7 Ghost Kitchens in Los Angeles to Try

As social distancing guidelines continue to limit in-person interactions, more and more restaurateurs are opening virtual brands (or ghost kitchens). Unlike traditional, brick-and-mortar restaurants, ghost kitchens lack an in-person dining area. Instead, they rely entirely on online orders and delivery to connect with customers.

Thanks to low management costs and increases in online ordering, ghost kitchens have seen success in the modern world. To prove it, here are seven of popular ghost kitchens in Los Angeles.

Bungkus Bagus

Bungkus Bagus offers authentic, Indonesian dishes to residents of Los Angeles. The founders decided to bring the concept to life in 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their mission is to share the delicious, homemade meals they grew up on with Americans that haven't been exposed to Indonesian culture.

Notable dishes include:

  • Bungkus (banana leaf meal)
  • "Forbidden" Rice Pudding
  • Teh Manis (jasmine tea)

Mama's Guy

Mama's Guy brings a taste of Italy to Los Angeles by offering authentic Italian favorites at affordable prices. Its name is a reference to its family-based origins — the recipes all come from traditional Sunday dinners at "Nonna's" house. The goal is to provide classic Italian food without the high, fine dining prices.

Notable dishes include:

  • Handmade Pasta
  • Baked Ziti
  • Italian Cold Cuts

Krispy Rice

Krispy Rice was created with one main goal: to give Los Angeles residents a taste of elegant, fine-dining sushi that can be enjoyed in the comfort of their own homes. However, Krispy Rice is far from your traditional sushi — it advertises its meals as "oisshii (delicious) flavors with a Cali twist." With its light, flavorful sushi, Krispy Rice seemingly accomplishes the impossible: delivering healthy meals that taste good.

Notable dishes include:

  • Truffle Avocado Krispy Rice
  • Spicy Tuna Krispy Rice
  • Krispy Chicken Gyoza

Moo's Craft Barbecue

Moo's Craft Barbecue started off as an underground barbecue pop-up restaurant in East Los Angeles. Inspired by traditional Texas barbecue, the restaurant introduces a CaliMex twist to its delicious smoked meats. This unique fusion, coupled with the high-quality ingredients, has helped this virtual brand succeed.

Notable dishes include:

  • Brisket
  • Pulled Pork
  • Jalapeño Cheddar Sausage

Bridgetown Roti

Bridgetown Roti is a product of Chef Rashida's innovative mind. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she and her wife sold patties and authentic Caribbean food from the comfort of their home. She soon realized that there was a demand for those unique, homemade Caribbean flavors, and Bridgetown Roti was born.

Notable dishes include:

  • Sweet & Spicy Plantains
  • Macaroni & Cheese Pie
  • Jerk Cucumber Salad

Ugly Drum

Ugly Drum is far from your standard pastrami place. Founded by chef Erik Blak, it combines classic Jewish pastrami brine with Texas-style pit smoking. The result is a delicious, hybrid meat that features traditional deli flavors and the smoky woodiness found in authentic Texan meats. Now, Ugly Drum's pit-smoked pastrami is a hit in LA and available for shipping world-wide.

Notable dishes include:

  • Pastrami Sandwich (with deli mustard)
  • The Swiss Stack
  • Grandma's Bread

Howlin' Rays

Howlin' Rays, which opened in 2015, delivers hot, Nashville-style fried chicken to Los Angeles residents. It started as a food truck owned and operated by husband and wife couple, Johnny and Amanda. As they drove around, offering pieces of their authentic, spicy chicken, they soon discovered they had a popular product on their hands. This led to the creation of their very own virtual kitchen.

Notable dishes include:

  • Howlin' Hot Chicken
  • Skinny Jimmy (boneless breast)
  • Mario Style Fries

Opening Your Own Virtual Kitchen

While these LA ghost kitchens may offer different cuisines, they all share one thing in common: none of them have a dine-in space. Each one has managed to find success based on their love of food and commitment to crafting delicious, quality meals.

Of course, it takes more than just passion to run a business. You'll also need to efficiently manage delivery orders, customer communications and sales analytics. While this may seem difficult, you don't have to do it alone. Restaurant technology like Cuboh helps take care of online order consolidation, account management and reporting so that you can focus on doing what you love: running your restaurant. If you're thinking of opening your own ghost kitchen, be prepared by booking a demo today!

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