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Los Angeles Could Start Forcing Businesses to Accept Cash Again

Plus, food changes at Descanso Gardens, a new name to know in Beverly Hills, and more

A customer paying cash at a fruit vendor.
Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Los Angeles City Council member Heather Hutt (10th District) has introduced a motion that would ban cashless restaurants, bars, and other businesses within the city of Los Angeles, reports the Los Angeles Times. Should the motion pass, businesses would be required to keep cash on hand for change and to accept coins and bills from any customer wishing to use them. LA is far from alone in considering the move, as cashless bans are already in place in New York City, Philadelphia, and elsewhere. Opponents of cashless businesses say they are exclusionary to underbanked communities, which historically affects people of color, the working poor, and the elderly.

It’s unclear at this early stage how the city of Los Angeles would enforce cash acceptance at restaurants, or what penalties may be levied for those who do not comply. In New York, ice cream company Van Leeuwen was hit with a fine north of $33,000 for repeatedly failing to accept cash from customers. Los Angeles has many cashless hospitality businesses, including some who say that being forced to keep cash on hand — and to have employees interact with lots of cash throughout the day — is a safety and liability concern.

Lou’Mar to Beverly Hills

The Marlou folks (specifically chefs Marcos Spaziani of Below Deck and Louis Huh) are back, following a split with a business partner in Downtown. Now the pair is on track to open a new project upstairs at Nerano under the name Lou’Mar, with the first night of service at the reservation-only restaurant coming in about a month.

Chef dinners in the desert

Chef Paco Moran of La Cha Cha Chá and Loreto is heading east this weekend to cook at King’s Highway inside the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs. Moran is part of the hotel’s ongoing Taste Buds guest chef series and will be cooking carnitas, leche de tigre ceviche, and more from August 25 to August 27.

An OC meal for a good cause

A bunch of big-deal Orange County chefs are getting together on Wednesday, September 6 for a charity event to benefit recovery efforts on Maui. The intimate $250 dinner will happen at the Cream Cafe in Seal Beach and feature dishes from Amar Santana, Rainer Schwarz, Dean Kim, and many more.

Coffee and more at the garden

Descanso Gardens is going more local with its food offerings, having moved on from the Patina group to join forces with Sodexo Live. That means personal-to-LA touches like the arrival of a Jones Coffee Roasters truck for daily coffee drinks and a market and cafe that will offer local products like Magpies soft serve ice cream. Ticketed entry into the gardens is not required to check out the market or the coffee truck.

A man in sunglasses and jeans stands in front of a teal coffee truck on a cloudy day.
The new Jones Coffee Roasters truck.
Descanso Gardens