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LA’s Restaurant Scene Thrives as Many Workers Struggle to Survive, and More

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Plus Andrew Zimmern, and Bobby Flay eating Filipino food

Outside The Black Cat, Silver Lake
Farley Elliott
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’s not easy

Over the weekend the LA Times posted a heartbreaking article centered on Lance Thomas, a line cook who has worked at some big-named restaurants around Los Angeles, including Little Sister, Cook’s County, and Bottega Louie. Yet despite the work and the ambition, he struggles to make enough money to have a roof over his head every night.

Unfortunately, as the well-written piece points out, this is nothing new in the restaurant world. Thomas (and those like him) work massively long hours, taking on double shifts or extra prep work, just to make ends meet — a fact that has wide-reaching implications for things like minimum wage in California, and service charges at restaurants. Thomas is now doing well at Silver Lake’s Black Cat, but the journey from couch-surfing to kitchen to success is still far from certain.

LA’s gatekeeper

It’s possible that diners do not know the name Kate Green, though throughout the Mozzaplex she is as relevant as just about anyone not named Nancy Silverton. Green is Silverton’s assistant (or, more accurately, all-around restaurant fixer), and in an interview with The Abettor lays out exactly what she does in a given day (read: everything).

All hail Andrew Zimmern

Looks like famous food personality Andrew Zimmern has been crawling around Los Angeles lately, including a stop at Night + Market Song in Silver Lake. No word on exactly what he’s filming in the below shot, but Kris Yenbamroong is definitely involved.

Not your typical Saturday night service. Good times filming with the great @chefaz yesterday!

A post shared by NIGHT+MARKET (@ntmrkt) on

The return of crabfest

The Hungry Cat’s annual Crabfest is back on Sunday, July 30. The popular seafood feast will run from noon to 8 p.m. in Hollywood and cost $65 a head for piles of fried soft shell crab, steamed blue crabs, Maryland-style crab soup, and more.

Wine time

Marissa A. Ross is celebrating the release of her new book Wine All the Time at Hedley & Bennett on July 29. The party runs $105 and will feature food from Confluence, plus (naturally) a whole bunch of paired wine and a copy of the book.

Helping vendors

Feel like giving some money to a street vendor who recently had his rig confiscated by the LA County Health Department and the LAPD? Right this way. A Gofundme has been set up for Andres Santos Medina, Highland Park’s long-running elote vendor, who recently had his operation taken right off the street.

Miro’s brunch

Downtown’s Miro is jumping into brunch, including an option to add bottomless mimosas for just $14 a head. Chef Gavin Mills is now turning out the weekend affair every Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a menu that include lots of benedicts and some serious chicken and waffles.

Bobby Flay showed up

Chef/television food personality Bobby Flay just couldn’t stay away from Grand Central Market’s new Sari Sari Store, apparently. The well-known figure stopped in for a bite of Margarita Manzke’s Filipino food, and even paused for a photo with the team.