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City of Los Angeles to Raise Minimum Wage to $16.04 by July 2022

Plus, a rave review for Ardor, and a pizza-clothes mending session on Valentine’s Day

A man wears a mask as he walks past a McDonald’s fast food restaurant in 2020.
Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images
Matthew Kang is the Lead Editor of Eater LA. He has covered dining, restaurants, food culture, and nightlife in Los Angeles since 2008. He's the host of K-Town, a YouTube series covering Korean food in America, and has been featured in Netflix's Street Food show.

Due to the rise in Southern California’s Consumer Price Index, the city of Los Angeles will increase its minimum wage from $15 to $16.04 beginning on July 1, reports ABC 7. The last time the city mandated a minimum wage increase was in 2015, when it increased it to $15 by 2020, and the law mandated that increases every year would be based on the CPI.

According to Mayor Eric Garcetti, this will affect more than 600,000 LA residents, including many restaurant, bar, and nightlife workers. Last October, the city of West Hollywood proposed a $17.64 minimum wage for hotel employees and $15.50 or $15 for workers in other businesses (the higher wage for any business more than 50 employees). Those West Hollywood minimum wages will increase to $16.50 and $16, respectively, based on the size of the business, and up another $1 for each rate beginning in 2023.

In 2015, LA restaurant owners expressed concern over the mandated wage increase to $15, but given the shortage of workers across the hospitality industry, most businesses find themselves having to offer much more than the minimum.

Ardor gets a rave review from Time Out

Ardor, the swanky restaurant inside the Edition West Hollywood, gets a rare five star review from Time Out food and drink editor Patricia Kelly Yeo, who says the cuisine is flawless and the plant-filled interior makes it one of the “best new LA fine dining experiences.” The praise is aplenty: “The food, however, upstages all else at Ardor—even the fact you might spot a celebrity or two at an adjoining table. From appetizers to dessert, Fraser’s hyperlocal, vegetarian-friendly cuisine is sharpened to a precise point of culinary perfection.”

A bunny that hates lettuce

The LA Times thought it necessary to cover an eating contest between a 20 pound bunny and a competitive TikTok eater, all part of a publicity stunt hosted by Glendale salad restaurant Chop Stop. Apparently the bunny didn’t care for any of the lettuce and the competition wasn’t really close, as TikToker Raina Huang ate more than three pounds of salad.

Potentially new ownership for Knott’s Berry Farm

Longtime Buena Park theme park Knott’s Berry Farm could have new ownership after SeaWorld Entertainment offered $3.4 billion on February 1 for Knotts’ parent company Cedar Fair, reports the OC Register. Cedar Fair owns the famous Cedar Point roller coaster theme park in Ohio, as well as Great America in Northern California.

HiHo’s new shakes

Never one to neglect reminding its customers that it’s going the extra mile, HiHo Cheeseburger is now making their ice cream shakes from scratch, with two base flavors of vanilla and chocolate, with strawberry sauce and cookies and cream as flavoring options.

Mend those clothes (and hearts) from Whitebark Workwear

On Valentine’s Day, February 14, Whitebark Workwear is hosting a clothes mending session and serving pizza from chef Jack Goode. The restaurant clothing company will mend holes, reinforce buttons, and hem pants for a modest price of $15, which includes pizza.