Munchery, a meal delivery service operating in San Francisco, Seattle, and New York City, recently launched in Los Angeles, and I was delighted to take it for a test drive. With The Astronomer and me balancing working full-time with a new baby, mealtime solutions that are convenient, tasty, and healthful are very welcomed in our household. Dinner at our doorstep? Yes, please.
Whereas Seamless and UberFresh deliver restaurant-prepared meals, Munchery’s food is made “in-house” at a central kitchen. The menu, which changes weekly, is created by a team of chefs who have worked in some very impressive restaurants including Providence, Hatfield’s, and Craft.
To place our first order, I logged on to Munchery’s website, chose the dishes that we desired, and selected the time and date of the delivery. Munchery currently delivers from 4 to 9 PM, Monday through Friday. There’s no order minimum or subscription commitment. The cost of delivery is $4.50 for on-demand (arrives in about 30 minutes) or $2.95 for schedule ahead (up to seven days in advance). Orders can also be placed via Munchery’s mobile app.
The food arrived on time, fully cooked, chilled for freshness, and packaged in materials that were either recyclable or compostable.
Every dish included clear instructions for preparation and assembly. Most items required a few minutes in either the microwave or oven and the application of sauces and garnishes. Easy stuff.
The Astronomer and I shared an array of menu offerings, ranging from healthy to indulgent, to get a sense of the kitchen’s range and strengths.
The Split Pea Soup with Ham ($5.95) was straightforward and tasty. The cornbread croutons were a nice touch.
The Sharp Cheddar Biscuits $2.95 (two per order) tasted like an awesome mashup of Cheez-its and flaky, buttery biscuits. The chive butter served alongside put this one over the top.
Moving on to mains, we ordered the Jerk Pork Loin & Cotija Arepas ($10.95). The pork didn’t reheat as well as the other components, unfortunately. While the meat was certainly flavorful, especially with the jerk sauce, its texture wasn’t as tender and moist as we had hoped.
The Vegan Chipotle Cauliflower Tacos ($7.95), which were served with a cabbage slaw, black beans, flour tortillas, and dairy-free crema, were satisfyingly flavor forward.
One of our favorite dishes was the Duck Confit Mazeman Ramen Noodles ($12.95) from Chef Ryan Carson. I loved how the poached egg and lime juice sauced the noodles, while the duck confit and garlic chips added a savory dimension. By the way, the egg came pre-poached in its shell!
Also terrific was the Spicy Tuna Salad ($11.95). The generously portioned spice-rubbed fish was served atop a bed of tatsoi and mustard greens along with avocado, cucumbers, and a Sriracha vinaigrette. Puffed rice added the finishing touch.
The Cheesecake with Blueberry Compote ($4.95) was solid with its graham cracker crust, smooth and tangy filling, and well-balanced compote.
The super-indulgent Maple Candied Bacon Bun ($3.95) hit the mark with its unbeatable salty-sweetness.
And finally, the aptly named Rich Chocolate Brownie ($3.95) really delivered. Made from a blend of dark and milk chocolates, the brownie struck the perfect balance between sweetness and bitterness, gooeyness and tenderness.
The good news is that my initial experience with Munchery was a great one. The food was thoughtfully made, portioned, and packaged, and the service was easy to navigate and priced competitively. The bad news is that Munchery is only available on the Westside at this time, with plans to expand into West Hollywood and Downtown by the end of summer. Pasadena is not on the expansion docket, unfortunately. Heavy sigh…
Anyway, save $20 on your first order! You’re welcome.