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Feature

Jakob Layman
August 4, 2020
LA Restaurant Update: New Openings, Goodbye To Bäco Mercat, And, Uh, Tidbits
LA restaurant news for the week of August 3rd.
Written by

If you want to know everything that’s happening with LA’s restaurants and bars right now, then congrats - you’ve come to the right place. Each week, we’ll be using this page to keep track of the latest restaurant and bar openings, reopenings, closings, takeout specials, and other exciting or noteworthy updates around the city.

For our full list of more than 1200 restaurants offering delivery and takeout, organized by neighborhood, check our LA Neighborhood Takeout And Delivery Directory. And if you’re looking to get outside, we’ve also got constantly updated guides to our favorite patios in the city, and new and unique outdoor dining options.

And as always, if you have any tips, questions, or just want to chat, send us an email at losangeles@theinfatuation.com.

All

Link:

The Ultimate LA Delivery & Takeout Guide

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WEEK OF AUGUST 3RD

  • Closings: Sadly, a big week for closings. We’re currently pouring one out for Josef Centeno’s Bäco Mercat - read one Infatuation editor’s heartfelt farewell to her favorite restaurant - Ktown institution Dong Il Jang, landmark Mexican restaurant Broken Spanish, and both Simmzy’s Venice Beach and Burbank locations.

  • Openings: On a slightly cheerier note, please welcome to the world: Olia and Mila, a French-Mediterranean restaurant and cocktail bar (respectively) located in the recently opened Glenmark Hotel, and Potato Chips Deli’s latest outpost, in Culver City.

  • Reopenings: And on a much cheerier note, welcome back to the world, Mabel’s Gourmet Pralines! The Long Beach dessert company was forced to shut down in June after being vandalized, but is now back, better than ever, and serving seafood gumbo, too.

  • Spin-Offs? Dialogue returns on Thursday, but don’t expect the 21-course tasting menu they’ve served in the past - rebranded as, uh, Tidbits, the Santa Monica space will now function as a 30-seat outdoor patio serving wine and small plates.

  • Summer Best Of’s: This week, we published two brand-new, completely incontrovertible guides - one to The Best Ice Cream In Los Angeles, and the other to LA’s Best New Burgers. Are we allowed to report on our own work here? You tell us (we already published it).

  • Graceful Exits: Chef Wes Avila, one of the founders of Guerrilla Tacos, announced that he would be stepping away from the Arts District cart-turned-brick-and-mortar restaurant in an Instagram post on Monday.

AND THIS WEEK IN... TWEETS WE LIKE


WEEK OF JULY 27TH

  • Goodbye, Trois Mec: Ludo Lefebvre’s Michelin-starred tasting menu spot announced that they would be closing their doors permanently - a devastating blow to anyone who enjoys their food prix-fixed and their experimental French restaurants hidden behind facades of old pizzerias. But we must remain resolute! Here’s a list of 5 other excellent tasting menus to fill that Trois Mec-sized whole in your heart.

  • And Jun Won, Too: Jun Won, a legendary spot in Ktown - and one of our favorite places for bossam - announced that after 26 years, they will also be shutting their doors. They’ll be open for takeout the rest of the week, call (213) 383-8855 or order via AskMama.com.

  • Openings: This week on openings, we’ve got Just What I Kneaded, a brand-new vegan bakery in Frogtown, sushi restaurant Ootoro’s first Little Tokyo outpost, and DTLA Pizza, a takeout and delivery spot from the chef at Faith & Flower offering pizzas, burgers, and more (lots of vegan option, too). Oh, and Neighborhood BBQ, a premium backyard BBQ spot that’s only open on Saturdays - orders can be placed Monday-Wednesday - and doesn’t seem to have an address? Mysterious and meaty.

  • It’s A Virtual Beer School! LA Beer Hop, a beer and brewery tour company announced that they’re moving online. For eight weeks, you’ll be taught by two Certified Cicerones (oooh) about everything from brewing processes to craft beer trends. Sign up here.

  • A Bar Program For Tacos Tu Madre: The Mexican restaurant’s Weho location is launching their first-ever bar program, so expect plenty of horchatas made with sake and rum and pineapple negronis. All cocktails can either be ordered for takeout and delivery, or enjoyed/chugged on their outdoor patio.

  • Delivery Tacos From Broken Spanish: Ray Garcia, the chef behind Broken Spanish and the late, great B.S. Taqueria, just announced his latest project - Mila, a new delivery-only taqueria. The “ghost kitchen” will operate out of his Broken Spanish space, and plans on serving tacos with carnitas, squash, and more. Keep an eye out for their opening.

  • Floating Boat Cinema: Cue the T-Pain and Lonely Island, because LA’s newest movie-going activity is on a boat. Called “Floating Boat Cinema,” you and up to seven friends can enjoy a mix of classic movies and new releases while floating along on a private mini boat. It sets sail on September 2nd, and while the location is TBD, you can pre-register for tickets here.

This Week In… Iced Coffee Extortion

You might call it a shameless plug, or straight-up extortion, but over the weekend, we posted this hot BTS photo of how we chose the spots for our LA’s Best Iced Coffees And Cold Brews guide. And for 1,000 RTS (and/or legal U.S. tender) we’ll release the name of [REDACTED]. Our DMs are open.


WEEK OF JULY 20TH

  • An Orbit-uary: The Satellite announced that they will be shutting their doors - permanently. The owners of the Silver Lake bar/club/place where you once saw two of your exes on the same night and they both ignored you said that they plan to shift away from the venue’s long history as a live music spot (remember Spaceland?) by transforming it into a restaurant.

  • Openings: Go Get Em Tiger, the small-batch mega-chain, opened their tenth coffee shop in West Hollywood on Sunday, and Teddy’s Red Tacos, the incredible bastion of birria, just opened their fifth location - a brick-and-mortar spot in East LA. Not to be outdone, Katsu Sando, the popular Smorgasburg sandwich spot, opens their Japanese convenience inspired restaurant on Friday in Chinatown.

  • Reopenings: Tartine Sycamore is back! The Bay Area bakery’s Hollywood location returned last week for takeout and delivery service. Do with that information what you will, but just don’t sleep on the bacon and chive scones.

  • Duck, Duck, (Force-Fed) Goose: In a court case last week, U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson ruled that the sale of foie gras is no longer illegal in California - so long as the seller is located outside of state lines and transports the goods using a third-party delivery service. However, foie gras still can’t legally be resold, which means you still can’t order it in a restaurant. California’s ban on the production and sale of foie gras originally went into effect in 2012.

  • Plate Lunches For Power: LA’s latest food-raiser (is this a term yet?) is “Plate Lunch For Power: Asian American Food Community For Black Lives.” And the lineup is absolutely massive - meals will be donated from restaurants like Pine And Crane, Lasa, Luv2Eat, Needle, and Burmese, Please!, and all proceeds will go towards The Okra Project and Lunch on Me. Pre-order your meal from Tuesday, July 21st at 10am to Saturday, July 25th.

  • Merch Drop: On this week’s merch drop, we’ve got this brand-new rainbow tee from Eightfold Coffee. Yes, we’ve already bought it, and no, we haven’t filed our taxes yet!

  • (Temporary) Closings: Both Yapa and Yang’s Kitchen announced that they will be closing their doors for the time being. We know they say that distance makes the heart grow fonder - but don’t be gone for too long, OK?

And In Banana Pudding News…

The results are in, and the bad guy of the week is… warm banana pudding?

Some context: It was just another normal Monday when NYC “food content creator” @DomNTheCity decided that it was time to break the internet. Like Morpheus to Neo, she outstretched both of her hands (a.k.a. posted a Twitter poll) and presented the internet with a crucial choice: Banana pudding, hot or cold?

The answers came in fast and furious, and naturally, Twitter lost its collective mind.

Anyway, if you need us, we’ll be in the corner, eating this banana pudding from Hotville Chicken at whatever temperature they give us it.

WEEK OF JULY 13TH

  • Sqirl Drama: It was the jam news heard ’round the world. This weekend, scientist and writer Joe Rosenthal took to Instagram to post a very long string of stories alleging Sqirl had created a toxic culture in the workplace - mold culture, that is. In the since-expired Insta Story, multiple employees of the Virgil Village cafe came forward with stories detailing everything from scraping mold from jam buckets to straight-up employee discrimination. Sqirl founder Jessica Koslow responded to the former in a statement, saying that her restaurant - as well as a secondary kitchen and catering kitchen - all hold “A” ratings from the LA Dept. of Health, and explaining that “because [our] jam is low in sugar and we don’t use chemicals or preservatives, there were occasional instances where mold would develop on the surface.” She also added that Sqirl will now throw away any jam that grows mold, and are submitting samples of their jam to an independent laboratory “to ensure its safety and longevity.”

  • Things Are Changing… Kind Of: On Monday, as COVID cases continue to surge, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a statewide ban on indoor dining - and ordered all bars to close, too. What does that mean for LA? Well… kind of nothing. Under these “new” statewide restrictions, restaurants will still be permitted to stay open for outdoor dining and takeout (with the same applying to bars/breweries serving food) - a.k.a., what we’ve been doing for like, two weeks now.

  • Openings: Mírame, a contemporary Mexican spot in Beverly Hills, opens their doors this week (even though they were technically supposed to open last week). Other new arrivals include N Cafe, a Japanese American cafe in Gardena that’s headed by the chef behind the now-closed Chaya Brasserie, Tamales Elena Y Antojitos, “LA’s first Afro-Mexican restaurant,” in Bell Gardens, and a third location for Madre, one of our favorite Oaxacan restaurants, on Fairfax.

  • Reopenings: One of our favorite wine bars (and subject of the Best Photo We’ve Ever Taken), Oriel has reopened for limited patio seating. Check their Instagram for all the latest updates.

  • Important Cookie News: Fleurs et sel will be selling grab bags and mixed boxes of their incredible cookies this Wednesday (7/15) and Friday (7/17). Flavors include rainbow funfetti birthday cake, marshmallow and graham cracker s’mores, and caramelized butter pecan, among others. Comment on their Instagram post to make a reservation, Venmo/Zelle is strongly preferred.

  • Pearl River Deli: This weekend, Pearl River Deli, a.k.a. “The Prince of Poultry,” a.k.a. “The Bad Boy of Birds,” is bringing back their signature Hainanese chicken plates for a limited run. To-go orders can be made in advance by calling (626) 688-9507.

  • Adjustments: Eszett is taking a brief pause from operations as they try to figure out their next move. And All Day Baby has announced they’re changing their hours of operation, shifting to Weds-Sun, 9am-3pm.

  • Closings: Do all good things have to come to an end? Because this really freaking blows. We had to say goodbye to Here’s Looking At You, Little Bar, Villa Blanca, and Wexler’s Palm Springs location.

And now... THE INTERNET WEIGHS IN ON SQIRL:

WEEK OF JULY 6TH

  • Uber Bought Postmates: Holy conglomerate hell, Batman! While Uber’s core ride-hailing operation continues to struggle during the pandemic, they’ve just acquired Postmates for a measly $2.65 billion (approximately the same price as getting Sugarfish delivered). Although Uber will combine Postmates with their own food-delivery division, Uber Eats, the latter will continue to operate under the same name, which is great news for anyone who bought some Postmates swag back in 2015.

  • Openings: South LA Ethiopian spot Azla Vegan has opened a second outpost in Leimert Park; Long Beach is now home to the first U.S. location of Japanese chain Champion’s Curry (a second is set to open in Little Tokyo in mid-July); Dun Huang brought their northwestern Chinese noodles from New York City to Westwood; and Caravan Swim Club just opened up this past week at the Hotel June in Playa del Rey. Is that everything? That should be everything.

  • New Outdoor Seating Options: Sun Nong Dan, Tree of Wishes, John O’Groats, Otafuku Noodle House, Pann’s Diner, and the legendary Casa Vega are all back this week with brand-new patio and outdoor dining options. For a full list of outdoor dining spots, check out our guide to LA Restaurants Where You Can Eat Outside Today.

  • Blackout Day 2020: Tuesday, July 7th is #BlackoutDay2020, a day in which Black Americans plan to either shop exclusively at Black-owned businesses, or spend no money at all. The objective here is to highlight the community’s immense spending power in this country - Nielsen estimates over $1 trillion were spent on consumer goods in 2018. If you’re choosing to use your dollars today, we’ve put together a list of 300+ Black-owned restaurants in LA.

  • Honey’s Kettle Expands: On Monday, Culver City fried chicken joint Honey’s Kettle expanded their delivery range with the opening of the first Honey Drop Kitchen, which delivers to DTLA, USC, Ktown, Inglewood, and cities in between. A second Hollywood outpost is set to open later this summer.

  • Jinya Turns 10: Joining the ranks of JiffPom and your little cousin with more Instagram followers than you, Jinya Ramen is turning ten years old next week. And to celebrate, on July 15th, not only are they bringing back the tonkotsu ramen from the original Jinya in Tokyo, they’re offering three of their best-selling bowls (spicy chicken, creamy vegan, and tonkotsu black) for just one Alexander Hamilton ($10). Perfect timing on so many layers.

  • Permanent Closures: Hopefully we’ll be able to un-report this at some point in time, but the vegan Creole restaurant Krimsey’s Modern Cajun and Chinatown’s historic Plum Tree Inn have both closed permanently.

this isn’t restaurant news, but it’s still IMPORTANT:

In a tribute to Ennio Morricone, Yo-Yo Ma posted this video of him playing the Love Theme from Cinema Paradiso. The iconic Italian film composer, who worked with Quentin Tarantino, John Carpenter, Sergio Leone, and Pier Paolo Pasolini (among many, many others) died Monday at the age of 91.

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