Los Angeles restaurants and bars are figuring out how to navigate business as COVID-19 and delta variant cases continue to surge. Some are requiring proof of vaccination for entry, but Hollywood restaurant L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele developed an entirely new space next door called Caffè degli Artisti. For entry, patrons will have to show either a COVID-19 test from the last 24 hours or must submit to a rapid test offered on-site by staff. Only people showing negative will be allowed to enter the new outdoor dining space.
The adjacent lounge is an extension of L’Antica, and owner Francesco Zimone says he designed Caffè degli Artisti as a safer place to eat and lounge in the warmer months. It can seat up to 55 guests, with ample space between chairs and couches.
The area is also a bit of a throwback from Zimone. L’Antica opened in the former Cafe des Artiste, hence its name in Italian. This isn’t Zimone’s first pandemic-related adjustment: in January, he launched a drive-in theater in his parking lot with a full menu.
In other news:
- Orange County’s Basilico’s Pasta e Vino took a cinematic stance on its anti-mask policy back in 2020. The Huntington Beach restaurant posted a sign that references the classic film The Godfather that says “Leave the Mask, Take the Cannoli.” The same restaurant is now doubling down with a new approach by insisting that only unvaccinated patrons can enter, reports the Los Angeles Times.
- LAist reports on California-born restaurant pride and how McDonald’s, Taco Bell, In-N-Out, and Denny’s conquered America.
- The LA Times took a look back at restaurants they profiled during the pandemic, including the Gardena Bowl, and DTLA’s Poppy + Rose, which managed to open a second location in Anaheim.
- Panda Express launched its plant-based orange chicken this month in LA and NY restaurants. A KTLA-5 reporter is now raving about the Beyond Meat-based dish.
- San Gabriel’s new food hall Blossom Market Hall opens in September, reports the LA Times.
- Chimmelier — Hanchic’s Korean fried chicken sandwich pop-up — will settle into DTLA’s HiDef Brewing on August one. They’ll start at 2 p.m. and go until sold out.