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Restaurants Are Shifting Away From Their Alcohol and Drug-Laden Culture

Plus where to celebrate the royal wedding in LA, and a huge Argentinian meat feast

Old fashioned at a bar in Los Angeles
213 Hospitality
Matthew Kang is the Lead Editor of Eater LA. He has covered dining, restaurants, food culture, and nightlife in Los Angeles since 2008. He's the host of K-Town, a YouTube series covering Korean food in America, and has been featured in Netflix's Street Food show.

Sobriety in the restaurant environment

Nation’s Restaurant News takes a look at one of the newer trends in restaurant culture: the ‘shift’ away from the shift drink. Alcohol and other drugs have been linked to a lot of recent problems in the industry, especially sexual misconduct. Tendergreens co-founder Erik Oberholtzer says, “The link between drugs and alcohol and all of these abuses, whether sexual or otherwise, is directly related...We shouldn’t be drinking in the workplace. But you’re basically throwing a party every night.” Now restaurants are moving away from free shift drinks and instituting zero tolerance drug policies. Take a look at the long read here.

Singin’ in the heart of K-Town

Mama Lion gets a little feature in ABC7 about how it’s become a mecca for up-and-coming singers to perform in Koreatown. The ritzy supper club has a totally different feel than many other establishments in K-Town, but with a location just a block away from the iconic Wiltern Theatre, Mama Lion feels like the right jumping off point for the next generation of star singers.

No more Dragon on the Westside

Dragon Palace might not have been an iconic Chinese restaurant on the Westside, but it certainly helped serve Santa Monica with reasonably priced kung pao chicken and fried rice. According to Westsider reporter Toddrickallen, it’s finally closed up. Apparently with a new development taking over the property, all the restaurants in the strip mall, including Kaido, Mahi Mahi Seafood Grill, and a donut shop, will have to close.

Celebrate with the Royals

LA Mag has a piece on where to watch and celebrate the upcoming royal wedding this Saturday with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. There’s a slumber party at the very British Cat & Fiddle, along with some fine afternoon tea at The Langham hotel in Pasadena.

The origins of Bavel

Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis’s long-awaited Bavel gets a handy feature from Downtown LA News, where they talk about what they’ve learned since launching their first restaurant Bestia. It’s a nice behind-the-scenes look at how this highly anticipated restaurant handled their recently opening.

Pizza lessons in Little Tokyo

Baldoria, one of LA’s essential pizzerias, will offer a pizza-making class on May 27, where $30 lets diners create their own pizza with chef Duke Gervais, plus a glass of wine or beer to wash it down. Pick up an Eventbrite ticket here.

For Argentinian asado fans

Pablo Kim, who competed on Master Chef Latino, brings back his popular asado dinner, an Argentinian grilled meat feast, on May 27. The cost is $40 a person and will take place somewhere in Chinatown. Contact the chef via email to secure a seat with this chimmichurri-laden meal.

Next pop up 5/27. Email us at for information

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