Food News

Room Service Is Overdue for an Upgrade—and We Found One

March  3, 2016

When room service is its best self, you might be greeted by a quartet of towering, skewered club sandwiches stacked on a plate so big it's really a platter, a frenzy of french fries, and one very cold pickle crowding the party. Paper caps would top all the water glasses, and rounds of hyper-salty butter would be served like fallen dominos in porcelain saucers. You'd be spending a small fortune, feeling like a champ.

Hold up. Are cold pickles and $25 chicken sandwiches the very best that hoteliers can do? Is a rollaway what we really want from a meal that's got a very high sexy potential, being served to us in bed and all?

Breakfast room service with @sarahsarahowen, best way to spend the morning. #tontxla

A photo posted by Trends on Trends (@trendsontrends_) on

Roy Choi, chef at the Line Hotel in Los Angeles, thinks not—as our very own Director of Events Kate Kudish and Shop Buyer Kristina Wasserman found out on a recent stay.

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At The Line—which is housed in a restored midcentury building in L.A.'s Koreatown and studded with cement-walled rooms designed by Sean Kibb—room service is not one bit ho-hum. First, the menu slays: congee porridge with a soft egg, soy, and pickles for breakfast, seared black bass with charred carrots for dinner, and—okay, okay—a club sandwich for lunch (turns out you can't beat it), plus so much more.

breakfast delivery inside the magical scarf of goodness - part II @thelinehotel #52fieldtrip #f52life

A photo posted by kate ann kudish (@kkudi) on

But The Line's room service excellence is all in the delivery. Cake pan-like tins of food arrive stacked like a large tiffin, swaddled in a knotted vintage scarf that you'll vaguely wonder if you get to keep (though don't, so other guests can enjoy them) before being further distracted by unfolding joys. Coffee comes in a Stanley canister, glamping-style, and unwrapping it all is as fun as unwrapping anything is, since you don't know what's coming next or how adorably it will be arranged.

"Imagine the tooth fairy—but with food," Roy says. "You wake up in the midst of Los Angeles and a linen-wrapped bundle of goodness sits at your bed. We want room service to be a gift that we deliver any time of the day, so we stripped away all the old staid anchors and wrapped it in our imaginary sails to give you a space to dream."

Breakfast in bed (literally) with @kkudi, part I. @thelinehotel #f52life #f52grams #f52fieldtrip

A photo posted by kristinawass (@kristinawass) on

The result is that you end up enjoying breakfast (or lunch, or dinner) in bed as it was meant to be: a little bit unraveled, partially-reclined, and so very good that it drags on for way longer than it should. We're very much into the upgrade—thank you, Roy!—and hope it spirals into a better-room-service-everywhere trend.

Many thanks to The Line, who graciously put up our employees Kate and Kristina while they ran our pop-up in Los Angeles.

Do you ever order room service? Tell us about your favorites in the comments.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • PlateGenius
  • Adriane Shankles
    Adriane Shankles
Amanda Sims

Written by: Amanda Sims

Professional trespasser.


PlateGenius June 15, 2016
The reinvention of room service is inevitable, a third-party room service provider could offer fresher, more affordable and delicious meals, straight to the hotel guest's door.
Adriane S. May 19, 2016
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