The 21st Century TV Dinner? Delivery-on-Demand
The 2017 version of a TV dinner is just as couch-friendly as the ’50s frozen original. And it might even have been prepared by one of the country’s best chefs.
On those Sundays when fire-breathing dragons unleash their fury on Game of Thrones, Los Angeles chef Zach Pollack fights his own epic battle. “Especially from 5:30 to 7:30, it’s just utter annihilation,” Pollack says. “I don’t even have a chance to look up and see the dining room.” Pollack is referring to the crush of delivery orders at Cosa Buona, his popular Italian-American restaurant in Echo Park. Some nights, his dining room is the easy part. With 46 seats, there’s a limit to how much guests will order. But there’s no cap on the pizzas, meatballs, wings and mozzarella sticks requested via the Caviar delivery app Pollack uses.
Prominent chefs across the country are making a lot of food for delivery right now. David Chang even has his own service, Ando, in New York City. In an age of on-demand everything, multiple delivery services compete to bring us all kinds of things we once had to go buy for ourselves. And being able to order in dinner from dozens of respected restaurants in traffic-choked L.A. is especially life-changing.
DoorDash transports Sugarfish sushi all over town. UberEats delivers patty melts from my favorite Studio City neighborhood restaurant, The Bellwether, in less time than it would take me to get dressed and drive there. I’ve contributed to the gig economy by tipping Postmates couriers for slogging 45 minutes over the Sepulveda Pass to bring katsu from Little Osaka.
The food-delivery choices, which already seem endless, keep growing. In March 2016, the UberEats app launched in L.A. with 100 restaurants; this past summer that number had reached 2,500. And with Amazon and Facebook getting into the game, competition will only get more intense. Now excuse me while I log on to Grubhub to order my SnowLA Shavery dessert…