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

Larchmont Bungalow Criminal Case Continued


Lawyers for the Larchmont Bungalow were granted another continuance in the City’s criminal case against the restaurant until February 5, 2016. In court on Tuesday, Commissioner Elizabeth Harris ordered the parties to return at that time for a hearing on a motion Bungalow lawyers filed several months ago.

Bungalow attorneys Alan Fenster and Richard Hirsch said they were not ready to present their case this week, in light of a new letter they received from the City of Los Angeles Planning Department…which they contend now provides clear guidelines on what constitutes a “restaurant” vs. a “take-out” facility. (The root of the case is a covenant signed by Bungalow owner Albert Mizrahi, before opening the business, saying the Bungalow would be a take-out service only, and not a sit-down restaurant, since there is a cap on the number of restaurants that can legally operate on that stretch of Larchmont Blvd. Shortly after the restaurant opened in 2009, Mizrahi installed tables and chairs and a full menu, prompting the City to revoke its Certificate of Occupancy.)  Mizrahi’s lawyers told Commissioner Harris on Tuesday they are confident the Bungalow is in compliance with local zoning and that it will be issued a Certificate of Occupancy before the February 5 hearing.

“These new, clear guidelines show that our client qualifies as a take-out restaurant,” said Richard Hirsch, Bungalow attorney told the Buzz. “We are filing a due process motion with this new interpretation provided by the Planning Department,” which, if successful, could result in a dismissal of the case, added co-counsel Alan Fenster.

“The court did not give them leave to file another motion,” said Serena Christion, Deputy City Attorney and prosecutor in the case.  Christion objected to the continuance, saying she’s been waiting seven months for the defense attorneys to present arguments on the current motion before the court.

The Bungalow is charged with operating without a certificate of occupancy, failing to comply with a city order and violating the covenant promising to operate without tables and chairs.  Mizrahi lost an earlier civil suit against the city, claiming it had illegally revoked his certificate of occupancy.

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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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