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50 California Restaurant, Winery Owners Launch Latest Anti-Lockdown Lawsuit Against Newsom

Plus, Bestia’s new charcuterie packs for at-home snacking, and an update on the future of Howlin’ Ray’s in Pasadena

Gov. Gavin Newsom, Dodger Stadium, Secretary of State (CA) Alex Padilla, Dodger owner Peter Guber, Dodger President/CEO Stan Kasten, and Fernando Valenzuela
California Gov. Gavin Newsom
Carolyn Cole/ Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

More than four dozen Bay Area restaurants and wineries have banded together to sue California Governor Gavin Newsom over the ongoing public health orders that require those business to cease some vital services during a surge in the coronavirus pandemic, including on-site dining. The lawsuit, filed this week by the Wine Country Coalition for Safe Reopening. based in Napa and Sonoma counties, is the latest salvo in a growing procession of court cases pushing back on the ongoing lockdown orders across the state. The Bay Area region’s intensive care unit bed capacity (the primary metric for enacting lockdowns, per state public health officials) fell below the 15 percent threshold roughly a month ago, triggering the lockdowns; the 11-county Southern California region, Los Angeles County included, has been under those same stricter stay-at-home orders since basically late November.

Per the LA Times, the collection of owners allege in the lawsuit that Gov. Newsom and public health officials “have not provided scientific evidence showing that outdoor dining is more dangerous than other permitted activities,” though such hard data is not necessarily required for those orders to be implemented by the government during an ongoing public crisis. More locally, the ongoing lawsuit filed in LA County against the county Department of Public Health is still winding its way through an appeals court, with the next hearing slated for February.

In other news:

  • Ike’s Love & Sandwiches is continuing to expand into Southern California, landing a new location at 460 N. Pacific Coast Highway in El Segundo. Future locations include Manhattan Beach, Culver City, Carson, and Del Mar.
  • Here’s a bit of good news in all the COVID-19 worry: Conservatory in West Hollywood has partnered up with Verizon to feed 2,700 meals to first responders and frontline workers at the LA County and USC Medical Center hospitals. On a similar note, Uncle Paulie’s Deli is accepting donations for hygiene kits and other supplies for unhoused Angelenos this month.
  • Baltaire in Brentwood is expanding its offering over the next couple of months, adding dishes from sister restaurant Flint By Baltaire out of Phoenix. Expect lots of hummus as well as spicy lamb meatballs, wood-grilled lamb chops, and more.
  • Bestia is expanding beyond takeout dinners, and will now offer vacuum-sealed charcuterie for perfect at-home snacking. Meanwhile Loqui is now offering take-home taco family kits that come with two proteins, a dozen flour tortillas, beans, rice, guacamole, chips, and all the salsa bar fixin’s for $90.
  • TriniStyle, the north LA County Trinidadian food truck and restaurant, is going permanent with a new location on Century Boulevard in South LA, according to the Food Talk Central forums.
  • Nashville-style hot chicken palace Howlin’ Ray’s standalone second location in Pasadena is still coming along, says co-owner Johnny Ray Zone. Here’s a look at the work being done, plus a note from Zone himself.

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