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The Biggest LA Restaurant News Stories of 2016

From stunning acts of preservation to pythons inside sushi restaurants

Highland Park Bowl, Highland Park
Wonho Frank Lee
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

It has unquestionably been a big year for dining in Los Angeles. Just about every publication worth its weight in tacos deigned to anoint LA as the best food city in America, with an unending collection of restaurants to enjoy at every level and price point.

That means, for Eater LA, there has been a ton of news to sift through, whether that’s big, awesome openings or more than a few sad restaurant shutters. But we’ve been here to collect and contextualize it all, from the glory of the reborn Highland Park Bowl to Malibu beach shutters and a python that was used as a weapon inside a Valley sushi restaurant. Here are ten of the biggest news items from the year that was.

Highland Park Bowl Is a Stunning Masterwork of Preservation

Wonho Frank Lee

Inside the incredible rebirth of one of LA’s most stunning new spaces, scrubbed up and returned to its timeless glory. And yes, the photos do the place justice.

Jessica Biel’s Au Fudge, Revealed

Au Fudge Wonho Frank Lee

One of the biggest names in the celebrity sphere opened up an at-times divisive new restaurant on Melrose Avenue. Catering to kids (and the parents who dine with them), Au Fudge is a pretty new playground with an all-day mentality.

Whimsical Macaron Bakery Ladurée Lands in Los Angeles

Farley Elliott

Word traveled fast that Ladurée, one of the most recognizable Parisian macaron brands in the world, would be plotting a splashy new space right in the thick of The Grove. Now it’s here, and lines are already very long.

A Bob’s Burgers Pop Up Is coming to LA’s Chinatown

Bob's Burgers Chinatown Matthew Kang

Fans of the Fox hit Bob’s Burgers got treated to a full ten day art show inside Unit 120, complete with a run of daily one-off burgers from some great local chefs. That made the busy Far East Plaza even more crowded than usual, but led to some pretty great meals for fans who braved the lines.

Angry Diner Throws a 13-Foot Python Snake Inside LA Sushi Restaurant

Someone hellbent on making a scene got around to throwing a python into the dining rom at Iroha Sushi of Tokyo in Studio City in March. He was quickly arrested, and no one was hurt.

44 Year Old Gladstone’s Malibu Set to Close October 2017

Gladstone’s Google Maps

Beachgoers and tourists mourned the upcoming loss (next year) of Gladstone’s in Malibu. Following some back and forth with LA County, the longstanding restaurant decided to shutter its oceanside location after some 45 years.

Boxer Manny Pacquiao Nearly Assaulted Outside His Favorite LA Sushi Restaurant

Back in April professional boxer Manny Pacquiao came apparently within inches of being assaulted by an irate man on the street in front of Kabuki in Hollywood. Pacquiao loves that place though, so he hasn’t stopped going since the incident took place.

Inside LA’s Incredible New Tiki Palace

The Pacific Seas Clifton's 5 Wonho Frank Lee

Clifton’s has been a massive undertaking in Downtown, with the long-running cafeteria and event venue space closing for years to get up to modern speed. Now the place is humming right along, as the grand reveal of their gorgeous new Pacfiic Seas tiki bar can certainly attest. You’ll want to explore the awesome photos inside this one.

Catch Is the Coolest Damn Rooftop in West Hollywood

Catch West Hollywood. Wonho Frank Lee

Another set of stunning images, this time of New York City transplant Catch. The West Hollywood rooftop option is already a fan favorite among the celebrity set, and these stellar images of the place show why.

Longtime Wolfgang Puck Chef Matt Bencivenga Has Died

On a somber note, Los Angeles lost one of its best in Matt Bencivenga, a longtime Wolfgang Puck chef who touched many lives during his years of kitchen service. The outpouring for Bencivenga was immense, and well deserved.

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Go Get Em Tiger Employees Form the Largest Coffee Workers Union in LA

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