Pacific Dining Car closes, El Ruso’s Food & Wine nod and a Chicano Eats cookbook

Pacific Dining Car in Westlake
(Christopher Reynolds)

This week in food news:

Pacific Dining Car closes Santa Monica site

Pacific Dining Car in Santa Monica has closed. The Westside location of the historic 24-hour steakhouse in Westlake had been open since 1990. The restaurant is selling its remaining kitchen equipment, furniture and decor via an online auction. The Westlake restaurant remains open.

Reopening concerns

According to Los Angeles County officials, half of the roughly 2,000 restaurants inspected last weekend did not comply with coronavirus safety guidelines. Restaurants that violated the orders will be revisited. Customers who notice potential risks at businesses can file complaints via the Department of Public Health Customer Call Center, (888) 700-9995.


S.O.L cafe opens in WeHo

Strings of Life (S.O.L) is open in West Hollywood. The all-day cafe from the owners of E.P. & L.P. offers casual Australian fare: cheese and Vegemite croissants, smoked salmon rosti potatoes, avocado toast and a coconut chia pudding.

8535 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood,

El Ruso honored

Food & Wine has named Boyle Heights taco stand El Ruso to the magazine’s annual list of best new restaurants. In addition to his Sonoran-style carne asada tacos on flour tortillas, owner Walter Soto recently expanded El Ruso’s menu to include Sinaloa-style tacos filled with adobada or tripas.

1401 Mirasol St., Los Angeles,

Kirsh Baking Company

Uyen Kirshenbaum, executive pastry chef at the Arthur J and M.B. Post, has launched a special-order cookie company, Kirsh Baking Company, while on furlough. Cookies can be ordered by the dozen for two-day shipping nationwide. Flavors include salted chocolate chip, vanilla lavender, cherry almond and coconut chocolate joy.

Sweetgreen Pasadena

Salad chain Sweetgreen has opened a location in Pasadena inside the restored United Artists Theatre, a 1931 Art Deco movie house.

L.A. Chefs fundraiser

Cassia co-owners Bryant Ng and Kim Luu-Ng are hosting the fourth L.A. Chefs for Human Rights fundraising dinner on June 27, which benefits homeless individuals and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. A $250 ticket includes a family-style meal delivered on the day of the event, plus access to live virtual programming.

‘Chicano Eats’ cookbook

Chicano food blogger Esteban Castillo, a Santa Ana native who now resides in Fresno, will release his first cookbook, “Chicano Eats: Recipes From My Mexican-American Kitchen,” on June 30. The book features 85 traditional and fusion Mexican recipes such as chorizo-spiced squash tacos, mac and queso fundido and champurrado chocolate birthday cake.