Plus COVID-19 outbreak in restaurant in Venice, popular burger place in Westside expands
Westside Dining Scene December 23, 2021 | From Dolores Quintana
Tyra Banks closes Santa Monica ice cream parlor
Tyra Banks’ premium ice cream parlor, SMiZE Cream, has closed its Santa Monica Place location. SMiZE had only been open for about 10 months in the former The Ugo Cafe. They announced the closure on November 3rd on their Instagram and will now be taking orders and shipping their ice cream creations nationwide via Goldbelly on their website. Your Lawndale location is still open.
Venice Restaurant reports 28 cases of COVID-19 among employees
The winter surge of the Omicron COVID-19 variant is a looming specter looming over the Los Angeles dining scene, including one in Venice that has reported 28 positive cases among employees. Los Angeles had over 3,200 new cases as of December 20, and New York City broke records for four days in a row, with the final total at 23,400 overnight on December 20, according to NBC New York. Eater Los Angeles reports that the Grand Park New Year Celebration and 62nd Annual LA Holiday Celebration have canceled their in-person events and will instead be broadcasting their events on local television or the internet. The Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena has not been canceled, but a vaccination is required to participate. Few restaurants have admitted staff cancellations, closings or breakouts. Of the few, Gjelina’s Venice restaurant group, which includes Gjusta, Gjelina and Gjelina Take Away, announced that 28 of their employees tested positive for the coronavirus, according to Eater Los Angeles. Gjelina will be closed from Tuesday, while Gjusta and Gjelina Take Away will remain open. Los Angeles Department of Health regulations state that all companies with three or more employees who test positive must report to the Department of Health, which will add the company and number of cases to the list of coronavirus outbreak sites that the Department of Health maintains . Restaurants don’t need to report outbreaks on their social media accounts or websites.
Free udon with an ugly sweater
Marugame Udon is now running a Christmas promotion for ugly sweater owners who love Udon on the Westside, as reported by Eater Los Angeles. Every time you wear your ugly Christmas sweater to a Marugame Udon location like 2029 Sawtelle Boulevard in Sawtelles Japantown, the restaurant will give you a free bowl of udon with the purchase of another bowl between December 20 and 23. The restaurant evokes the Japanese aesthetic of wabi sabi or finding beauty in the imperfect and this is the second year marugame udon is taking the action so it could be a new Christmas tradition.
Popular burger joint in Venice opens location in Silverlake
Venice’s own Smashburger restaurant The Window opens another location in Silver Lake. Win ~ Dow started out as, you guessed it, a storefront selling burgers, chicken sandwiches, and grain bowls at American Beauty on Rose Avenue. A second location opened on the Venice Beach boardwalk this fall last year. The new location is now open from 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM on 1529 Griffith Park Boulevard and will continue the restaurant’s affordable menu, burgers costing under $ 4.00 and will add dipped ice cream cones and milkshakes. American Gonzo Food Corporation and restaurateur Bruce Horwitz jointly run Win ~ Dow and plan to open more locations in the near future, and those locations will have expanded menu options like ice cream and milkshakes, according to Eater Los Angeles. All of this despite a protest and dispute between employees and owners over tip collection that took place at American Beauty earlier this year.