October 25, 1992 |
Even in hard times, people go out to eat. They just spend less. Last week Calendar surveyed Southern California's changing restaurant landscape and found that everybody is playing it safe. But despite the economy, restaurateurs are still optimistic. According to the California Restaurant Assn., restaurants are opening at a record pace--19,339 food sales and use permits were granted in Los Angeles County last year--up from 19,193 in 1990 and 19,131 in 1989.
April 5, 1990 |
In health-conscious Orange County, a low-calorie menu would seem like a sure-fire winner. To capitalize on the movement, Carl's Jr. Restaurants launched its "lite menu" this week by promoting items already on its menu as healthy alternatives to the traditional burger, fries and milkshake. Until recently, fast food almost always meant fattening food. Now, El Pollo Loco places little hearts on its menu board to designate items that meet American Heart Assn.
March 19, 1990 |
Looking for love in all the wrong places? No problem. A guidebook titled "The Best Places to Kiss in Los Angeles" might be just the romantic compass you need. Likewise, if you are trying to find a quicker way to cut through Southern California's traffic or a restaurant serving peppery calamari, there is a growing stack of handbooks providing advice.
March 31, 1993 |
Weighed down by debt, the operator of the Reuben's, Coco's and El Torito restaurant chains said Tuesday that it will sell more than a fourth of its 587 restaurants to trim costs and position itself for future growth. Most of the unwanted restaurants are outside of Restaurant Enterprises Group's stronghold in the western United States, REG President Norm Habermann said.
January 7, 1992 |
For 10 years, Martha's Cafe had this part of the Mojave Desert almost all to itself. It stands 25 miles east of Barstow on what was California 91, once the main Los Angeles-to-Las Vegas road, and it was a popular stop for motorists. Then, in 1962, Interstate 15 was opened. California 91 was virtually abandoned. Whole stretches of it just disappeared. "The new freeway robbed me of my highway trade," sighed 86-year-old Martha Linden, who stands a lively 5 feet 2 inches and weighs 185 pounds.
December 24, 1989 |
Inflation was perking along at better than 11%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average opened 1980 at under 840, and wine lovers were buying First Growth Bordeaux for less than $20 a bottle. The best California Chardonnays were $8; the best Cabernets were $7.50. Today, the Dow is above 2,600 and you can't get a glass of a First Growth Bordeaux for less than ten bucks. In the late 1970s, Chenin Blanc and Riesling still sold rather well.
March 7, 1997 |
Koo Koo Roo Inc. wants to beef up its eclectic mix of chicken restaurants, coffee bars and ceramics studios. The small but rapidly growing chain said Thursday that it agreed to pay $11.5 million for 14 outlets owned by Hamburger Hamlet Restaurants Inc., which is in bankruptcy reorganization.
October 24, 1997 |
Larry Mindel knew that hard work, passion and patience would be the keys to success when he opened his first full-service Il Fornaio restaurant 10 years ago. But he knew he would also need something more--some quality that would set him apart from the competition. "I didn't sit down and develop a formula," he said. "I had been in the restaurant business for many years, and I knew the requirements--although I was short on the patience at the beginning."
June 3, 2009 |
Ricardo Zarate remembers reading a 2004 article in the Economist magazine predicting that Peruvian cuisine was the Next Big Thing. A Peruvian who had studied at a culinary college in Peru, then at Westminster Culinary College in England, he was cooking in a Japanese restaurant in London. The moment he read the article, he knew it was right: Peruvian was the next big thing, and he wanted, desperately, to cook Peruvian in his own restaurant. He started dreaming and moved to L.A. in 2007.