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A Duo of Heartbreaking Pandemic Closures Are Coming Back From the Brink

Plus, a restaurant boycott in Highland Park, a hearth-centric dinner in Beverly Hills, and more

Hawaiian butterfish at Lukshon in Culver City.
Hawaiian butterfish at Lukshon in Culver City.
Cathy Chaplin is a senior editor at Eater LA, a James Beard Award–nominated journalist, and the author of Food Lovers’ Guide to Los Angeles.

A duo of restaurants that closed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic are finally reopening. Elf, the trailblazing Echo Park vegetarian restaurant, is up and running again Thursday through Sunday from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Scott Zwiezen of Dune is still there, overseeing the restaurant he founded with bandmates back in 2006. Elf’s updated menu veers slightly from the restaurant’s vegetarian and Lebanese roots, and includes toast topped with a smoked trout brandade and raclette, creamy polenta with aged cheddar, and house-made gnocchi. (The full menu is below.)

On the opposite side of town, chef Sang Yoon is teasing the relaunch of Lukshon slated for later this year with “a few tweaks and some evolution.” The chef writes: “Lukshon was a very personal restaurant to me and the cooking was a window into my deepest thoughts for better or worse.” Yoon opened the restaurant in 2011 in Culver City. The exact timing for the reopening is yet to be determined as the chef is also opening Helms Bakery this year.

The menu at Elf 2.0.

Bombshell report reveals that restaurant workers help pay lobbying efforts to keep their wages low

The New York Times takes a look at how the National Restaurant Association uses mandatory food-safety classes to fund its lobbying efforts against minimum wage increases. More than 3.6 million workers have taken the $15 SafeServ training and, in turn, provided about $25 million in revenue to the restaurant industry’s lobbying arm since 2010.

Get a taste of chef Christopher Kostow’s cooking in Beverly Hills

For those feeling flush and fancy, the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills has an event for you. On January 28 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., chef Christopher Kostow — of the three Michelin-starred Restaurant at Meadowood and Charter Oak Restaurant in Napa Valley — is preparing a hearth-centric dinner. The family-style menu, which features wines from the Mascot, is priced at $225 per person. Reservations are available here.

Disneyland goes all out for Lunar New Year and 100th anniversary

In honor of the Lunar New Year and Disneyland Resort’s 100th anniversary, Disneyland and California Adventure are offering a bunch of limited-time specialty foods and beverages. Lunar New Year specials include quesabirria egg rolls, bok choy and mushroom dumplings, and more (available from January 20 to February 15), while anniversary treats include an iced-out churro and plenty of other over-the-top desserts (begins on January 27).

A Highland Park restaurant is at the center of a gentrification-fueled boycott

The LA Tenants Union (Northeast Local Chapter) is calling for a boycott of Gloria’s Cuisine in Highland Park. The group of community activists held a demonstration outside the restaurant on Sunday, January 15. They claim that the restaurant’s owner, Marco Rodriguez, who also owns the building at 231 N. Avenue 50, is evicting the neighboring tenant, Alicia Feria of Ojo de Agua, in order to expand the restaurant’s footprint. The restaurant, for its part, released a statement saying it is offering to assist Feria in relocating her business.

Elf Cafe

2135 Sunset Boulevard, , CA 90026 (213) 484-6829 Visit Website


3239 Helms Avenue, , CA 90232 (310) 202-6808 Visit Website