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Original Tommy’s Shells Out $400,000 in Back Pay, Fines After Years-Long Wage Theft Issue

Plus, an uncertain future for nightlife and live music venues, Killer Noodle opening in the San Gabriel Valley, and Superba sit-down service comes back to Venice

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A shadowy figure stands at the historic burger stand Tommy’s late at night, surrounded by lights.
The neon lights of Tommy’s
Matthew Kang
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Uh oh. It looks like the folks at Original Tommy’s got into some hot water recently over a county wage issue, leading to them shelling out nearly $400,000 in back pay and fines. Per LAist, the parent companies of Original Tommy’s (that would be Tomdan Enterprises and Koulax Enterprises) agreed to a settlement with the LA County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs that stems from them habitually underpaying workers at locations in unincorporated sections of LA County, starting in 2016. The missing wages total just under $150,000, with nearly that same amount to be paid as fines to said employees for the years-long issue. Another $103,000 in fines is to be paid to LA County directly.

And in other news:

  • The future of nightclubs and other live music nightlife venues is still very much in flux, reports the LA Times. A divided Congress is not close to acting on legislation that would help to bail out these businesses, from the Troubadour to the Bootleg, and without help it’s near impossible for many small operators to survive. Unlike restaurants, these spaces rely on crowds and in-person activities to get by, meaning they’re likely to be among the last businesses to reopen, let alone recover.
  • The Source Cafe is now open in Manhattan Beach. The restaurant is an offshoot of the Hermosa Beach original, doing things like salads, breakfast, smoothies, and a fried chicken sandwich for pickup, delivery, and patio dining. Meanwhile in Santa Monica, Uplifters Kitchen has reopened at 2819 Ocean Park Avenue with new ownership.
  • Killer Noodle is opening in the San Gabriel Valley this month. The spicy Tsujita noodle shop lands at 227 W. Valley Blvd. next week, says the LA Times.
  • The Inn at the Mission San Juan Capistrano is now open, with multiple restaurants including the anchor hotel eatery Ysidora. Further north in the OC, Bearded Tang Brewing is now open inside the Rodeo 39 Public Market in Stanton, though it’s offering to-go sales only for now.
  • Verse in Toluca Lake, the upscale supper club that only opened last December, is now doing outdoor dining Tuesday through Saturday from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • LA’s longstanding City Bean Roasters got a nice write-up in LAist. The small cooperatively-run shop in West Adams white labels coffee for some of the city’s biggest brands, including Trejo’s and Nate ‘n Al’s.
  • Rooster’s Chicken House, a new fried chicken concept from the Holy Cow BBQ team, is now up and running out of the kitchens of all Holy Cow locations. That means West LA, Santa Monica, and Culver City for the fried chicken fix.
  • Superba Food + Bread has returned to sit-down service in Venice with a new outdoor-only look (plus takeout and delivery of course). There’s also an updated menu with classics from the six-year-old restaurant, as well as a bunch of new stuff; check it out below.