Morning Brief: Almost a Third of California Restaurants Permanently Closed Last Year

Also, the most expensive home sale in SoCal so far this year, and more

» According to a legislative committee, nearly a third of California restaurants closed permanently as the pandemic set in last year. The businesses that survived say they expect to rebound, but that it could take years. [Associated Press]

 » On Wednesday, McDonald’s workers in L.A. joined a nationwide strike for a $15-an-hour minimum wage. Last week, the fast-food giant announced pay increases for employees at company-owned locations, but employees at franchise locations wouldn’t be included in the change. [Los Angeles Daily News]

 » Barron Hilton’s Bel Air estate sold for $61.5 million, the priciest home sale in Southern California so far this year. The manse was built in 1936 by legendary L.A. architect Paul Revere Williams for CBS founder Jay Paley. [Los Angeles Times

 » Unsealed court documents reveal that the Department of Justice under Trump subpoenaed Twitter to find out who was operating a Devin Nunes parody account. Twitter was reportedly concerned the government was aiding Nunes’s legal efforts to attack his internet critics and said the subpoena violated the First Amendment. [The Hill]

 » L.A. County claims Vanessa Bryant’s invasion of privacy lawsuit has become a “fishing expedition.” Bryant’s legal team had requested additional time from the court to determine just how many county employees were involved in or had knowledge of first responders taking and sharing photos of the Kobe Bryant crash site. [USA Today]


» How Workers at the DMV Got Busted for Taking Bribes from Drivers Prosecutors say that for some Angelenos, passing their driving exam was as easy as forking over some cash

» LAPD Is Investigating a Confrontation at a Sushi Spot as an Anti-Semitic Hate Crime Witnesses say pro-Palestine protesters asked a group of men if they were Jewish before things got physical

» Trans During a Plague: The Pitfalls and Unexpected Positives of Pandemic Life For some in L.A.’s trans and gender-nonconforming community, the COVID-19 pandemic presented an opportunity. For others, it complicated an already fraught experience


chile crisp
Photos courtesy the brands

Hot Stuff: A Guide to Must-Try Chile Crisp

No question, Chile crisp—a spicy oil with crunchy bits—is hot. While the iconic brand LaoGanMa has been huge in China since the late ’90s, pandemic boredom has brought the condiment a new level of international heat. It’s become the “it” sauce to lend life to noodles, meat, veggies, and even ice cream. We rounded up nine brands to try.


Want the Daily Brief in your inbox? Sign up for our newsletters today.