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BUSINESS
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.
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BUSINESS
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.
FOOD
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.
FOOD
August 18, 2012 | By Betty Hallock, Los Angeles Times
We know it's noisy out there in the restaurant world. Customers' complaints are growing, critics are including noise commentary in their reviews, and restaurateurs, to some extent, are trying to figure out ways to modify the acoustic mayhem. But just how noisy is it? With a decidedly unscientific approach, all it took was a sound meter app (deciBel Pro) and visits to a dozen restaurants and bars across Los Angeles to find out. In many cases, we're all dining with the noise equivalent of a lawn mower running next to us: That's 90 decibels.
BUSINESS
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.
TRAVEL
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!
NEWS
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.
TRAVEL
September 4, 2011 | By David Farley, Special to the Los Angeles Times
A family from the Midwest formed a crescent around the posted menu outside an Italian restaurant on Mulberry Street, the main (and only) drag of Manhattan's shrinking Little Italy. It didn't take long for the Latino restaurant barker - the guys who stand on the sidewalk trying to lure in the indecisive and hungry - to pounce: " Ciao, bellas ," he said, using the Spanish plural of the Italian noun. "Come in and eat," he added, motioning with a sweep of his arm toward the open door.
FOOD
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.
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