clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

What the Forced Closure of MacArthur Park Could Mean for the Area’s Food Vendors

Plus, big changes in Silver Lake, new restaurant collaborations, and Angelini Osteria turns 20

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced a mandatory overnight stay-at-home order that will be instituted throughout most of California to combat a surge in new coronavirus cases, a measure that comes just days after the governor enacted a dramatic rollb
Vendors outside of MacArthur Park.
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 city officials are set to close busy MacArthur Park on October 15, setting up yet another highly public (and potentially messy) fight over community space, the city’s growing and historic unhoused community, and some of LA’s most visible food vendors. A similar lengthy park closure occurred earlier this year at Echo Park Lake, depriving food vendors of needed income during a pandemic while also ramping up police presence and enforcement. It’s unclear, for now, what effect the proposed 10-week park closure will have on the dozens of vendors who sell within and around the park, though Councilmember Gil Cedillo — who oversees the MacArthur Park district — has said that his office will prioritize reopening the park fully once work (including repairs and cleanups) is completed. At Echo Park Lake, the borders of the park remain fenced off except for a handful of entry points, leaving most vendors to sell on the sidewalk outside of the park itself.

Cedillo’s office moved to shut down the Avenue 26 night market (which is also in his district) over the summer, giving no notice to vendors before gating off the industrial street in Lincoln Heights. Some of those vendors continue to sell food in the neighborhood, though crowds have dwindled significantly; others have collected elsewhere. Meanwhile, in the Westlake area, the community’s popular Guatemalan night market just blocks from MacArthur Park has also faced increased enforcement, shutdowns, and confiscation over the past year, as the city of Los Angeles continues to offer vendors only a very narrow, cost-prohibitive, and virtually unattainable channel in which to secure proper permitting and space to vend legally.

Silver Lake’s changing landscape

Massive changes to Silver Lake’s Sunset Junction area could still be coming soon, though the years-old development strategy has taken different forms over the past few years. In a new set of public hearings, the first set for this Wednesday, October 6, developers will discuss replacing the longtime 4100 Bar with a 91-unit residential and light retail project. Public discussion begins at 10:30 a.m., reports the Eastsider.

Food for those in the know

The Biite Club crew is back with a new collection of restaurant collaborations across the city, including two with Josiah Citrin. At Charcoal Venice, the company will be offering a $450 (for two) wagyu tasting the week of October 18, and at Citrin, it will be running a $400-$650 (the latter for two) caviar tasting menu, with some truffles likely available as well. With forthcoming Downtown restaurant Gusto Green, Biite Club will be offering limited-time-only take-home za’atar spice blends made with hemp from Ziese Farms.

A new, but familiar, face in Chinatown

Chinatown’s Pearl River Deli team is taking over the former Today Starts Here space not far from busy Far East Plaza. Owner Johnny Lee says that the current space won’t close; instead, the upcoming space next to Thank You Coffee will offer something new for fans of Lee’s cooking.

Angelini Osteria turns back time

Angelini Osteria is celebrating 20 years in business this week, with a rotating collection of timeless daily specials available all week long. Today’s is veal kidneys (rognoni trifalati), tomorrow’s is braised oxtails (coda all vaccinara), and so on, through Sunday night.

Beverly Hills eats early

Sant’olina in Beverly Hills has a new happy hour to know, running from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Beers are $5, wines are $10, and food includes dishes like lamb meatballs for $12.