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LA City Council Approves $6 Million to Aid Street Vendors With Permits and Equipment

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Plus, ceviche in Long Beach, a new Loteria Grill, and love for Chiles Secos in Grand Central Market

 Elizabeth Bojortes prepares hot dogs at her street vending stand on a sidewalk off N Main St near Olvera St in Downtown Los Angeles.
Elizabeth Bojortes prepares hot dogs at her street vending stand on a sidewalk off N Main St near Olvera St in Downtown Los Angeles
Photo credit should read AGUSTIN PAULLIER/AFP via Getty Images
Mona Holmes is a reporter for Eater Los Angeles and a regular contributor to KCRW radio. She has covered restaurants, dining, and food culture since 2016. In 2022, the James Beard Foundation nominated her for a Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award.

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles City Council voted to direct $6 million in funding to LA’s struggling street vendors. The COVID-19 Street Vending Recovery Fund will be in the form of grants from the federal CARES Act to aid vendors with costs towards permits and equipment.

CBS-LA reports that vendors can apply for grants up to $5,000 to pay for protective gear, permit applications, and supplies to help them operate legally and comply with local laws and safety requirements. The $6 million will be distributed through the Los Angeles Regional COVID Fund.

According to Nithya Raman, urban planner and candidate for LA City Council, there are about 50,000 street vendors operating in Los Angeles, 10,000 of whom sell food. Councilman Gil Cedillo — who co-authored the motion with councilmembers Curren Price and Monica Rodriguez — estimates that barely a dozen LA street vendors have valid licenses to operate.

In other news:

Los Angeles Times columnist Gustavo Arellano took a glance inside the 97-year-old classic restaurant El Cholo, in anticipation of KCRW’s annual Tortilla Tournament.

—It looks like Loteria Grill is resurfacing near Pico and Crenshaw with a fast casual layout across the way from the old Capitol Burger.

—The entire U.S. finally gets a slice of Porto’s Bakery & Cafe. Starting on September 29, Porto’s will ship its famous Milk’N Berries cake nationwide.

—L.A. Taco profiled El Pelicano Loco, a ceviche pop-up by Long Beach-based Guillermo Guitron. He makes makes four types of ceviche every weekend and typically sells out.

—Grand Central Market’s Chiles Secos got some love from Time Out LA. The family-operated stand has been supplying the Southland with mole, chiles, and seeds for nearly 50 years.

—West Hollywood’s The Abbey is one of the few bars and restaurants open during the pandemic and they’ve launched Italian Night at Abbey Road. Every Tuesday, the kitchen features traditional antipasto, pizza, pasta, main, and dessert.