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New California Senator Alex Padilla’s Father Was a Master Short Order Cook at Du-Par’s

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Plus, Vegas’s saddest restaurant closures, and Gusto Bread’s Noche Buena bread

Du-par’s Studio City
Du-par’s Studio City
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.

Governor Gavin Newsom appointed native Angeleno Alex Padilla to the vacant California Senate seat left behind by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris yesterday, marking the first time a Latino U.S. Senator has emerged from the state of California. Padilla, a San Fernando Valley native, has often discussed his immigrant parents over the years, including in a press release sent wide yesterday, but here’s where things get interesting: Padilla’s father, Santos, was apparently a longtime, beloved short-order cook at several Du-Par’s locations around greater Los Angeles.

Padilla even mentions his father’s work in a video circulating social media yesterday, where Gov. Newsom surprises the younger Padilla with the Senate seat announcement. In the emotional video, which can be seen here, Padilla says through tears: “I can’t tell you how many pancakes my dad flipped, or eggs he scrambled trying to provide for us.” Eater wishes Alex Padilla well on his new appointment.

—Farley Elliott

In other news:

LA Magazine’s Andy Wang has a roundup of the best takeout food from across the city in the past year, including Republique, Bavel, Sonoratown, RiceBox, and Bites & Bashes Cafe.

— The LA Rams hosted a community mobile food drive this week at the new SoFi Stadium in Inglewood. Partner LA Regional Food Bank estimated they would distribute 25,000 meals this week. [ABC 7]

—What Now LA has renderings for an upcoming massive rooftop nightclub called Rome that’s headed to Downtown’s L.A. Grand Hotel. It looks, well, incredible actually, like a Vegas-style club with room for thousands.

—Gusto Bread is selling a lovely Noche Buena loaf made with chocolate and rye, plus a local stout from Ambitious Ales, café de olla, agave, and molasses. The beautiful loaf is being sold at the Long Beach bakery today and tomorrow, so go early to pick one up.

—LA City Attorney Mike Feuer has been trying to shut down an illegal nightclub in Downtown’s Fashion District that has been operating underground. [DTLA News]

—Eater Vegas has a rundown of some of the saddest closures of the year, including longtime Caesars restaurant Mesa Grill, Cosmo’s Milos Estiatorio, Shawn McClain’s Sage, Ricardo Zarate’s Once, and Palazzo’s longtime resident Morel’s.

—Time Out LA has a handy list of all the LA-based cookbooks released this past year, including for Todo Verde, Trejo’s Tacos, and Chi Spacca.