Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Bungalow Showdown at City Planning on Monday September 22

Bungalow Restaurant Larchmont Village
The Larchmont Bungalow

A Central Planning Commission hearing on the Larchmont Bungalow is set for 10 am Monday, September 22nd at City Hall in Room 1020 and is open to the public. The hearing will address the latest requests by the Bungalow, at 107 N. Larchmont, for a zone change and parking variance to legalize its current illegal use as a sit-down restaurant, and a new permit to allow the sales of beer and wine.

Last month the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council (GWNC) voted to oppose an earlier application filed by the Bungalow that was later withdrawn and revised.  In the most recent version, the Bungalow dropped their request for a license to sell a full line of alcohol. opting to request a beer and wine license instead.

Its parking variance request is now for 18 spaces within 450 feet of the business, in lieu of the required 25 on-site spaces (the earlier application was for 7 on-site spaces in lieu of 25). The requested zone change to remove the existing “Q” condition from the parcel (which would then allow a restaurant at the location) is unchanged the new application.  The GWNC reviewed the revised application at its September 10 meeting, and voted once again to oppose all three requests, based on the business’s current illegal operations without required permits, its history of fighting the city’s enforcement efforts, and the two lawsuits still pending with the city. (In one, the city is suing owner Albert Mizrahi in criminal court for zoning and permit violations; the other is a civil suit brought by Mizrahi against the city claiming its enforcement efforts are unfair).

Many members of the community are committed to keeping the “Q” conditions which limit the number of restaurants allowed on Larchmont Boulevard so that the street does not solely become a ‘food court’ without a variety of services. Community activists are concerned that although Bungalow owner Albert Mizrahi has so far gained no ground in five years of civil and criminal court cases against him, he perseveres and has now hired lobbyists and lawyers Jerry Neumann, former City Attorney Rocky Delgadilo, and Delgadilo’s former Chief of Staff Ann D’Amato to build his case before Planning.

Residents in the area have also been approached by people canvassing the streets around Larchmont gathering signatures in support of the Bungalow, though the Buzz could not confirm if they were hired by Mizrahi.

Others, like local lawyer John Welborne and the Windsor Square Association, are urging residents to show up en masse to the Monday 10 am hearing at City Hall and make their opinions heard.

The Buzz would like to hear your opinions as well – if you feel strongly about this issue, which is sure to generate plenty of fireworks on Monday, please leave us a note in the comments.

Larchmont Bungalow Hearing
Central Area Planning Commission
City Hall, 10th floor, Room 1020
Monday, September 22, 2014 – 10 am
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Julie Grist
Julie Grist
Julie co-founded the Larchmont Buzz with fellow buzzer Mary Hawley in 2011 and served as Editor, Publisher and writer for the hive for many years until the sale of the Buzz in August 2015. She is still circling the hive as an occasional writer.

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  1. I eat out frequently during any given week. I enjoy eating locally. However, I have boycotted, and continue to boycott, Larchmont Bungalow since I found out that it has been operating illegally–that was about 4 years ago. I feel VERY strongly that all business owners on Larchmont and similar neighborhoods need to play by the same set of rules. Mr. Mizrahi seems to think that his way is the “right” way. I call him “scofflaw” and refuse to provide him with my business.

    • I’m confused though, b/c from what I’ve heard there are other businesses also not following the zoning laws, but people don’t seem upset about them. For example, I heard that the Spinning gym (where the Blockbuster used to be) claimed when they moved in that they were just going to sell exercise equipment, b/c apparently a gym was not allowed there per the zoning rules. But as soon as they moved in they opened up an exercise gym. I could be wrong about that, but if it’s true, it seems like a double-standard. I get that people don’t like the Bungalow owner’s tactics, but I think if the rules were really enforced strictly there are other businesses that would also be impacted. Aren’t there also other restaurants that are supposed to be only take-out per the zoning rules but they have tables and chairs?

      • I have wondered the same thing. Leaving aside the gym, Mizrahi’s defense seems to be that the rules are being applied unevenly to restaurants. This would indicate that other restaurants on the street have illegal tables and chairs but are not bothered about them. Is this true? And if so, which restaurants are they?

    • Let’s look beyond the past and into the future. Would you rather have a take-out restaurant or a family sit-down restaurant? My friends and I do our homework at the Bungalow after school and I have to honestly say that if it were only a take-out, I would be disappointed. As far as the owner goes, all I can say is, have you ever made a mistake and corrected it? That’s what this seems to be. Listen to the youth of our neighborhood and get real. I say, let’s work together on positive projects for our neighborhood rather than dwell on the negative.

      I love Larchmont!


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