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More and More Restaurants Are Working for Social Change

Plus breakfast burritos in Eagle Rock, and Highland Park butcher shop

Garcons de Cafe, Downtown
Garcons de Cafe
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.

Food, drink, and the rise of social causes

When is dining out more than just an exercise in self-satisfaction? When the place you’re pushing profits to gives a hefty chunk of their own time (and your money) to a particular social cause worth championing. It’s not a new concept, necessarily, but with growing wage inequality and uncertain political times, there has never been a better time to give your hard-earned dollar to someone who can help pay that money forward.

Luckily, that doesn’t have to mean sacrificing quality to help someone else down the line. Most of your favorite restaurants already give their time and money to working charity events like Alex’s Lemonade every year, which despite the often long lines and arduous nature of slogging through crowds can be a great way to raise money for a particular cause.

Beyond that, there are civic-minded outlets like Homeboy Industries and their founder Father Greg Boyle, who recently netted a well-deserved James Beard Foundation Award. The upcoming Westside restaurant The Mar Vista will similarly look to help out every day, providing employment opportunities and unsold food to those in need.

The next in a long line of do-good enterprises comes from Hi Cuties, a Los Angeles-based group focused on LGBTQ issues from housing to art to safe public spaces. The team just locked in a lease in East Hollywood to start a new coffee shop based on the success of their ongoing Queers, Coffee & Donuts series. There, they’ll use some 1,200 square feet of space to host workshops, run events, and serve coffee to the local community and beyond. Because, at the end of the day, serving people — no matter their socio-economic status — is what the hospitality industry is all about.

Live music and more at Garcons de Cafe

Downtown hidden gem wine bar Garcons de Cafe is doing another installment of their ongoing live music series soon. This one takes place Decemeber 15 from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., and offers a great window into what the charming Spring Street Arcade space is up to.

Dress up for our end of the year live music party with @iamteira on 12/15, 9 to 11pm @garconsdecafe !!

A photo posted by Garçons De Café (@garconsdecafe) on

Breakfast burritos at Found Coffee

Here’s a smart move: as of only recently, Found Coffee in Eagle Rock is now serving a variety of breakfast burritos (Fridays only) for customers to enjoy inside the shop, or take to go. The burritos come from just down the street at Pete’s Blue Chip on Colorado Boulevard, which means they’d be good all by themselves but are made all the more delicious when paired with a nice cup of coffee.

A butcher shop and deli situation in Highland Park

Who needs more sandwiches? Highland Park apparently, because as The Eastsider notes, that’s exactly what they’re getting. Landing as part of the former Frank’s Camera building, the upcoming Chops Meat & Fish promises affordable sandwiches and takeaway meats for the whole neighborhood.

Philly cheesesteaks come to Woodland Hills

Ventura Blvd. Magazine takes a look at Downtown Philly Cheese Steak in Woodland Hills, an offshoot of the original location in Santa Clarita. Owner Oscar Vazquez’s second outlet sits across from Westfield Topanga, and he seems to be making some pretty mean sandwiches.

A look inside Pacific Seas

Want a walk-through of Pacific Seas, the bustling new tiki bar inside Clifton’s Cafeteria? Buzzfeed went ahead and made one, showing off the cocktails, the awesome style of the place, and even the hidden entrance.

Homeboy Industries

130 W Bruno Street, , CA 90012 (323) 526-1254 Visit Website

Spring Street Arcade

, Los Angeles, CA