Mendocino Farms Launches Their Most Ambitious Restaurant Yet in Studio City
Mendocino Farms’s new flagship outpost, located in the old McDonald’s spot, offers a fried chicken sandwich, a curated wine list and premium craft beer.
- CategoryEat & Drink
- Written byJoshua Lurie
Mendocino Farms opens its second Valley location this week in the old McDonald’s space in the heart of Studio City. It’s their largest, most ambitious eatery yet.
“Studio City is our flagship restaurant. There is nothing else like it. With us living in the Valley and raising our family here, it just makes sense,” shares Mario del Pero, co-founder with wife Ellen Chen.
The couple kicked off the upscale, fast-casual sandwich and salad concept in DTLA in 2005 and now have 24 locations. When they opened their Sherman Oaks eatery a few years ago, they also moved their company’s headquarters here.
The Studio City restaurant offers an exclusive fried chicken sandwich ($11.95) that features a crispy chicken breast, kale slaw dressed with tangy buttermilk pickle vinaigrette, Havarti cheese, tomatoes and mayo on a soft, toasted sesame brioche bun.
“We can only offer it here because it takes a lot of special equipment to make fried chicken, and only this location has the necessary space,” shares Mario.The location also has an indoor-outdoor bar with 10 beers on tap—interesting offerings from local breweries that aren’t typically available beyond the taprooms. They include Showtime Belgian-style blonde from nearby Bluebird Brasserie, which is curating the kegs. Beachwood punchy Amalgamator West Coast IPA and Refuge Blood Orange Wit also grace glasses. Twelve curated wines are available by the glass including Complicated pinot noir from Sonoma and Mer Soleil chardonnay from Santa Barbara.
As always, Mendocino Farms offers seasonal specials. I’d recommend their current Santorini salad ($10.95)—a twist on a Greek salad with Scarborough Farms spinach and chopped romaine, seared Manouri cheese, quinoa, millet, za’atar marinated carrots, pickled red onions, Kalamata olives, crushed honey-roasted almonds and tahini-yogurt dressing.
Another unique element: At the register, customers can pick up pre-made salads, reducing wait times.
This nearly 4,000-square-foot location is bright and airy and includes a family-friendly lounge with a cornhole court, foosball table and outdoor fireplace. A central dining area boasts a blackboard for drawing and an attractive “living wall” that befits such a vibrant setting. Opens Thursday, February 7.
11960 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 818-432-5750
That’s something to crow about.