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Two Men Accused of Hate Crimes Indicted For Alleged Attack at Beverly Hills Restaurant

Plus, a French food pop-up on an outdoor patio, Tiki Ti turns 60, and happier hours in Inglewood

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Dolmas from Cafe Istanbul in Beverly Hills, California.
Cafe Istanbul
Cafe Istanbul website
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.

Two men were indicted by a federal grand jury after allegedly assaulting and threatening staff at Cafe Istanbul in Beverly Hills in November. The men are accused of shouting anti-Turkish slurs, made pro-Armenia statements to employees, damaged property inside the restaurant, and attacked Cafe Istanbul employees, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The incident is related to the November demonstrations at the Turkish consulate in Beverly Hills. LA has one of the largest Armenian populations in the country. At the time, tensions were high due to the escalated conflict between Azerbaijan and the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Thousands of Armenians showed up to protest Turkey’s support of Azerbaijan. Just last week, Joe Biden recognized the Turkish genocide of Armenians following World War I, something no other president had done before.

Prosecutors say the defendants of the alleged attack are Armenian, and the indictment accuses them of conspiracy and hate crimes. Allegedly, William Stepanyan sent Harutyun Harry Chalikyan a text saying he wanted to go “hunting for [T]urks.” Both attended the rally at the Turkish consulate after going to Cafe Istanbul.

In other news:

  • Chef Laurent Quenioux started one of LA’s longest running pop-ups in 2014, and is still operating his outdoor LQ @ Ma Maison patio dinners. This Saturday, Quenioux is preparing an all-French, all-springtime ingredient dinner that’s almost sold out. Book tickets through Quenioux’s website.
  • A new rooftop dinner series at starts tonight at Terra, Eataly’s third floor restaurant. From tonight until June, LA chefs, pop-ups, and restaurants will showcase their the theme through fire and grilling. Launching the series is Tsubaki chef Charles Namba with a charcoal-grilled food menu and sake. Reservation details are on the Terra website.
  • LA’s got some new Korean restaurants, and Los Angeles Magazine found four new to the LA landscape including Perilla from Rustic Canyon alum Jihee Kim.
  • Tiki Ti celebrated 60 years yesterday, with a message on Instagram to celebrate the occasion. The legendary bar hasn’t reopened yet, even as LA slides further into the yellow tier with less restrictions on capacity.
  • A street vendor was shot and killed in February this year, and L.A. Taco uncovered a trove of documents and emails from LAPD illustrating the targeting and harassment of LA street vendors.
  • NSYNC star Lance Bass, and soon to be West Hollywood club owner, insists his new spot will “truly represent the community,” reports LA Magazine. Bass announced plans to open a new bar in the former Rage space.
  • Cocktailing in Inglewood just got a little easier now that Wood Urban Kitchen BBQ received its liquor license from California’s Alcoholic Beverage Control. Now, it’s happy hour, all-day, every day. Peep their Instagram for details.