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12 LA Restaurants Giving Back to Their Communities During the COVID-19 Crisis

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This advertising content was produced in collaboration between Vox Creative and our sponsor, without involvement from Vox Media editorial staff.

Restaurants, bars, coffee shops: every part of the food and beverage industry is reeling from the pandemic. The “fortunate” businesses have been able to get by, thanks to delivery, takeout, and even quickly arranged patio setups. The less-fortunate might not stay in business long enough to see dining go back to something resembling “normal.” Knowing that, it’d be hard to blame any business for turning inward, purely focusing on paying rent and meeting the bottom line.

But the hospitality industry didn’t get that “hospitality” name for nothing. Instead, many businesses, like those below, are using their resources — and their voices on Facebook and Instagram — to support their communities through COVID-relief efforts, social justice initiatives, and unique projects giving back to workers directly. Read on for more, and follow these 12 spots on Facebook to see everything they’re up to. (And when we support small business, we support our communities — so if you need help or are inspired to offer it, find more resources at Facebook’s Small Business support hub.)

A number of Los Angeles restaurants offer patio service. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for outdoor dining, as there are still safety concerns: for updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit covid19.ca.gov. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Secret Lasagna & Market

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7100 Santa Monica Blvd #185
West Hollywood, CA 90046
(213) 538-2324
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Chef Royce Burke originally opened Secret Lasagna in 2017 as a late-night delivery service for the titular comfort food. Now, he and sommelier Andrey Tolmachyov have brought the concept back at just the right time, and for a cause: Each order from the new Secret Market will be matched with a full family meal donated to No Us Without You, which helps undocumented workers feed their families.

2. Heirloom LA

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3232 N Figueroa St #1/2
Los Angeles, CA 90065
(855) 456-6652
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Known for its catering services pre-pandemic, the Cypress Park eatery has pivoted toward individual meals for purchase and for donation in recent months. Each Monday, Heirloom donates dishes to mental health professionals, so they can redistribute them to people who need a nourishing meal. The program is funded by donations, plus the proceeds of chef Matt Poley’s online cooking classes.

3. Gracias Madre

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8905 Melrose Ave
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(323) 978-2170
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The younger sibling to Café Gratitude (albeit the one with alcohol), the West Hollywood vegan Mexican restaurant known for its boozy brunches has created a mezcal flight, based around the varietals of the Mal Bien brand, with the proceeds of sales going to No Us Without You.

4. Honey Hi

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1620 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 221-7810
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Echo Park’s healthy, fresh food favorite has added a local and organic produce box to the menu. With the box, 100 percent of proceeds go to SEE-LA’s Emergency Food Relief Program, which creates similar boxes to give to food-insecure families. All this to say: you can do a good act by ordering from Honey Hi, and make one less trip to the grocery store, too. 

5. Porridge + Puffs

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2801 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90057
(213) 908-5313
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The Historic Filipinotown restaurant always walked the line between fine dining and neighborhood vibes in its pre-COVID incarnation. Now operating on a limited basis as a takeout option, it continues that vibe with the Gold Set Meal. Named after the late, great Jonathan Gold, the dish raises funds for Food Forward, a Los Angeles-based food justice organization that donates produce to more than 1,800 agencies across Southern California. 

6. Bloom & Plume Coffee

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1638 W Temple St
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 908-5808
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This Westlake coffee shop has been working virtually, both to make philanthropic donations and to support its community. A series of “Process the Protest” events, held via online conference calls, helped raise funds for Black-owned social justice organizations, like Decolonize Design and Wellness for the People. Bloom & Plume also paired with the Los Angeles Tenants Union to hold an online town hall to help inform renters of their rights and available resources for support during difficult times. 

7. Rosalind's Ethiopian Cuisine

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1044 S Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90019
(323) 936-2486
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A staple of Little Ethiopia, Rosalind’s has partnered with Off Their Plate, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting both restaurants and health care workers via meal delivery. In addition, the restaurant’s meal donation scope has broadened to include homeless shelters and underserved communities. 

8. Bowlila

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Kitchen 18 at Colony, 11419 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(424) 346-1438
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Based out of a ghost kitchen just west of the 405, this chickpea-forward, Middle Eastern-inspired newcomer features a menu with unique takes on balila, a Lebanese appetizer. As a partner with Frontline Foods, the restaurant’s chickpeas have ended up, free of charge, with hospital workers in Santa Monica and West LA, helping to fuel nurses and doctors hard at work.

9. Café Gratitude

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300 S Santa Fe Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 929-5580
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This vegan restaurant might be best-known for its life-affirming dish names, like “I Am Eclectic,” “I Am Thriving,” and so on. But it’s given its signature Gratitude Bowl a new name: Black Lives Matter. All proceeds from sales of the Black Lives Matter bowl are donated to the NAACP, Equal Justice Initiative, and other organizations fighting for change.

10. Poppy + Rose

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765 Wall St
Los Angeles, CA 90014
(213) 995-7799
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Pairing up with Brown Bag Los Angeles, the Flower District café regularly donates free meals to people along nearby Skid Row. Poppy + Rose also took part in the Feed Your City Challenge, giving away 500 meals at the Baldwin Hills Mall to struggling community members. 

11. Pasta Sisters

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3280 Helms Ave
Culver City, CA 90232
(424) 603-4503
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As a part of the Feed Culver City initiative, this Italian eatery has sent more than 100 meals to seniors, people who are immunocompromised, and the underhoused. In addition, Pasta Sisters is a supporter of Lasting Impressions, an Italian nonprofit that helps provide art therapy to victims of violence.

12. Little House Confections

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8850 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232

Little House began in April as a fundraising campaign for Covenant House California, a nonprofit that supports young people who’ve been trafficked or who are experiencing homelessness. Since this spring, demand for the company’s “Bomb Ass Olive Oil Cake” has turned the bakery into a full-fledged business, one that pledges to donate a portion of its profits each month to charity. (Recently, Little House gave to The People Concern, one of LA’s largest housing and social services organizations.) “I feel so honored to not only be able to nourish people,” owner Liz Roth told us, “but to be able to give back in the process.”

This advertising content was produced in collaboration between Vox Creative and our sponsor, without involvement from Vox Media editorial staff.

1. Secret Lasagna & Market

7100 Santa Monica Blvd #185, West Hollywood, CA 90046

Chef Royce Burke originally opened Secret Lasagna in 2017 as a late-night delivery service for the titular comfort food. Now, he and sommelier Andrey Tolmachyov have brought the concept back at just the right time, and for a cause: Each order from the new Secret Market will be matched with a full family meal donated to No Us Without You, which helps undocumented workers feed their families.

7100 Santa Monica Blvd #185
West Hollywood, CA 90046

2. Heirloom LA

3232 N Figueroa St #1/2, Los Angeles, CA 90065

Known for its catering services pre-pandemic, the Cypress Park eatery has pivoted toward individual meals for purchase and for donation in recent months. Each Monday, Heirloom donates dishes to mental health professionals, so they can redistribute them to people who need a nourishing meal. The program is funded by donations, plus the proceeds of chef Matt Poley’s online cooking classes.

3232 N Figueroa St #1/2
Los Angeles, CA 90065

3. Gracias Madre

8905 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069

The younger sibling to Café Gratitude (albeit the one with alcohol), the West Hollywood vegan Mexican restaurant known for its boozy brunches has created a mezcal flight, based around the varietals of the Mal Bien brand, with the proceeds of sales going to No Us Without You.

8905 Melrose Ave
West Hollywood, CA 90069

4. Honey Hi

1620 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Echo Park’s healthy, fresh food favorite has added a local and organic produce box to the menu. With the box, 100 percent of proceeds go to SEE-LA’s Emergency Food Relief Program, which creates similar boxes to give to food-insecure families. All this to say: you can do a good act by ordering from Honey Hi, and make one less trip to the grocery store, too. 

1620 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

5. Porridge + Puffs

2801 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057

The Historic Filipinotown restaurant always walked the line between fine dining and neighborhood vibes in its pre-COVID incarnation. Now operating on a limited basis as a takeout option, it continues that vibe with the Gold Set Meal. Named after the late, great Jonathan Gold, the dish raises funds for Food Forward, a Los Angeles-based food justice organization that donates produce to more than 1,800 agencies across Southern California. 

2801 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90057

6. Bloom & Plume Coffee

1638 W Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90026

This Westlake coffee shop has been working virtually, both to make philanthropic donations and to support its community. A series of “Process the Protest” events, held via online conference calls, helped raise funds for Black-owned social justice organizations, like Decolonize Design and Wellness for the People. Bloom & Plume also paired with the Los Angeles Tenants Union to hold an online town hall to help inform renters of their rights and available resources for support during difficult times. 

1638 W Temple St
Los Angeles, CA 90026

7. Rosalind's Ethiopian Cuisine

1044 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90019

A staple of Little Ethiopia, Rosalind’s has partnered with Off Their Plate, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting both restaurants and health care workers via meal delivery. In addition, the restaurant’s meal donation scope has broadened to include homeless shelters and underserved communities. 

1044 S Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90019

8. Bowlila

Kitchen 18 at Colony, 11419 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

Based out of a ghost kitchen just west of the 405, this chickpea-forward, Middle Eastern-inspired newcomer features a menu with unique takes on balila, a Lebanese appetizer. As a partner with Frontline Foods, the restaurant’s chickpeas have ended up, free of charge, with hospital workers in Santa Monica and West LA, helping to fuel nurses and doctors hard at work.

Kitchen 18 at Colony, 11419 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025

9. Café Gratitude

300 S Santa Fe Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

This vegan restaurant might be best-known for its life-affirming dish names, like “I Am Eclectic,” “I Am Thriving,” and so on. But it’s given its signature Gratitude Bowl a new name: Black Lives Matter. All proceeds from sales of the Black Lives Matter bowl are donated to the NAACP, Equal Justice Initiative, and other organizations fighting for change.

300 S Santa Fe Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90012

10. Poppy + Rose

765 Wall St, Los Angeles, CA 90014

Pairing up with Brown Bag Los Angeles, the Flower District café regularly donates free meals to people along nearby Skid Row. Poppy + Rose also took part in the Feed Your City Challenge, giving away 500 meals at the Baldwin Hills Mall to struggling community members. 

765 Wall St
Los Angeles, CA 90014

11. Pasta Sisters

3280 Helms Ave, Culver City, CA 90232

As a part of the Feed Culver City initiative, this Italian eatery has sent more than 100 meals to seniors, people who are immunocompromised, and the underhoused. In addition, Pasta Sisters is a supporter of Lasting Impressions, an Italian nonprofit that helps provide art therapy to victims of violence.

3280 Helms Ave
Culver City, CA 90232

12. Little House Confections

8850 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

Little House began in April as a fundraising campaign for Covenant House California, a nonprofit that supports young people who’ve been trafficked or who are experiencing homelessness. Since this spring, demand for the company’s “Bomb Ass Olive Oil Cake” has turned the bakery into a full-fledged business, one that pledges to donate a portion of its profits each month to charity. (Recently, Little House gave to The People Concern, one of LA’s largest housing and social services organizations.) “I feel so honored to not only be able to nourish people,” owner Liz Roth told us, “but to be able to give back in the process.”

8850 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232

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