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LA Politician Who Voted Against Outdoor Dining Ate Al Fresco Just Hours Later

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Plus, street vendors are in jeopardy again, while Marugame Udon offers a free bowl of udon with a gift card purchase

Outdoor dining shut down at Citadel Outlets in Los Angeles.
Outdoor dining shut down at Citadel Outlets in Los Angeles.
Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images
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.

Fox 11 News has a story about LA County supervisor Sheila Kuehl out today. Apparently Kuehl was found dining on-premises at Santa Monica Italian restaurant Il Forno last week, just hours after voting to move forward with a ban on outdoor restaurant dining. Fox found the incident eyebrow-raising, noting the hypocrisy in Kuehl’s public assessment that dining out was “dangerous,” while she herself found time to fit in an al fresco meal before the ban took effect late Wednesday night.

Kuehl’s office offered a response to the incident: “She did dine al fresco at Il Forno on the very last day it was permissible. She loves Il Forno, has been saddened to see it, like so many restaurants, suffer from a decline in revenue. She ate there, taking appropriate precautions, and, sadly, will not dine there again until our Public Health Orders permit.”

Kuehl was one of three supervisors that had voted in favor of maintaining the health department’s directive last week to shut down outdoor dining across LA county, opposing supervisors Janice Hahn and Kathryn Barger, who voted to keep it open. Fox news reporter Bill Melugin wondered on air, “A few hours ago, too dangerous; a few hours later, evidently not dangerous enough.” Just yesterday, a countywide safer-at-home order went into place in order to stem the spread of COVID-19, which has been surging for weeks.

In other news:

  • Takeout is still very much in play despite the safer-at-home order mandated across LA county. DTLA Weekly has a roundup of 10 places in the central business district to get takeout, such as Engine Company No. 28 and Localita.
  • Turns out during a pandemic fewer people are interested in salads from the likes of Sweetgreen and are instead loading up on pizza. [Medium]
  • Sawtelle’s Marugame Udon has a special where anyone getting a $25 gift card (a handy stocking stuffer) will get a coupon for a free bowl of udon on a return visit.
  • The Sears Auto Center in Northridge, which is slated to become a Porto’s Bakery, has been delayed due to the pandemic and slower than expected construction, says What Now LA.
  • Street vendors are again in jeopardy due to the stay-at-home order put into place across the county yesterday, reports L.A. Taco/Capital & Main.