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As Vaccines Ramp Up, Southern California Could Be In for Even Bigger Reopening

Plus, HomeState opens in the West Adams area, and a new pastry stand coming to Far East Plaza in Chinatown

santa monica pier orange tier pandemic
A busy beach in Santa Monica yesterday
Myung J. Chun / 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.

Gov. Gavin Newsom is set to deliver a press conference today from the Bay Area, announcing that his office’s goal to provide four million vaccine doses to state’s hardest-hit communities has been met. Passing that equity threshold means the state will relax some of the COVID-19 data standards for moving between reopening tiers, allowing for a more broad statewide reopening. Several nearby counties, from Riverside to Santa Barbara, will be impacted by the updated metrics, and could move from the red to the less-restrictive orange tier as soon as possible.

What’s more, Newsom’s office says that the state has administered over 20 million vaccine doses to date and (so far at least) has not seen the kind of rise in cases that is currently affecting New York City, Europe, and parts of the Midwest. There’s cautious belief that the state’s ample vaccine rollout (and deadly winter surge, which spread the coronavirus through a significant portion of the population) could keep a steep new rise in cases at bay permanently, and with the new, more relaxed data thresholds for staying in or moving between reopening tiers, it’s likely that LA and Orange counties could stay in the orange tier for quite some time.

In other news:

  • HomeState’s new takeaway only location at 3923 W. Jefferson Blvd. in West Adams has arrived. The small shop doesn’t offer on-site seating, but will have the usual menu of breakfast tacos, migas, and drinks starting from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and expanding down the line.
  • The Porsche Experience Center Los Angeles in Carson has reopened its primary restaurant for on-site, outdoor patio dining. Chef Matt Lee’s Restaurant 917 will operate for now as a lunchtime-only space, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday plus every third Sunday.
  • Former Konbi pastry chef Jen Yee is opening her own stand inside Far East Plaza next month, called Bakers’ Bench. Expect cookies, croissants, and a whole lot more.
  • La Morra’s partnership pizza plans continue, this time with Sonoratown in the Fashion District. The new restaurant features Chori-Man chorizo, chiltepin chilis, mesquite-grilled green onions, and more. Pick up the frozen version at La Morra on West Third Street.
  • Hollywood Burger is still planning to expand to 8807 Santa Monica Boulevard soon. Signage is up now, and the restaurant is beginning to tease the imminent arrival.
  • Check out this awesome new quarterly cooking magazine, made in LA by Kelly Bylsma and Julia Taylor-Brown, called Cooking Us Back Together. The self-funded project features recipes (with wine pairings from some Nathaniel Muñoz), home cooking, and voices from around the LA restaurant scene, and proceeds each quarter go to a new charity. First up is No Us Without You.