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In Los Angeles’s Power Restaurant Circles, Access Is Still the Key

Plus a Nas sighting, and more news on LASA in Chinatown

E.P. & L.P.
E.P. & L.P., West Hollywood
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.

What you can get

There’s a new (or rather, return to an old) type of high-end restaurant, the club-turned-power-broker-spot that features fine enough food but is really all about the crowd. The Tao Group is proving the model to be quite successful early on in their Hollywood run, and places like E.P. & L.P. and Catch are up to much the same business model. These places can get overrun with bigwigs, celebs, and locals all mixing together in one big grab-bag, so for the ultra-elite there’s a new, deeper den of exclusivity: the secret society membership.

As The Hollywood Reporter notes, a number of places like Cecconi’s, Vinoteca, and Liaison in Hollywood have begun dishing out access in the form of physical keys and/or memberships. Guests get VIP treatment, discounted meals, and access to private rooms, nights, and even menu items. While the exclusivity and feeling of power is good for the folks who get invited, the cool kid in-the-know factor is probably even better for the restaurant, and draws more A-listers to the place as a result. For everyone else, it’s about just trying to get to the rooftop in the first place, let alone make it to the bar for a seat.

Speaking of which

Did you know there was a friends, family, and media influencer night at Sweet Chick last night? The Nas-backed fried chicken and waffle spot on Fairfax quickly got overrun with rumors of everyone from P. Diddy to Nas himself showing up — and guess who actually did.

We LIIIIIIIITTTTTTT @sweetchicklife LA

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Go on, it’s okay

Don’t be ashamed of photographing your food says LA Magazine. It’s just a part of the equation now, and if done right can honestly help out the place you are currently dining in. So if you like your favorite local restaurant and want others to love it, go on and snap away.

It’s their moment

Food & Wine is on the LASA beat, telling readers that brothers Chad and Chase Valencia are running the L.A. restaurant of the moment. Not only is the Far East Plaza spot doing big daytime things from their takeout window, but the recently refreshed dinner space has been packed every night since reopening. It’s good to be cooking some of the city’s best Filipino food right now.

Pizza deals

Feel like eating pizza today? Well you’re in good hands with Pizza of Venice up in Altadena, as the team there is celebrating a certain one-a-year holiday with a $4.20 deal on a basic pie.

Come hungry

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Ice cream forever

There’s yet more ice cream coming to Los Angeles, says Toddrickallen, with newcomers Helados La Michoacana striking up soon in a pleasant build-out off Santa Monica Boulevard on the Westside.

Fleishik’s hits the right notes

Here’s some love from the Jewish Journal on Fleishik’s, Eric Greenspan’s new Beverly Boulevard sandwich shop. The kosher spot is a beast for the ‘hood already, and is now getting the kind of cultural acclaim that could make it a continued success for a long time to come.

Weed food

There’s a lot of conversation these days about cannabis and food, LA Weekly notes, and that means tons of new questions being asked. Vice’s Bong Appetit is throwing dinner parties, while chefs like Luke Reyes and Kris Morningstar have been playing at the edges of the moment for a while now too.

No more straws

There’s a growing movement in the bar world to get rid of plastic straws. They add overhead costs, aren’t biodegradable, and get used up in seconds. To help tackle the issue head-on, the Ace Hotel in Downtown is throwing an Earth Day party that will also mark their line in the sand of forgoing straws at their bars moving forward.