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Studio City Gastropub Comes to the Choco Taco Rescue

Plus, Pasadena won’t enforce indoor masking, Nate‘n Al’s reopens for indoor dining, and more

A choco taco frozen dessert from Klondike.
Klondike’s Choco Taco.

Fans of Klondike’s iconic Choco Taco cried vanilla ice cream-flavored tears this week as the brand announced it would be discontinuing the frozen dessert, known for its chocolate, nut-dipped cone shell, and taco-like shape, after nearly 40 years of production.

Happily, Jeff Strauss of Oy Bar at the Bar at Oyster House has stepped up to give Angelenos their fix. For the next two weeks, the Studio City cocktail and bar-food destination will be bringing back its own spin on the choco taco. “Two weeks ago, we just thought we were doing a tribute to our youth, to one of the greatest, frozen liquor-store desserts of all time…Now this,” says Strauss of the dessert.

Other Los Angeles restaurants, like Agnes in Pasadena, have previously dabbled in riffing on the ultimate ice cream truck nostalgia piece. Agnes elevated its take using s’mores as inspiration: its version featured a torched marshmallow topping, peanuts, and chocolate.

No masks in Pasadena

As an indoor mask mandate seems relatively certain to return to Los Angeles County, Pasadena joins Beverly Hills in eschewing indoor masking at the likes of restaurants, bars, and shops. In an Instagram post yesterday, the city of Pasadena stated, “Jurisdictional COVID-19 confirmed case rates have declined for about 10 days, and local hospitalization metrics have not continued to increase during that time. With input from healthcare provider partners, the city of Pasadena health officer will not be issuing a general indoor mask mandate at this time.” Read the statement here.

Indoor dining returns at Nate‘n Al’s

Beloved Beverly Hills deli Nate‘n Al’s will be reopening for indoor dining today. Earlier this year, owners Shelli and Irving Azoff — who bought the restaurant in 2019 — joined forces with local nightlife gurus H.Wood Group to operate the iconic restaurant. A spruced-up interior, which will be revealed today, was part of their strategic vision for the 77-year-old restaurant.

Nate N’ Al Delicatessen signage in the sunlight.
Exterior signage at Nate ’n Al’s.
Nate ‘n Al Delicatessen [official photo]

A scavenger hunt to support Black-owned businesses

Prosperity Market, a mobile farmers market spotlighting Black farmers, food producers, and chefs, will be hosting its second annual Black Business Scavenger Hunt this August in honor of Black Business Month.

All clues for the scavenger hunt will be posted on Prosperity Market’s website for the entire month, as well as regularly shared via Instagram, e-newsletter, and text. Participants can earn points by visiting said locations, checking in and taking a photo with a QR code, and sharing on Instagram (or via email, for those without social media). The nearly month-long event will spotlight 50-plus local Black-owned businesses across entertainment, fashion, dining, and more — including the likes of Post & Beam, Alta Adams, and Hotville Chicken.

Extra points can be earned by making a purchase at each location, attending special events throughout the month, or snapping photos of Nipsey Hussle murals. Participants with the most points at the end of the month will win special prizes to be revealed at Prosperity Market’s farmers market on August 27.

A celebration of Prune

Acclaimed chef and author Gabrielle Hamilton and her New York restaurant Prune will be celebrated at Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne’s Portuguese-inspired restaurant at the Downtown LA Proper, Caldo Verde, on August 10. The event will feature a conversation between Hamilton and journalist Jeff Gordinier, as well as a special a la carte menu featuring signature dishes from the Prune cookbook (deep-fried shrimp toasts, razor clams with smoked paprika butter). Dinner reservations can be made here; RSVP to the conversation only here.

Ax-throwing comes to El Segundo

Toddrickallen brings news of a new El Segundo outpost of Sauced BBQ & Spirits, which will be making its way into the former Salt Creek Grille location in the Plaza El Segundo. It will offer both smoked meats and ax-throwing, joining Mo’s House of Axe in Koreatown as a local option for people who want to combine alcohol with a side of weapon-throwing.