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Pop-Up Pantry: Helping America Eat (Very) Well

Hoisin Ginger Braised Shortribs

Hoisin Ginger Braised Shortribs

America deserves an alternative to dinner at the strip mall. No one should have to book a special trip to experience world-class dining,” explains David Hauslaib, co-founder of Pop-Up Pantry. With upscale subscription services on the rise, one born out of LA is determined to bring gourmet meals to American doorsteps.

Prompted by a poolside conversation in LA (typical), Hauslaib and partner Tom Balamaci, combined their digital expertise with their obsession with food to create Pop-Up Pantry, a subscription club for food lovers.

Catering to various eaters, from too-busy singles to juggling parents to foodies in the middle of nowhere, Pop-Up Pantry allows us access to famous dishes created by top chefs from restaurants like New York's Le Cirque and LA's Napa Valley Grille and seen on shows like The Fabulous Beekman Boys and MasterChef. Chef Rod, otherwise known as "The Food Buddha," is also in the chef lineup.

Their overall mantra is simple: Eat Well. California-based and having access to some of the best seasonal produce in the country, Pop-Up Pantry encourages the rest of the country to eat healthier.

The process is simple, but prepare yourself time to browse the 18 three-course meal options. Sign up and take a Taste Profile quiz to help them determine your tastes. After you select your menu and delivery date, a package is delivered to your door containing flash-frozen food in BPA-free plastic pouches kept cold with dry ice. You need to transfer your food to the freezer by 8 PM, and you can keep them in the fridge for up to three days, if you want to lessen prep time.

Thai Crab Salad

Preparation instructions are straightforward and include chef tips to help bring ambiance to your meat–be it a wine pairing suggestion or additional spices to add. Most meals can be ready within 30 minutes.

Here's an example of a Pop-Up Pantry customer favorite: Hoisin Ginger Braised Shortribs, slow-cooked beef in an umami-rich glaze over star anise-scented congee, or Chinese rice porridge; paired with an accompanying appetizer of Warm Asparagus Salad with shiitake mushrooms, currants, and sesame vinaigrette; a dessert of Coconut Sesame Bread Pudding is balanced by the nutty flavors of black sesame and coconut milk. There is currently a wait list for this.

Chocolate Molten Cake

The cheapest plan is the Gourmand, which is $90 for two dinners a month that serves two people. If you like to stretch your snacks and meals throughout the week, and want something healthier and tastier than Trader Joe's Taquitos, this is a great starting point.

In time for the holidays, Pop-Up Pantry just launched gift cards and gift subscriptions. We all know the best way to anyone's heart is through their stomach.

Sam Durbin ( is a California lifestyle writer who honed her blogging skills as Editor of Sam graduated from The Fashion Institute of Technology, and also writes for 7x7 Magazine, Zagat and PureWow.