What better way to savor the last long lovely days of surf and sand than packing a picnic and unfurling a blanket at one of the many free concerts offered in the beach cities.
The Redondo Beach Pier concert series has shows on Thursdays and Saturdays at 6 p.m. through Sept. 3, while Hermosa’s summer concerts are held on the south side of the Pier on Sundays starting at 5 p.m. through the end of August, and Manhattan Beach summer concerts can be found at Polliwog Park on Sunday evenings beginning at 7 p.m. through Sept. 4. For a full schedule click here.
Of course there are your tried and true picnics go-tos; the Trader Joe’s/Bristol Farms/Whole Foods prepared food cases. But maybe it’s time to shake up the routine. Here are five local restaurants you might not have thought of that will assist you in assembling a marvelous moveable feast that will keep your toes tapping and your tummy humming till Labor Day.
Mendocino Farms at The Point in El Segundo offers two versions of a Picnic Boxed Lunch—the Classic comes with a sandwich, chips, and a cookie for $11.95, and the Gourmet comes with a sandwich, deli salad, and a cookie for $12.95, all wrapped up in an easy-to-pack box. For a larger group, consider their tapas-style appetizer spread with chili-rubbed chicken skewers, steak BLT skewers, or turkey meatball lollipops. Or do it up a bit fancier with a gourmet meat and cheese board.
Sushi on the sand is the easiest finger food, and Bistro Miyoda & Sushi Ichiriki in Redondo Beach lists 25 different sushi rolls including all of your favorites, from rainbow to caterpillar. They also have a variety of terrific packaged dinner boxes. Owner Jessica Gold recommends the Combo Box A. It comes with your choice of beef or chicken teriyaki, tempura, California roll, rice, salad and miso soup all wrapped up and ready to rock for just $15.95.
Lemonade at Metlox Manhattan Beach is known for oodles of fresh and unique salads, but what you may not know is that to celebrate their revamped catering menu they are running a special now through Labor Day. Visit their website and peruse a mouthwatering list of sandwiches, salads, and packable main dishes like lamb meatballs, jerk chicken, or tuna and avocado poke. Or go simple with the adorably packaged $12 Lemonade lunchbox. Be sure to mention “Lemonade Catering 2016” for 10 percent off your order.
Barbecue was made for picnics and Dickey’s in Redondo Beach has every sort of smoky meat and savory side your inner caveman craves. They also make barbecue style sandwiches, tacos and something they call a “baker;” a baked potato stuffed with meat and cheese. For 20 bucks you can get their “chicknic pack,” which includes a whole smoked chicken, a choice of two sides and dinner rolls. And for a little more you can get one of their family packs with pulled pork or brisket or those terrific St. Louis style ribs. Just be sure to grab plenty of napkins.
Mickey's Italian Deli
If you’re someone who cannoli love an Italian picnic, then you probably already know about Mickey’s Italian Deli. In the same Hermosa location since 1953, Paul (son of Mickey) Mance serves up sandwiches and pizzas all day, but you can also pick up the makings of a perfect picnic, from imported Italian meats and cheeses to full dinners like chicken parmigiana, calzones, pastas, and salads. They also have a nice selection of wine and spirits. Call ahead and they’ll have your meal packed and ready to go when you arrive. If you’re picnicking with a group, consider ordering a tray of what Mickey’s calls ‘salami delight.’ It’s a local favorite.