Summer means spreading a blanket on the lawn. From gourmet sandwiches to decadent desserts, here are some alfresco dining finds that are sure to satiate, no matter which end of the Valley you call home.
Find an extensive selection of salads, sandwiches, cheese, olives, crackers and desserts (the crazy-tasty pudding-in-a-jar is a “must”) at Olive & Thyme in Toluca Lake. Choose à la carte selections to build your own basket or get a sandwich, half-pint salad and dessert for $20 per person.
Artisan Cheese Gallery in Studio City offers salads, sandwiches, cheese and charcuterie plates packed for a picnic. There’s also a nice wine selection, along with fresh bread, crackers and olives. Select individually wrapped red velvet cookies and bars for a dessert to cap off your evening.
With five locations here, Gelson’s is an easy picnic pick-up spot. Go online two days in advance and custom-build your spread. The gourmet picnic meals, which come chilled and packaged, offer choice of entree, fresh fruit, mesclun greens, seasonal vegetables, pasta, rice or potatoes, and cheesecake with berries. Prices from $21 per person.
Calabasas’ Blue Table has a variety of vegetarian and vegan selections, as well as sandwiches, cheese, charcuterie, and poultry and fish items. Don’t miss the walk-in “cheese closet.” Lunch bags and platters for two are also available. The triple chocolate espresso brownies are divine.