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LA Restaurant Operators Say They’re Being Punished Unfairly for Rising COVID-19 Cases

Plus, Bierbeisl makes a return to Beverly Hills, and a guide to eating in San Gabriel Valley

Casa Vega’s expansive new outdoor dining area with hanging lights and scattered tables.
Outdoor dining area at Casa Vega with socially distanced tables
Dave Schwep
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.

After county officials announced the closure of outdoor dining, and therefore any kind of on-premise dining in Los Angeles beginning Wednesday due to a recent surge in COVID-19 cases, the Independent Hospitality Coalition, which is made up of smaller restaurants across the city, said it is “extremely disappointed” with the drastic actions without consulting members of the industry. The group’s main complaint is that without any proof or data that shows the community transmission of COVID-19 through outdoor dining, the restaurant community is being punished, even after investing in preparing socially-distanced outdoor dining spaces for the public.

The IHC is pointing the finger at private gatherings and events such as Halloween for the recent surge in coronavirus cases, saying that the 10 p.m. curfew and closed outdoor dining rooms means more indoor private parties. They’re asking county officials for a seat at the table to help craft further policies and make sure their voice is heard. The coalition provides resources for restaurant operators and workers, and includes prominent places like Rossoblu, Pasjoli, Uovo, Rustic Canyon, and Majordomo.

In other news:

  • The LA Times has rapid reactions of the outdoor dining room closures from restaurants around the city, including AOC, Casa Vega, and Della Terra in Fairfax District. Many fear they’re not going to make it through the minimum three week suspension of on-premise dining.
  • For some reason, Saddle Ranch is one of the most popular dining destinations for Gen Z influencers. Welp, that won’t last for long as outdoor dining will cease for at least three weeks beginning Wednesday at 10 p.m. Still, the kitschy West Hollywood restaurant known for its mechanical bull being popular among the under-25 crowd is a bit of a headscratcher.
  • Bierbeisl chef Bernhard Mairinger is back in Beverly Hills with a pop-up called Krapfen & Krampus at the Nosh, serving his famous veal (and turkey) wiener schnitzel, venison ragout, bratwurst, and Austrian donuts called Krapfen. The pop-up runs December 5 and 6 from 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • L.A. Taco has a beginner’s guide to eating in San Gabriel Valley, including where to get a Hong Kong-style breakfast, Malaysian curry laksa, and of course, xiao long bao.
  • Toddrickallen has the scoop on a new kebab spot coming to Westchester.
  • Jaybirds Hot Chicken is coming to Sherman Oaks in the former Rubin’s Red Hot, reports What Now LA.
  • Eagle Rock’s Found Coffee is slashing hours during the month of December and close for two weeks during the Christmas holiday season in order to reduce risk of exposure for workers and customers in light of the surge in COVID cases. Check their Instagram for planned opening hours.