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The Window at Moruno provides a way to introduce an asyetunopened concept to a new audience
<p>The Window at Moruno provides a way to introduce an as-yet-unopened concept to a new audience.</p>

Trendinista: Restaurants broaden reach with takeout windows

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For those who hate the indoors, L.A. has never been short on dining options. The city is spotted with burger and hot dog stands, not to mention the now ubiquitous food trucks.

Two full-service restaurants, however, are making the takeout window cool again.

Susan Feniger’s Mudhen Tavern this week debuted the “blue window,” a takeout window with an entirely different menu than inside the restaurant.

All menu items are $7. Through the blue window, guests can order dishes like Korean pot stickers, Hong Kong-style bao buns, albacore tuna poke with pink peppercorn, cucumber, sesame sauce and avocado and a banh mi sandwich with braised miso pork belly.

Blue window offerings will have an Asian theme for about six months, and then the menu will change to something all new, said Casey Corn, Feniger’s assistant.

Mudhen Tavern isn’t open for lunch, so the window, open noon to 10 p.m., gives an added daypart, as well as quick-bite options at dinner.

“The idea was that we wanted to use our space more efficiently, and we had this big grey wall outside without a lot going on. So we painted the wall blue, and it has been drawing a ton more traffic,” Corn explains.

Not far away in the city’s Farmer’s Market, the Spanish-inspired kabob concept Moruno is scheduled to open this winter, with a second Bar Moruno planned for downtown in Grand Central Market.

Construction has delayed the openings. But partners David Rosoff and Chris Feldmeier were keen to get started. Since the kitchen at the Farmer’s Market location was set up, they decided to start offering their unique kabobs through a takeout window, dubbed “The Window at Moruno.”

“Because the concept was so simple, they wanted to use the opportunity to really perfect the concept and the food, and to introduce L.A. to what Moruno is,” says Tessa Naso, public relations manager for Sprout LA, which is partnering with Rosoff and Feldmeier on the concept.

On the menu are skewers of lamb, chicken, pork shoulder or halloumi cheese, marinated with the Moorish flavors of the Iberian Peninsula and grilled. Guests can also get the same proteins with various toppings as a nine-inch sub sandwich, or “subMoruno.” Prices range between $11 and $14.

On the side are Gunpowder Fries, spiked with curry leaf, black pepper and chile de arbol; mejadra lentils with basmati rice and yogurt; or house-fermented vegetables.

Once it opens fully, the restaurant will offer takeout, but not through the window, Neso says. For now, the window is open Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 2 p.m.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected].
Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout

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