El Rey Coffee Bar and Luncheonette now functions as a grab-and-go restaurant during the day, a move that happened after critically beloved executive chef Gerardo Gonzalez left last month. The cafe's kitchen, now run by Marlow & Daughters alum chef Mason Lindahl, offers a new menu of "seasonal prepared foods" for takeaway from a fridge at breakfast and lunch, according to a statement. Options still lean healthy, with items like chia seed breakfast pudding with coconut, egg sandwiches, tahini cold noodles with buckwheat, pineapple with chili and lime, and kale salad available. Owner Nick Morgenstern and Lindahl have also added a frozen rose and a Vietnamese coffee slushie to the menu. A la carte dining, which will be offered for dinner, will debut in June. The cafe also revamped the space, adding a colorful backsplash.
Despite the new Organic Ave-style pre-packaged goods, El Rey insists that it's "#stillthesameElRey," according to a Wednesday Instagram post. "While we understand that change is hard, we're really excited about some of the new things we're bringing to the table, and hope that you will be, too!" it post says. "All of our grab-and-go lunches are freshly packed in the restaurant every morning, helping you get in, out, and on with your day faster." Meanwhile, Gonzalez is taking his talents to a new restaurant in the former Chinatown Winnie's space. It will be an all-day restaurant with Latin food.