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Olvera Street’s Oldest Mexican Restaurant Ordered to Pay $242K in Back Rent or Leave

Plus, West Hollywood hosts a public cannabis party, a Macao-style cafe opens in SGV, and more

La Golondrina Cafe on Olvera Street
Outside La Golondrina Cafe on Olvera Street in Los Angeles.
Wonho Frank Lee
Mona Holmes is a reporter for Eater Los Angeles and a regular contributor to KCRW radio. She has covered restaurants, dining, and food culture since 2016. In 2022, the James Beard Foundation nominated her for a Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award.

The future of the historic restaurant La Golondrina remains in jeopardy. As of Thursday, the city commission that oversees Olvera Street — El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument — ordered the owners to pay over $242,000 in back rent and fees in the next 30 days or vacate the property.

Consuelo Castillo de Bonzo opened La Golondrina in 1930 but her granddaughter Vivien Bonzo closed the business in March 2020. The Los Angeles Times reports mother and son team Bertha and David Gomez took over the restaurant in 2021. The Times story outlines a number of issues throughout the process.

Bonzo transferred the business to the Gomez family, who also has a long history on Olvera Street. The Gomezes and Bonzo claimed the city stalled the ownership transfer on more than one occasion, experienced a labor dispute, and saw a major plumbing problem that the city said it was not responsible for. The building that houses La Golondrina was built in 1857.

West Hollywood to host first public cannabis consumption party

West Hollywood will host a public cannabis party on October 31. It’s called the Harvest Haunt and will take over a block at the annual West Hollywood Halloween Carnival while showcasing over 50 cannabis brands, public consumption, music, a costume contest, and a drag show. It’s possible thanks to a cannabis special event license. More details are here.

Taste of Pasadena this Friday

This Friday, the first Taste of Pasadena will take place at the Pasadena Convention Center. It’s a good chance to try some notable Pasadena restaurants like Lunasia, Celestino, the Raymond 1886, and Pez Cantina. Get there anytime between 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. General ticket prices are $85 or $100 at the door. For more details, visit here.

Macao-Portuguese in the SGV

Those searching for Hong Kong and Macao flavors can find chicken curry, pork chop bun, and beef fried rice noodles in the barely month-old Macao Cafe on San Gabriel near Las Tunas. Shoutout to comedian/actor Jimmy O. Yang’s father Richard O. Yang for shining a light on the opening.

French tacos

Los Angeles Times columnist Gustavo Arellano visited Westwood’s French Way and tried what owner Guillaume Condé calls the French fold. Only blocks away from UCLA, it’s got the following inside a flour tortilla: shawarma, chicken fingers, bacon, French fries, Emmental cheese, and barbecue sauce.