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West Hollywood Transforms Sidewalks to Allow for More Outdoor Dining

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Plus, new happy hour at Birdie G’s, n/naka hosts a bento collaboration with Porridge & Puffs, and a tandoori fried chicken sandwich

People have drinks and dine at the outdoor patio at La Boheme in West Hollywood as coronavirus surges Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

West Hollywood officials are moving ahead with a sidewalk/street outdoor dining program designed to help ailing restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic. The effort expands restaurant and bar seating areas into public sidewalks and streets with outdoor use temporary zones, or OUT Zones.

WEHOville reports the OUT Zones program will last a least one year, as outdoor space is required for on-site dining throughout California at the moment. Businesses are required to apply for a permit to use public streets or sidewalk spaces, as long as they install safety barricades or k-rails to make sure diners remain safe.

OUT Zones permit application fees are waived for West Hollywood restaurants. Plus, there is no fee for the installation or rental of the k-rail. According to the City of West Hollywood, more than 60 West Hollywood businesses have been approved for temporary outdoor expansion permits, including The Abbey, Connie & Ted’s, and Employees Only.

In other news:

  • Problems with distributors, delivery cuts, and employment issues within the supply chain are leaving restaurants often empty-shelved, according to the Long Beach Post.
  • n/naka chefs Niki Nakayama and Carole Iida-Nakayama will launch a guest chef series inspired by ekiben, Japan’s train station bento boxes. The first chef to collaborate is Minh Phan of Porridge + Puffs, with a $48 bento that features eight seasonal dishes according to the Los Angeles Times.
  • Over on the Westside, chef Raphael Lunetta is hosting a paella party tonight and Saturday at Lunetta. Paella night is part of the chef’s Taste of Lunetta series. Paella is $58 per person and available for dine-in or takeaway in a copper pot. Reservations are highly recommended.
  • West Hollywood’s Strings of Life will feature a Sausage Roll World Tour, where chef Monty Koludrovic will host a chef collaboration every week to honor the traditional Australian pastry. Nancy Silverton will launch the tour by creating a roll with an Italian spin on September 3. Future collaborators will be Burt Bakman from Slab and chef Curtis Stone, rolls are priced at $10.
  • Los Angeles has nearly reached saturation point with the fried chicken sandwiches, but national franchise Curry Up Now entered the chat with its current take on the popular dish: a tandoori fried chicken sandwich. It debuts on September 1, though you’ll have to trek to Irvine to get one.
  • Santa Monica’s Birdie G’s launches happy hour starting today, with new dishes in the $5 to 12 range. Birdie G’s happy hour runs Wednesday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.