Longtime TV personality Eric Greenspan is changing things up this year, eschewing the traditional restaurant model in favor of a delivery-only incubator concept just west of Downtown. His first menu will be called Chino, a playful Asian-Mexican mashup that involves bulgogi quesadillas and an orange chicken burrito.
Greenspan is looking to move in a new direction in 2018 after last year’s restaurant shutters, which included the entire Maré collection in Santa Monica, Silver Lake, and on Melrose. He also said goodbye to Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese, while opening the kosher-appropriate Fleishik’s on Beverly Boulevard. He has since split with his partners from that project as well, and is going out completely on his own with this new delivery-only gig.
So what exactly is Chino? Perhaps a picture will help.
That’s an orange chicken burrito, with fried rice and slaw inside. It’s meant to be the signature dish for Chino, offered at $11 with blue corn tortilla chips and a small cup of extra MSG on the side (yes, really). It’s a blatant take on the well-hacked orange chicken burrito from Panda Express Innovation Kitchen, but built to be delivery-stable and available right at home.
Chino will also offer mashup dishes like a carnitas banh mi sandwich and bulgogi quesadilla with American cheese. Each will run $11, with sides like wasabi guacamole also available. The full menu, and a few more food shots, can be found below.
As for that delivery-only model? Greenspan thinks it may indeed be the future of inexpensive dining in Los Angeles, both for restaurants and eaters. Overhead is ridiculously low, and with UberEats and Postmates there’s no need to scale into having individual drivers and order-takers on payroll. It’s a model used to some success by former restaurants like Starry Kitchen in the past.
Perhaps even more interestingly, Greenspan says that he’s able to get essentially real-time data and feedback from customers on what menu items are or aren’t working, meaning he can switch up dishes and even move into entire new ‘restaurant’ ideas down the line, and practically at the drop of the hat. For now it’s Chino, opening exclusively on UberEats come January 27, with Postmates to follow. Hours are 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. most nights (closed Tuesday and Wednesday), with an extension to 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.