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Need to stock your pantry? These L.A. restaurants are temporarily flipping to corner stores.

Written by
Stephanie Breijo

If the thought of wrestling over the last bag of dried pasta in a grocery store sounds like the most stressful way to stock up, you’re probably right. Thankfully, some of L.A.’s best restaurants are here to help, turning their full-service restaurants into corner stores packed with produce, jarred goods, dried noodles, rice, toilet paper and other hard-to-finds.

The pivot is symbiotic: Per Mayor Garcetti’s Sunday night order, restaurants must shutter all dine-in components through the end of the month. By flipping their business models to help you stock up, these full-service restaurants are helping to deplete their excess stock—much of which gets sourced from local farmers’ markets—while offering all of us high-grade items not normally found at the grocery store, or pantry staples that are already out of stock in big-box retailers. 

By stocking up at a local restaurant you’ll be helping out L.A.’s service industry, plus it’s almost guaranteed there are fewer people perusing at these spots, which means keeping six feet of distance should be a breeze—and no one’s probably going to slug you over that last bag of pasta. 

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Gwen and Maude

Curtis Stone’s Hollywood butcher shop and restaurant flipped to become your neighborhood corner store during our period of indefinite self-quarantine, stocking its shelves with everything from fresh produce to artisan, house-made sauces. Of course you can still find quality cuts of meat here and you’ve always been able to find a few home goods, but now you can opt for a bevy of quart containers filled with the likes of pantry staples such as uncooked rice and various shapes of pasta, not to mention fresh poultry stock, little parcels of French butter, jars of salmon rillettes, pickled mustard seeds, Thai hot sauce, wine, beer and so much more. The spin's been so successful, in fact, that now sibling fine-dining restaurant Maude in Beverly Hills is also a temporary corner store, stocked with goods such as pastas, house-made marinara, pheasant consommé, fresh brownies, focaccia, buttermilk biscuits, cookies, eggs and produce.

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The Sunset Strip’s modern French bistro has temporarily rebranded to Tesse Market, and reconfigured its wine shop to pack shelves and alcoves with refrigerated and shelf-stable goods, including tons of produce sourced from local farms. Don’t worry, Tesse’s wine is still on hand (and crucial in a time of crisis), but now you can also snag toilet paper, napkins, spices, beans, soups, sauces, charcuterie, vacuum-sealed cuts of meat, plenty of milk and alternative milk, tofu, dried and fresh pasta, house-baked bread, and its centerpiece, large bins full of mountains of produce, including onions, squash, tomatoes, shallots, potatoes and citrus. 

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This charming Silver Lake restaurant has always featured a market component, but the Botanica team’s been diligently stocking its shelves with even more quarantine-worthy goods in the last week. If you’re looking for some especially healthful ways to dine indoors, you’ll find a colorful refrigerated section sporting prepared salads, caramelized leeks, house-made tahini, apple sauce, stocks and broths, ricotta, fresh pasta and beyond, in addition to the ample shelf-stable selections of granola, citrus, olive oil, spice mixes, local coffee beans and more. But wait, it gets better: You can even get these market goods delivered via Caviar.

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Zinc Café & Market

The "market" is already in the name, but you'd better believe that the Arts District's Zinc Café—along with its sibling locations in Laguna Beach and Corona del Mar—are heavily stocking up for shoppers. The casual café always carried to-go foods, bottles of wine and local, upscale pantry items, but has since begun to stock everyday items such as toilet paper, plenty of eggs, milk, fresh produce and other essentials. When you order online directly for any amount over $10, you'll even receive a free roll of toilet paper.

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Birdie G's

The Rustic Canyon Family's Jewish-Californian-Midwestern mishmash of a glorious restaurant is adding a larder component to its takeout, so you can spruce up your pantry and fridge with chef Jeremy Fox's own salad dressings, infused oils, smoked trout dips, spice mixes, chicken stock (and schmaltz!), tomato sauce and more. Simply call by phone, then pick up that same day between 4 and 8:30pm.

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Valerie Echo Park

Valerie Gordon's Echo Park café always stocks a few pantry highlights (such as Gordon's killer seasonal jams), but now the team is majorly building out their larder section to amp up selections like dried beans, grains and fresh breads, plus prepackaged meals such as stews, whole quiches and soups. Plus, while you're there, you can snatch up some calming tea and plenty of baked goods and chocolates which, come on, is a quarantine must. You can drop by the Echo Park location from 8am to 4pm, or opt for delivery in Laurel Canyon. Want to take a look at a few of the goods? You can order online here.

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What's La Brea's beloved German beer hall doing this week? Launching a small market out front. Thanks to their connections to local farmers and other vendors, they've been able to source goods like organic produce, farm eggs, milk, fresh bread and butter—and, because this is a beer hall, after all, you can still pick up German sausages and beer, wine and cider. 

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Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne's trailblazing Melrose restaurant will still close in early May, but while it's currently shuttered for dine-in, Lucques is banding together with sibling spot A.O.C. for a curated larder and market full of gourmet items until the end of the day on Thursday, March 19. When it comes to perishables, you can find five-ounce portions of wild salmon; organic chicken; 12-ounce Niman Ranch steaks; soft Italian sheep's-milk cheese; gallons of milk; flats of eggs; European-style yogurt and more, not to mention fresh produce such as avocados, sunchokes, Persian cucumbers, escarole and baby beets. And if you don't feel like cooking, Goin has you covered with prepared dishes like curried cauliflower, confit duck leg, braised beef short ribs and everything else we'd like to be eating right now. Call 323 655-6277 to place your order, then stop by for pickup.

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All Day Baby

For one day only, one of the best new restaurants in the city is opening its pantry to all of us as it turns into a little-bit-of-everything bodega. Just today, March 17, Silver Lake’s darling modern diner All Day Baby is reopening from temporary closure to offer smoked and raw meats, plenty of baked goods (like their crazy-delicious biscuits and loaves of Bub and Grandma’s bread), pies, produce, fresh eggs, wine, beer, pasta sauce and whatever else the talented teams at All Day Baby and its sibling spot, Here’s Looking at You, have in stock. The pop-up bodega runs from 10am until it’s all gone, and you can even call ahead (323-741-0082) to try and arrange curbside pickup.

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