Los Angeles County has a diversified and dynamic food culture, and there is always something new to eat every day. Many restaurants in the region belong to the immigrant communities who moved here from other parts of the world and they cook food to please their populaces. This has resulted in genre-bending formats and cuisines that have given rise to some of the country's top omakase restaurants, fine-dining establishments, and much more. All of this came to a standstill two years ago when Covid-19 hit the world, and the restaurant industry was one of the most affected, if not the most affected, for obvious reasons.
The County of Los Angeles imposed rules, regulations, and restrictions on restaurants in response to the deadly virus, and it has been more of the same for the last two years. Now, it appears that restaurant owners' patience is wearing thin, as many of them have begun to protest against the county because their livelihoods rely on their restaurants. In this article, we will talk about three of those Los Angeles County restaurants that have taken it upon themselves to challenge the restrictions of the County of Los Angeles.
Novo Cafe is a restaurant located in Westlake Village, California. They are an Italian restaurant that serves authentic regional Italian food prepared with fresh, high-quality ingredients. As per the restaurant's official Website, the lunch and dinner menus include hand-crafted pasta, hand-crafted pizzas, Panini, organic salads, a variety of appetizers, and delectable entrees. In the open kitchen, you might be able to see one of the chefs creating ravioli or other fresh pasta.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles County Public Health Inspectors suspended the restaurant's public health permit in February after discovering violations of the Public Health's laws. In a statement to NBC4 News, Massimo Forti, co-owner of the restaurant, said that he considered wearing a mask as a "sign of submission".
According to Los Angeles County officials, Novo Cafe had been fined $86,000 for several penalties as of early November, and none of those penalties had been paid.
Cronies Sports Grill
Cronies Sports Grill is located in Agoura Hills, California. It is a decent local sports bar and eatery that has been struggling with the business after the pandemic because of lockdowns and strict regulations by county officials. Between December and July, it received more than 80 citations for violating COVID-19 orders, according to Los Angeles County records.
The restaurant owner, Dave Foldes, said in a statement to Acord newspaper,
"It’s not a political thing; it’s a right or wrong thing. It’s a common-sense thing, Let us keep our business open. Let us keep our livelihood.".
In a statement to Ventura County Star, Folds also said,
"When they made the mandate of no outdoor dining with no help like PPP money coming in or anything like that there's no way we could survive that, I financed my home for this business, and I cannot afford to lose this,"
After being fined $500 per day by Los Angeles County Public Health officials, the restaurant was ordered to close for 7 days, which the owner did not comply with.
Bread And Barley
Bread and Barley is located in Covina, CA. The establishment defines itself as a Craft Beer Gastro Pub. They specialize in Craft Beer from both local and international breweries. The meal is prepared in an American style with a gourmet twist. They call themselves a scratch kitchen and take pride in preparing all of their sauces and dressings in-house.
In a viral video uploaded on Instagram in December 2020, Restaurant owner Carlos Roman was seen as highly agitated as health inspectors visited the restaurant. As per a report by Insider, Roman blocked Health inspectors' car with his truck.
"I'm desperate, Who's gonna pay my cook's rent?" Roman asked the Police Officer in the viral video.
On the advice of his attorney, restaurant owner Carlos Roman later chose to back off since he was losing money and receiving citations from county officials.