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August 20, 2010 | By Sharon Bernstein, Los Angeles Times
With consumers and businesses keeping a lid on expenses, more and more small and mid-size restaurants are throwing in their dish towels and closing up shop. Southern California lost nearly a thousand more restaurants than it gained during the 12 months that ended in March, representing a net 2% drop that was twice the national average, according to the New York research firm NPD Group. Nearly all the closings were among independently owned restaurants: small, family businesses that just couldn't hold on as customers held back.
December 29, 2010 | By Sharon Bernstein, Los Angeles Times
The bubbly may sparkle on New Year's Eve at the nation's restaurants, but business itself is expected to be essentially flat ? despite signs the economy is improving. Nationwide, restaurants are expecting a 1% drop in patrons Dec. 31 compared to last year. That's about the same amount of decline in business for all of 2010, according to the NPD Group. Todd Johnson, general manager of Lawry's the Prime Rib in Beverly Hills, said his restaurant is offering patrons a champagne toast at midnight, but no extravagant party.
February 12, 2012
If you find Yelp and Urbanspoon - let alone Foodspotting - to be too much work when you're searching for great restaurants in a new town, try a robot. Name: Alfred Available for: Android, iPhone, iPad What it does: This app analyzes your likes and recommends restaurants based on your previous favorites. Cost: Free What's hot: You don't have to spend ages in its initial quiz for Alfred to figure out what you like. ("Hi. I'm Alfred!
October 15, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Sick of being served a meal at your favorite restaurant against a backdrop of wailing phones, pulsating texts and gabby fellow diners? So are most other patrons. On average, 61% of American diners surveyed say it's inappropriate for restaurant customers to text, email, tweet or talk on their mobile phones while eating out, according to a new report from Zagat . That's down slightly from the last two years, when 63% of customers surveyed said phone use was a concern. Patrons are the least lenient in Connecticut, where 71% deemed such phone use to be a faux pas, according to the survey.
May 1, 2013
Jonathan Gold, the Los Angeles Times' Pulitzer Prize-winning restaurant critic and self-proclaimed “belly of Los Angeles,” is selecting his 101 favorite restaurants for a special section to be published in The Times on May 23. And if you're lucky, you could get an advance peek and a sampling from some of those hot spots. On May 21, The Times and Gold are hosting Bite Nite, an intimate tasting event with more than 20 selected restaurants. A limited number of tickets are available, and they will be sold only to Times members, starting May 8. Lunchtime with Mr. Gold The featured restaurants cover the rich variety of food in Los Angeles and include Alma, Chichen Itza, Corazon y Miel, Cut, Guelaguetza, Hart & Hunter, Jitlada, Ink, La Casita Mexicana, Lucques, Meals by Genet, Mozza, Sqirl and  more.
October 3, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Fourteen years after he became the face of the “Subway diet,” keeping the weight off still isn't easy for Jared Fogle. The Indianapolis resident spends 200 days a year on the road. He rarely stays in a city for more than 24 hours. He's used to delayed planes, crazy hours and tempting food court offerings. “It's brutal,” said Fogle, who was recently in Los Angeles to support Subway's collaboration with the new Disney film “Frankenweenie.” But the 34-year-old, who helped Subway become one of the first national restaurant chains to successfully market healthfulness, makes do. He exercises “fairly regularly” but is far from a fitness buff, he said.
July 18, 2007 | By Russ Parsons, Times Staff Writer
WHEN chef Christopher Blobaum was opening Wilshire restaurant in Santa Monica, he wanted to do the right thing, both culinarily and environmentally. He buys much of the restaurant's produce at local farmers markets and sources meat and fish carefully. He uses solar-heated water for dishwashing and low-output fluorescent lighting. The deck out back is made from recycled lumber (and is built in a way that preserves the property's existing mature trees). Tables are set with woven vinyl Chilewich placemats that can be rinsed and reused instead of white linen tablecloths that need to be washed and bleached.
January 20, 2011 | By S. Irene Virbila, Los Angeles Times Restaurant Critic
It's Sunday night. You can go out for Chinese, order in or ? radical idea ? cook. Some of you might get lucky and have a friend invite you over for homemade Korean barbecue or a paella. Whatever the plan, Sunday is for relaxing, for sneaking in a last dose of pleasure before the Monday-to-Friday blues start up all over again. That's why they call it "Sunday supper" as opposed to the more formal "Sunday dinner. " Lately, some of L.A.'s best restaurants have been tapping into that desire for something simple and delicious on Sunday night by offering prix-fixe suppers.
November 17, 2011 | By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
Instead of battling supermarket crowds and cleaning gravy-drenched kitchens, 30 million Americans will rely on restaurants this year for at least part of their Thanksgiving meals. The National Restaurant Assn. said 14 million people will eat their holiday dinner at restaurants, while 16 million will get takeout for all or part of their feast. But restaurant eating on Turkey Day is expected to be down this year. The association forecast that 6% of people across the country will have the big meal at eateries, compared with 11% last year.
June 22, 2011 | By Sharon Bernstein, Los Angeles Times
Call it sticker shock. Deborah Jourdan just can't stomach the menu at California Pizza Kitchen anymore. But the problem is not the price or the food. It's the calories. "I looked at the menu, and it said there were 1,100 calories in a plate of pasta," the 22-year-old North Hollywood resident said. Salads can run 1,400 calories or more. Pizza? Up to 1,500. That was earlier this year, and she hasn't been back since. "I don't think I'd go back there now," said Jourdan, eating a salad and a cookie at Panera Bread in Burbank, "because I'd be afraid there would be nothing for me to eat. " It's a scenario that worries restaurateurs across the nation.
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