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Scummy LA Dine and Dasher Keeps Sticking Dates With the Bill

He’s reportedly struck everywhere from Pasadena to Long Beach

BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse in Pasadena
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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.

Watch out folks: Your next blind date could leave you footing the bill. At least that’s what has been happening to an increasing number of women in Los Angeles, says CBS LA, as a so-called “serial dine-and-dash dater” keeps filling up on first date food and then taking off before the bill comes.

The screwball story surrounds one Paul Gonzales (at least that’s the name he’s been using on dating apps like Bumble), who has now allegedly absconded with free meals everywhere from Long Beach to northeast LA. Admittedly, that’s quite a wide range of places to theft from if all you’re getting out of the deal is an unpaid Caesar salad and a partially-finished entree.

The most recent dine and dash reportedly took place at a BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse in Pasadena, with an unidentified woman saying she met Gonzales for a meal after talking to him online and over text. He ordered said Caesar salad, a baked potato, and a steak, but stepped out to “take a phone call” after much of the meal had been consumed. When he did not return the woman began asking around, and servers explained he was nowhere to be found.

In a previous instance, a woman from Long Beach says she and Gonzales dined at a romantic spot and seemed to hit it off immediately, but that she began to wonder about the encounter after Gonzales ordered over $100 in food only for himself. He ultimately begged off to use the restroom before taking off into the night.

Police say that they have identified Gonzales and tell CBS LA that he is 44 years old who carries two bench warrants for his arrest. One, not surprisingly, is for petty theft.