Environmental Incentives and Programs in L.A. County Sustainable Works Green Living Workshops The city of Santa Monica and Santa Monica College offer Sustainable Works’ environmental education programs free to Santa Monica residents and for a $50 fee to everyone else. The Green Living Workshops consist of six one-and-a-half hour sessions, each focusing on a different topic, e.g. recycling, water efficiency, reducing energy usage, making better consumer choices, etc. In addition to educating attendees about how to reduce their environmental impact, the workshops offer money-saving tips and gift bags including eco tools like compact fluorescent bulbs and reusable shopping bags. Composting Sales and Workshop in Griffith Park The city of Los Angeles offers free backyard composting workshops at its Griffith Park Composting Education facility. The city also subsidizes the cost of composting bins so they can be purchased at the bargain price of $20 (smaller worm bins are available for $5). Visit the Sanitation Department of Public Works website to find a full schedule of bin sales events and workshops. Smart Gardening Workshops LA County’s free Smart Gardening Workshops are held at locations all over the greater Los Angeles area. Beginning workshops focus on composting, grasscycling and water-wise garden maintenance, while Advanced Workshops dive deeper into landscape design, native planting, irrigation systems, soil maintenance and organic pest control.
Where Are L.A.’s Food Deserts? When stats are released about the nation’s ever-worsening health crisis and the growing rates of obesity and diabetes, it’s easy to cast blame in the direction of the victims. How can these people be so bad to their bodies? How can they be so ignorant when we live in a country with so much readily-available information about health, in a city that’s chock-full of grocery stores, in an era that sees new farmers’ markets sprouting up every other week? It seems as if any excuses a person has for eating poorly (too much work to get done, don’t know how to cook, too expensive, etc.) are just disguises for laziness. But if any of those thoughts go through your mind when you read a health-related stat, odds are very good you don’t live in one of the city’s many “food deserts.”
Urasawa, the Beverly Hills sushi restaurant renowned for its cuisine and $395-per-person pricetag, was ordered to pay $65,785 in fines and unpaid wages to settle a complaint brought by the state Labor Commissioner, it was announced today.
The investigation at Urasawa found that kitchen staff regularly worked more than 10 hours each day without overtime pay, rest breaks or meal breaks, according to California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su.
It was further found that the Rodeo Drive eatery — where diners feast on an omakase-only, “chef’s choice” menu — failed to provide its eight workers with itemized wage statements listing hours worked and rate of pay, as required by law, Su said.
Unromantic Restaurants for Valentine’s Day We understand that some of you might want to go out on Valentine’s Day, in order to really express your feelings for your beloved or your homies or your lapdog or whoever your Valentine is this year. But we beseech you, don’t go to a restaurant where reservations are required or only a prix fixe menu is available that night. The restaurant owners at those establishments will love you for paying the inflated prices, but the servers and cooks are sneering at you — they know they’re putting out substandard food. Instead, go somewhere entirely non-romantic. It’s cheaper, more delicious, and low-pressure. Here are our top picks for Valentine’s Day! J & J This San Gabriel Valley hole-in-the-wall has the best commercially available xiao long bao in the county, and I won’t hear different. Their pan-fried dumplings are delectable too — well, just about everything on the menu is. The bright lights and the inelegant way you’re bound to eat the xlb and Shanghai noodles are sure to make for an entirely unsexy, but very delicious, night. (Sometimes they’re cash only, so come prepared.)