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LA Officials ‘Considering All Options’ For Further Lockdowns as COVID-19 Rages On

Plus, Lunar New Year foods, delivery robots in Santa Monica, and buy-one-get-one vegan egg sandwiches

restaurant protests agaainst the state shut down orders
Anti-lockdown protest at a restaurant
Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
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.

Los Angeles is creeping closer to a day beyond the current coronavirus pandemic, but until mass vaccinations (at sites like Dodger Stadium and Disneyland in Orange County) are achieved across the region’s ten-million-plus population, there are still plenty of reasons to stay home and worry. Just this week, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer told reporters that the ongoing rate of COVID-19 cases continues to stress the healthcare system in dangerous ways, with intensive care unit bed capacity still around zero percent in aggregate, and positivity rates still through the roof. Officials says that as many as one in three people within the county may have been infected with the coronavirus at this point, and that one in five people now being tested are returning positive results.

What’s more, Dr. Ferrer told reporters that public officials are “considering all options” for possible enhanced lockdowns and closures in the coming weeks, as a way to stem the persistent community spread in the region. “We are very worried about the continued high number of cases, and feel like there really is not a huge window to try and get the surge under control,” Dr. Ferrer said, as reported by the Los Feliz Ledger.

So what shape would further lockdown orders take? Likely, more retail and service businesses may close, essential businesses like grocery stores and pharmacies could reduce capacity even further, beaches and parks and hiking trails could become off-limits, and people could be mandated to not travel more than a few miles from their own homes. It’s unclear how any possible new steps would go over with a public that is already increasingly tired of the ongoing mandates, despite the massive public health threat still washing through the city and beyond. Just this week, LA city council officials voted unanimously to draft an ordinance that calls for stricter mask enforcement, with fines of $250 upon first citation.

In other news:

  • The Lunar New Year is quickly approaching, and a bunch of restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley and beyond are getting in on the action. Mr. & Mrs. Creamery in Arcadia is doing the rarely-seen Cantonese dish lo hei, Ho Kee is doing its own poon choi, and RiceBox in Downtown LA just sold out of its baked chicken feast.
  • Pasjoli in Santa Monica is hosting an at-home wine dinner series on January 23. Two-course meals, with pairings, run $105, with the option to add on dessert for $30 more.
  • Today Starts Here, the Taiwanese breakfast pop-up restaurant from the Joy / Pine & Crane team is back, doing morning through early afternoon hours only, Thursday through Sunday.
  • Ashland Hill in Santa Monica is now using these cool Coco Robots via Order For Me as local delivery vehicles. Be on the lookout for them crawling around the city.
  • A new chicken cutlet sandwich pop-up, appropriately called Nuthin’ But Cutlets, is doing chicken parms, buffalo chicken sandwiches, and more in Los Feliz on Sundays, not far from Albertson’s.
  • Honeybee Burger has teamed up with Just Egg (a plant-based egg start-up) to deliver meatless breakfast sandwiches and burritos to the masses. This Friday, the team will even offer a buy one, get one free deal as part of their revamped AM menu, running through the end of the month.