Dining

Take-out eatery in La Jolla takes gourmet to a whole new level

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Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

The managing partners of nationally acclaimed Whisknladle Restaurant, Arturo Kassel and executive chef Ryan Johnston have expanded their signature brand with the recent opening of Prepkitchen.

Come in for a quick bite on the go or a fully balanced meal at home for you or the whole family at this gourmet take-out eatery offering quick-service bites and complete meals for lunch and dinner. Prepkitchen maintains the same philosophy of serving handcrafted, artisanal food as Whisknladle but offers the convenience of to-go dining without compromising the quality of the meal.

The food at Prepkitchen has been referred to as artisanal comfort food, Mediterranean dim sum or gourmet bistro fare, but I say it is just “simply  fantastic.” On the most basic level, the process starts at the farms, ranches and fisheries and then continues in-house with baking, churning, curing, aging, pickling, brining and smoking-old traditions are combined with new techniques. Choose from soups, salads, sandwiches, antipasti, entrees, fresh pastas, house cured meats, Artisan cheeses, beer  and wine.

The night I visited, my ‘eating partner’ and I sat on the outdoor patio. Kassel offered specialty beer and wine and the food was top notch! My dining guest and I started with the Cutting Board, a Chef’s Selection of Meats & Cheeses which was perfect for sharing($21.00). We moved onto a totally refreshing Beet, Grapefruit & Avocado Watercress Salad drizzled with Sherry Lime Vinaigrette ($10.50).

Cutting Board (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Cutting Board (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Other specialties we savored and devoured included a slow roasted Porchetta Sandwich with peppers, onions, San Marzano tomato sauce & hand stretched mozzarella ($10.95), Heirloom Tomato Lasagna consisting of hand rolled pasta, locally farmed tomatoes, herb basil pesto & house made ricotta cheese ($14.95), 
and an all natural Roasted Jidori Chicken seasoned & brined and slow roasted to order served with pan jus ($13.95).

Don't miss the brownies (photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Don't miss the brownies (photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Located at 7556 Fay Avenue in La Jolla, Prepkitchen is open for walk-in or call-ahead orders daily from 11 am to 8:30 pm and offers delivery services from 11 am to 3 pm (Monday through Friday) within an eight-block radius via bicycle. Retail and catering options allowing customers to order their own platter of antipasto, cured meats and artisan cheeses for easy entertaining.

Please note, due to their commitment to stay seasonal and cook on a whim, the menu items at Prepkitchen can, will, and do change.

Pecan Fudge Brownies (Recipe from PrepKitchen)

  • 48 ounces dark chocolate
  • 24 ounces unsalted butter
  • 56 ounces brown sugar
  • 18 ounces AP flour
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt

Pecan Caramel Topping:

  • 32 ounces toasted pecans
  • 16 ounces corn syrup
  • 40 ounces sugar
  • 16 ounces cream

Process:

  • Melt butter and chocolate over double boiler
  • In mixing bowl combine brown sugar, eggs, salt and vanilla. Mix for 15 min or until double in size.
  • Then slowly fold in flour. Then chocolate/ butter mixture.   Spread onto sheet pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 45 min or until cracked on top. Then let cool.
  • For caramel : Combine corn syrup and sugar and heat till caramel color then add cream and pecans ..  Spread over brownies and let cool.
Maria Desiderata Montana is an award-winning food and wine journalist, editor, and published author based in San Diego. She gained an appreciation of European cuisine from her parents who were born and raised in Calabria, Italy.  Visit her website at            www.sandiegofoodfinds.com.

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