Delicious food in spacious, walkable surroundings is needed now more than ever, thanks to COVID-19’s continuing limitations. Happily, ROW DTLA recently reopened several of its eateries.
Encompassing 30 expansive acres near the Arts District and Little Tokyo, ROW DTLA offers a variety of outdoor spaces for eating and imbibing al fresco while social distancing. Additional dining-designated spaces have been added throughout. Atop the parking garage, you’ll find plant-lined picnic areas offering mountain and downtown views.
I love the food at Rappahannock Oyster Bar. The only West Coast location of this East Coast chainlet of superior oyster eateries features scrumptious bites like lobster rolls topped with caviar, shrimp with grits, fresh oysters (duh), ceviches, and more.
Happy hour is offered here every day from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Don’t miss the fresh oysters, just $1.50 each (normally $2.50). Other happy hour offerings include a daily cocktail ($10) and Prosecco or Pinot Noir for $8.
Indoor dining is still a no-go as of publication time, but Rappahannock offers a spacious dining patio.
Pikunico is another acclaimed ROW eatery. This fast-casual restaurant from renowned Chef Kuniko Yagi focuses on Japanese fried chicken (aka karaage) and earned praise from The LA Beat’s own Editor-in-Chief Elise Thompson.
Pikunico’s fried chicken is naturally gluten-free, thanks to the batter made with rice flour and potato starch. Savor the karaage in the form of a sandwich (topped with pickled daikon, lemon aioli, and miso jam), a rice bowl (featuring ginger rice, soy glaze and house-made pickles), or on its own with sides like the roasted beet salad, seaweed and cucumber salad, a multi-veggie slaw, fried, or ginger onigiri. Pikunico is now open for takeout, pickup and delivery Wednesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
A Japanese eatery known for wild seafood prepared using traditional methods, Hayato is currently offering its beloved made-to-order bento boxes on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. You’ll need pre-paid advance reservations to pick up your box, which can be savored with some local beer or wine on one of ROW’s expanded outdoor green spaces.
Conversely, if you’re looking for a hand-crafted coffee or tea drink or something sweet (think green tea donuts!), Cafe Dulce is now open for pickup or delivery. In addition to the donuts, the café is renowned for its Vietnamese iced coffee, blueberry matcha lattes, and single-origin pour-overs.
In addition to offering wide-open spaces, ROW is encouraging good health with face masks, floor markers, and QR code or laminated menus.
ROW DTLA is located at 777 S. Alameda St. in Los Angeles.