Love Joan's on Third for prepared food but...
I am in search of really wonderful prepared foods shops in the Los Angeles area. I like Joan's on Third (although their service is ridiculously slow), but Marmalade leaves me cold and Michel Richard and Le Marmiton are too "French". Where can one go for delicious innovative take-out, sublime sandwiches, contemporary multi-ethnic picnic choices? Help.
I end up at Urban Epicuria way too often. Their rock shrimp salad is pretty great (and I don't like mayonnaise) but do not try their kale with garlic sauce, which is basically blanched kale with no detectable garlic whatsoever. It's the heartbreaking epitome of LA soul food. And in general their Cal-Med works better than their bistro-- they do a kind of corrupt but tasty salade nicoise, but also a 'duck confit', a duck leg which they assured me had no fat. (I'm reminded of a recent and never-to-be repeated trip to the Cellar in Fullerton where the dinner-jacketed waiter explained that the specials were a creamy soup made of potatoes and leeks-- but even though it was creamy, it was cold!; and sweetbreads, 'a French delicacy').