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Gourmets on the Go Find Meals to Match

March 12, 1987|GERI SPIELER | Geri Spieler is a Calabasas free - lance writer.

Gourmet dinners-to-go have been around for awhile. But never has there been so much yummy fare available at so many places in the San Fernando Valley, whether it is from gourmet delis or food counters in grocery stores.

The hunger to take home better food can be linked to the movement of women away from the kitchen into the workplace, restaurant and grocery store executives say.

"The consumer demands more convenience with better than 50% of the women in the work force," said Kenneth Partch, editor of Supermarket Business magazine. Partch said grocery stores now are competing with restaurants to accommodate the desire for tastier take-home food.

And there is more to come, Partch said. Grocery stores are experimenting with semi-cooked roasts, which can be finished at home, and adding sauces and stuffing for chicken, veal and pork. "In the future, we see people coming in and dropping off entire menus to be picked up later," Partch said.

Gerry Breitbart, a spokesman for the California Restaurant Assn., said that gourmet take-out is "a wonderfully growing segment" of the restaurant industry. "Many restaurants see this opportunity to better serve their customers," he said.

Except for stopping on the way home, the meals are even easier (although often more expensive) than frozen dinners. The most they require is a brief hit in the microwave.

Joe Donahue, 32, owner and chef at Gourmet Gourmet, a take-out restaurant in Tarzana, said his typical customer "calls me from his car phone on the San Diego Freeway and asks me, 'What about the specials?' "

Just to name a few meals that can be bought ready-made: stir-fried steak with peppers, onions and pasta; salmon baked in a bag with julienne of vegetables and fresh herbs; tortellini with marinara sauce; veal Parmesan; ravioli with pesto sauce; stuffed chicken breast, or that old stand-by, lasagna.

Many of the shops will take special orders for a particular recipe. Also, many will prepare complete dinners for parties if called several days ahead.

Gourmet Gourmet

19014 Ventura Blvd.


(818) 344-7111

Dinners to go from $9 a person

Known for Hollywood Bowl basket dinners that start at $27 for two.

Complete Pritiken menu

Special orders taken

The Market at Le Cafe

14633 Ventura Blvd.

Sherman Oaks

(818) 986-2662

Pastries, hot and cold pasta salads and home-made sausages.

Picnic baskets for two from $8.95

Special orders taken

Irvine Ranch Farmers Market

19524 Nordhoff St.


(818) 886-3701

401 Canoga Ave.

Woodland Hills

(818) 704-0485

Specialty deli case with 30 to 40 hot and cold salads from $6.49 a pound. Sushi and salad bar from $2.49 an order.

Special orders taken.

Gelson's Markets

16450 Ventura Blvd.


(818) 906-5780

4738 Laurel Canyon Blvd.

North Hollywood

(818) 766-5183

5500 Reseda Blvd.


(818) 345-8121

2734 Townsgate Road

Westlake Village

(818) 888-9272

Long a forerunner in the specialty service deli, Gelson's Markets offer 30 different hot and cold entrees. From $6.29 a pound.

Special orders taken.


2839 West Agoura Road

Westlake Village

(818) 991-4670

Marinated vegetables, home-made sausage and bread. Hot and cold salads. From $4.59 a pound.

Special orders taken.

Your Chef Take Home Foods

6601 Laurel Canyon Blvd.

North Hollywood

(818) 765-7301

In the same location for 30 years, this store specializes in traditional home cooking. A typical dinner of meat loaf, macaroni and cheese and cole slaw runs $3.72 per person.

Monte Carlo

3103 W. Magnolia Blvd.


(818) 845-3516

Italian specialties, including lasagna, pizza bread, veal Parmesan. Imported Italian delicatessen.

Gourmet Fantasies

4100 W. Alameda Ave.


(818) 846-2200

Hot and cold meals to go. All entrees $4.50 and side dishes 95 cents.

Michel Richard

16658 Ventura Blvd.


(818) 905-5758

French gourmet. Pate, salads, sandwiches, chicken.

Chicken dinner with salad--$3.95.

Pick Up Sticks

17047 1/2 Ventura Blvd.


(818) 784-2573

Japanese take out--lunch only--vegetables, beef or shrimp with rice, $2.95 to $5.95.

Xanadu French Bakery

23653 Calabasas Road


(818) 347-1773

Pasta and rice salads, soup. By the bowl: small, $2.95; large, $5.85.

Hughes Markets

22333 Sherman Way

Canoga Park

(818) 883-1230

12842 Ventura Blvd.

Studio City

(818) 761-6198

14440 Burbank Blvd.

Van Nuys

(818) 989-5640

Complete service deli with over 20 different salads from $2.49 a pound. Hot entrees such as cabbage rolls, ribs, chicken and lasagna, from $3.99 a pound.

Vons Market with a full service deli:

21821 Ventura Blvd.

Woodland Hills

(818) 347-6758

Hot and cold salads, from $1.39; lasagna, stuffed pepper, $3.79 a pound; cabbage rolls, $4.39 a pound.

Large selection of kosher meals to go.

Safeway Stores

14845 Ventura Blvd.

Sherman Oaks

(818) 986-7213

6534 Platt Ave.

Canoga Park

(818) 999-5939

Salads, from $1.99 a pound. Hawaiian chicken with salad, $2.99. Pasta and other specialties available.

Special orders taken.


14920 Raymer St.

Van Nuys

(818) 781-8820

Thirty salads, starting at $1.39 per pound. Also, lasagna, chicken ($1.98 per pound, prepared), duck and Cornish hens.

Encino Gourmet Meats at Trader Joe's

17640 Burbank Blvd.


(818) 990-2300

Twenty-five salads starting at $4.98 per pound. Cooked game hens, duck, stuffed chicken breasts ($3.98 per pound)

Chili My Soul

14539 Ventura Blvd.

Sherman Oaks

(818) 907-7685

Chili, with or without meat or beans. Starts at $2.95 per half-pint.

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