L.A. Gets First Taste of Chipotle Farm-to-Table Spin-Off Farmesa

The new organic, non-GMO restaurant, serving healthy bowls, is being tested in Santa Monica, with an opening slated for March

Fast casual chain restaurant Chipotle Mexican Grill is setting a March launch to open an earthy new spinoff centered on healthy custom bowls that it’s dubbed Farmesa, the company announced on Wednesday—and Angelenos will get to sample the food early.

Farmesa, a takeout-or-delivery-only restaurant, is currently being tested in Santa Monica by Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. in partnership with ghost kitchen company Kitchen United Mix, according to CBS MoneyWatch. There will be a soft opening at the end of February, where customers can order through the test kitchen site or apps like DoorDash and Uber Eats. If deemed a success, Chipotle plans to expand Farmesa and open multiple brick-and-mortar locations, a company spokesperson told MoneyWatch.

Farmesa’s main menu offering is a custom bowl made of a choice of protein, vegetables, or grains accompanied by two sides, which can be doused with one of five sauces, and an additional topping. The price of a bowl will reportedly range from $11.95 to $16.95.

The menu, which will feature items that are 100 percent certified organic and non-GMO, was designed by Nate Appleman, a 2009 James Beard Award winner. Beverages will come from Tractor Beverage Co.

Farmesa (mesa being the Spanish word for table) is a confluence of two major trends—healthy eating and bowl meals—and comes at a time when both are maintaining popularity. Chipotle is already making an effort to meet customers demand for healthier choices at its restaurants, offering seven new healthier bowls in January, MoneyWatch reports.

And healthy bowl meals, while not new to the fast-casual market, are still a crowd-pleaser. The National Restaurant Association’s What’s Hot 2020 culinary forecast found the item to be the fourth hottest culinary trend in 2020.

Meanwhile, The McKinsey & Co. international survey on conscious eating found that about 50 percent of consumers of every age responded that eating healthy was a top priority.

“One of our strategic objectives is to create or invest in emerging culinary spaces and restaurant concepts that fit within Chipotle’s food with integrity mission and make fresh food daily,” CEO Brian Niccol said in a statement.

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