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Klepto Customers Keep Restaurant Owners on the Defense at LA’s Hottest Spots

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Plus, cannabis-infused Thai boat noodles, and a delightfully different Valentine’s Day dinner

Ronan Melrose
A collection of tiki glasses at Ronan.
Wonho Frank Lee

From disappearing tiki glasses at Ronan to pilfered light bulbs at Employees Only and swiped brass figurines at Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles Magazine explores the darker side of hospitality with a cursory look at customer kleptomania. Profit margins are notoriously slim within the restaurant industry and a nickel here and a dime there can really impact a business’s bottom line. Fortunately, many of the restaurateurs highlighted in the article were able to recoup losses by billing the offending party or catching folks red-handed. In the case of Osteria Mozza, surveillance footage led to an outright ban on the sticky-fingered diner.

In other news:

Vince Staples and Monty’s Good Burger are releasing a milkshake this Friday called Vince’s Meat is Murder that tastes of black cherry and charcoal. It’ll be available at all locations (Echo Park, Koreatown, Riverside) until the end of the month.

— Chef Teresa Montaño and the team at Otoño are having fun this Valentine’s Day with a six-course tongue and cheek menu. The $80 dinner includes lengua profiteroles, pork cheek, and paella.

— Head to Ayara Thai this Friday for a taste of cannabis-infused boat noodles from chef Andy Asapahu. The broth includes a low dose of THC, while the house-made chile oil is infused with CBD. Service begins at sunset on the street in front of the restaurant.

The latest episode of the LA Times’s Bucket List explores fried chicken sandwiches at Kismet and Shad’s New Cali Catering food truck.

— Michelin-starred Kali is hosting a ‘meat’ up with Flannery Beef tonight. The six-course menu promises nothing but dry-aged red beef. All reservations must be called in at 323-871-4160.

— Starting Friday, grab a Milla Chocolate hazelnut praline bar at its Culver City shop and receive a free scoop of the local chocolate brand’s flavor collaboration with Salt & Straw while supplies last.