Written by Pauline Mikhail, Staff Writer
Imagine walking into a restaurant that offers healthy food at unbeatable fast food prices. Who would complain about that?
Everytable, a new restaurant in South L.A., is the new go-to for healthy affordable food. “The idea for Everytable was inspired by my personal passion for food justice, not a dream of becoming a restaurant owner,” co-owner Sam Polk said. “In 2013, I became aware of the issue of food deserts, low-income communities where there is little fresh food for sale, and tons and tons of fast food.”
His desire to change the way fresh food was sold at such a high rate started with Groceryships. Polk, founder of Groceryships, described the organization as “a nonprofit working at the intersection of obesity and poverty.” There he met David Foster, now the co-founder of Everytable, where Foster volunteered and later joined the team full-time.
In 2014, Polk and Foster collectively came up with the idea of Everytable. However, it is much more than a restaurant, said Polk. “It is about building a community that is focused on making affordable, healthy food a reality for all.”
“We knew we wanted to offer prices everyone could afford, so a key decision was to use one commercial kitchen with grab-and-go storefronts,” Foster said. “That allows us to drastically reduce the costs of the standard restaurant model and keep our prices low.”
Their first location is in South L.A. near MSMU’s Doheny campus. The second location is set to be opened later this year in Downtown L.A. However, the two will not be identical. The difference will be seen in the prices. Everytable will price their menu according to the neighborhood it is located in. In South L.A., the average cost of a plate is four dollars, while the Downtown L.A. location will be eight dollars.
The South L.A. location offers a variety of options including salads, hot bowls, and kids meals. The top three popular dishes are the Kale Chicken Caesar, Jamaican Jerk Chicken, and Puebla Chicken Tinga. Polk shared that his favorite dish is the BBQ Picnic. He described the dish having “an incredible variety of tastes–from the BBQ chicken, baked beans, bread-and-butter pickles and the healthy cornbread.”
“[It] is a concept inspired by the community, so it was really important to us to create a menu that was rooted in and celebrates the flavors of the local neighborhood,” Polk said.
Luckily for those who can’t find the time to stop by, Everytable recently partnered up with uberEATS. However, that is not all that Polk and Foster have planned. They are expecting to expand Everytable with more stores opening in 2017.
Photography by: Gina Cella