Acknowledging that "To Go" was an integral part of the dining experience not only in America, but the entire planet, Michelin, the world's most prestigious restaurant guide, has finally awarded one of their coveted "stars" to a food take out window.
Winner of the single Michelin is Moruno, a Spanish-themed soon-to-be-actual sit down restaurant that for the time being is offering only take out food at the Farmer's Market, the Los Angeles landmark at Third Street and Fairfax Avenue.
Moruno, which loosely translates to "skewers", opened in July in the southwest corner of the market in the space formerly occupied by Amy Pressman's "Short Order" near Dupar's. Anxious to get cooking, the owners. David Rosoff and Chris Feldmeier, decided to open a take out window rather than wait for all the permits needed for the full-blown restaurant which is expected to open in the next few months.
Reaction to the Moruno take out window has been overwhelmingly positive.
"I think it is fair to say that when it come to take out windows, Moruno is in a class all by itself," said Michael Ellis, the Michelin Guide's international director. "More than 3.2 billion people a day worldwide order take out, so why should Michelin ignore them. From now. on, thanks to Moruno's lead, we will not."
Though admittedly humbled by the honor, co-owner Rosoff said both he, Feldmeier, sous chef Derek "Der Wreck" McCabe, prep cook Marissa "Two Kitchens", as well as LSB (Lead Sandwich Bagger) Hector "Prince of Troy" Lopez all suspected a recent customer was, in fact, a Michelin inspector.
"I have to admit we had an unfair advantage because the inspector was wearing one of those golf shirts you see guys wearing at company conventions and it had the Michelin Man where the alligator usually is," Rosoff said.
Sources in the Michelin Guide said that "Los Escobar de la Escobar", a take out window in Medellin, Colombia was "almost" awarded a star, but two of the guide's inspectors were kidnapped by a prep cook and a security guard which, according to one of the sources "is not conducive to winning Michelin stars."
Part of the beauty of Moruno is that one can order from the take out and walk 18 feet to the tables of the Farmer's Market and relish the food and enjoy the people watching.
A customer, Ralph Waxman, raved about his Moruno take out window lunch, "I had a delicious lamb sandwich, a outstanding pork moruno, those brilliant lentils with yogurt and I looked up and I saw Helen walk by. If that's not a lunch worthy of a Michelin star, well, than what is?"