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Two Big LA Restaurants Close Because of ‘Draconian’ Outdoor Dining Ban

Plus, how to help the East Hollywood community cookouts, and the LA Times calls the lack of federal funding for restaurants a ‘national disgrace’

Rose Cafe in Venice plays host to a number of waiting drinkers.
The Rose in Venice during busier days
Pascal Shirley

Two longstanding Los Angeles-area restaurants are closing, at least for a while, because of the ongoing ban on outdoor on-site restaurant dining in Southern California. First up is the Rose in Venice, the massively busy Jason Neroni project that (in the Before Times) fed literally millions of customers. In a note posted to social media, reps for the restaurant say that “the current state of draconian measures imposed on restaurants by the city of Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti, and Governor Gavin Newsom have made it infeasible for us to continue to operate during these trying times.” The restaurant is not closing forever, just “for the next few weeks” at least, with plans to reassess in the new year. There is currently no reopening date set, but ownership assures that they will be back.

Meanwhile, Echo Park’s 14-year-old vegan cafe Elf is saying goodbye more permanently, posting on Instagram that “it is with bitter disappointment and broken hearts that we are announcing that, as a direct result of the ban on outdoor dining, Elf will be suspending service... It has been our great privilege to serve you.” The post does leave the door open to a possible return (“who knows?” is the language used) some day in the future, though for now it’s a firm disappearance. The address on Sunset Boulevard will become a space for pop-ups, for now.

In other news:

  • The LA Times has put out a scathing column calling for federal financial intervention for small restaurants, describing the lack of such funding already as a “national disgrace.”
  • The Dave’s Hot Chicken team is at it again, this time adding locations in Culver City, Rosemead, and Sherman Oaks, reports What Now LA.
  • Detroit-style LA specialist DTown Pizzeria has expanded to Long Beach, cooking out of the Harbor Bar for pickup and delivery, all thanks to the team from LBC pop-up Out West Kitchen.
  • The pork-centric pop-up the Bad Jew is landing a one-night event at the Nosh of Beverly Hills on Sunday, December 20, with food running from 11 a.m. to sellout. Meanwhile, L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele in Hollywood has transformed into a drive-in experience, says TimeOut Los Angeles.
  • Given the ongoing takeout and delivery only mandate, restaurants certainly don’t look like they normally do inside. This photo essay from the Counter shows just how different things are at places in Los Angeles (including Birdie G’s) and in New York City. The LA Times has a similar story up, following the latest changes at Pasadena’s Bone Kettle, with lots of photos of course.
  • Some Coachella Valley restaurants are banding together to ignore the shutdown of on-site outdoor restaurant dining, says the Desert Sun, joining other communities and individual restaurants across Southern California.
  • Want to support the ongoing East Hollywood community cookouts and Heleo Leyva? The team is now selling merch as a way to continue funding the weekly free meals for those in need.

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