Eric Tjahyadi, his brother and chef Erwin Tjahyadi, and their father, Tjhing Sen, have learned a few things about switching it up in the last few months. Their Pasadena restaurant, Bone Kettle, has been shuttered and reopened and shuttered again as state and county officials have struggled to regulate businesses and issue public health mandates during the pandemic. Just a few weeks ago, customers could sit outside at socially distanced tables, watching the cars creep by as they waited for waiters to arrive with pitchers of steaming bone broth they poured over an arrangement of noodles and herbs. Then the state released updated restrictions for restaurants, which banned outdoor dining in Los Angeles and other counties starting Dec. 6, and Bone Kettle became a takeout and delivery restaurant only. “We’re sustaining,” Eric says, adding that he and his family members, like so many restaurateurs, have become experts in dealing with “the new normal.”
Robert Gauthier has been with the Los Angeles Times since 1994. He was the photographer for a project detailing the failings of an L.A. public hospital that won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for public service. Before The Times, Gauthier worked at the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Escondido Times-Advocate and the Bernardo News in San Diego County, his hometown.