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LA Restaurants Are Leaning More and More on Technology to Succeed

Plus an update on Odys + Penelope, and MacArthur Park’s growing pains

Alimento, Silver Lake
Wonho Frank Lee

The apps you use

There is no shortage of apps to influence your dining decisions, from home-cooking meal services to delivery and pickup options galore. You can even book hard-to-get tables at the hottest restaurants (if you’re willing to pay) or pre-pay your bill before ever stepping into the building, all from the comfort of your phone.

One interested new local take is WaltzIn, an app that lets users book a new kind of tasting menu experience: the greatest hits. Set up the dinner in advance (and at a set price) and then head into the restaurant of your choice to be guided by the kitchen through the best of the best menu items, plus maybe one or two in-progress or off-menu dishes. It’s a great way to guide yourself and some friends through an evening at places like Alimento, The Cannibal, or Hatchet Hall, and gives all those gorgeous restaurants out there that may not be the newest or the hippest thing on the block a reason to entice new diners.

The NoMad’s next collab

Looks like Jessica Koslow is coming onboard for the next iteration of the NoMad Truck’s ongoing burger chef series. This one launches February 1 and includes a chicken patty with chile de arbol and (of course) persimmon jam. Proceeds benefit the Hollenbeck Youth Center, and you can find the truck parked outside her forthcoming restaurant off Barrington on Wednesday.

Odys + Penelope launches a stellar happy hour

One of La Brea’s best restaurants — that would be Odys + Penelope — is getting into the happy hour business, launching a new miniature menu as of February 1. It’s only available at the bar or the communal seating, but it runs 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. weeknights and 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Sunday. Dishes include za’atar onion rings for $4, brussels sprouts fried rice, and a $10 wood-grilled burger.

MacArthur Park’s gentrification issues

It’s been long-discussed that MacArthur Park is the next great gentrification hub for the core part of Los Angeles. Yet infrastructure needs remain elusive, and the larger Westlake area remains among the most overcrowded and economically disadvantaged parts of greater Los Angeles. Curbed takes a deep-dive into the area’s ongoing struggles, and what might really behind it all.

Vegan cinnamon rolls, anyone?

You know how vegan doughnuts are very much a thing? Well what about vegan cinnamon rolls? That’s the new idea behind Echo Park newcomer Cinnaholic, which is taking over some space across the street from Mohawk Bend soon. The larger Mohawk Collective property is already filling up with tenants, says The Eastsider.

A sit-down Juice Served Here cafe exists now

Heading to Newport Beach any time soon? You could find yourself at a brand new Juice Served Here sit-down cafe space, indulging in toasts and grain bowls and, yes, juice. The Lido Marina will do everything from eggs on down, and is officially open now.

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