarbird scones are also available on Postmates, Amazon or through their website.
For a taste of classic Americana with premium ingredients, Cassell’s has topped many “best of” lists, and Majordomo Chef David Chang even voted for it on the “World’s 50 Best” restaurant list. Cassell’s is known for their hamburger and patty melt, as well as fries, shakes and pies made in-house daily. All of their meat is antibiotic and hormone-free, and hand-ground on the premises.
“We still grind in-house every day from whole muscles, so we use chucks and brisket,” Chef Christian Page says. They also serve hand-crafted cocktails. Cassell’s Koreatown and Downtown LA locations are taking orders for delivery and pick-up, and you can also order through Chownow and other delivery apps.
For a list of other restaurants in Southern California, click here.
For a list of East West Bank client restaurants delivering in Texas, click here.
Stay tuned for a list of restaurants that are delivering in Northern California and New York as well.
We’ll keep you in the know about the latest US-Asia business news and trends.
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