Five Ways to Make Your Take-Out Meal a Fine Dining Treat

Tag: Dining

With a bounty of plentiful great food just waiting for take-out to Hollywood homes and operating essential businesses, it may not be “dining out” but “taking out” can certainly be the next best thing.

Here are some tips to make that experience even more enjoyable.

Plate Your Food

Remember, you’ll want to get rid of those take-out containers – both for safety and to save the time of disinfecting them as health officials recommend. So, rather than just tossing your meal on any old plate – why not plate your food well?

Restaurants take great care when plating, and taking time yourself to plate your food will make the experience of eating a delicious restaurant meal at home more satisfying. Try adding a fresh herb sprig, a swirl of lemon zest, or a fresh, sliced strawberry to your plate. Be sure to portion your side dishes attractively alongside  your entree– just as they would in the restaurant.

And don’t overcrowd your plate. If you usually tote home a doggy bag of extras, now it’s even easier -  have leftover containers ready and waiting for your fridge!

APL Restaurant makes it easy to order their food through Grubhub and Postmates. The challenge is plating it as elegantly as they do! (Photo via APL Restaurant/Facebook)

Crudites or Amuse Bouche?

Let your dining experience begin with a small plate of your own making– whether it’s a small side salad that you toss together, a dish of olives, cheese, and almonds, celery sticks with a dip, a roll with an artful pool of olive oil, or salsa and chips.

Pick up a jar of Banh Oui's picked vegetables to add to your meal. (Photo via Banh Oui/Facebook)

Style a Beverage

Adding wine, beer, an at-home cocktail creation, a frappe, juice, or take-out adult beverage will all heighten the meal’s appeal. Use an attractive glass that fits your choice. Don’t forget to chill a glass or add ice, and a garnish is always nice.

Like adding a simple starter, you can prolong the pleasurable experience of dining-in by sipping your beverage of choice before dining. An after-meal tea, coffee, or cordial is another way to go.

CPK at Hollywood & Highland now offers their Classic Sangrias for take-out and curbside pickup! (Photo via CPK Hollywood/Facebook)

Table Setting

So, you have a lovely plate, a delicious drink – do you hunker down by the TV? What about setting your table, instead? It won’t take long to add a place mat, nicely folded napkin, a little candle light. Perhaps you’d like to add some musical ambiance from iPhone or stereo – light jazz, classical, electronica – something a little different than your usual play list. Dim or turn off any bright light, and relax.

Looking for something unique for your table? Try this "Live Deliciously" saucer set, available online from Memento Mori in Hollywood. (Photo via

Share the Experience

If you’re staying safe-at-home alone, why not call a friend, and share a similarly curated meal? Discuss your meal and drink – exchange ideas – who knows, maybe next time your friend - whether two states, or two blocks, away will choose the same cuisine next time. Or, maybe next time you’ll have Italian and he’ll try the Thai. If you’re already home with friends, family, or significant other, of course this works, too. Have kids? Let them get involved with the planning from selecting music to choosing a table setting.

Photo by Pablo Merchán Montes on Unsplash

Taking the time for these few extra steps will greatly enhance your meal and make take-out dining a tastier experience.

Top image via Sweetgreen/Facebook.

Genie Davis is a multi-published novelist and journalist, and produced screen and television writer. Passionate about everything-Los Angeles, you can see her work in the arts on her own