One of the big shocks when we moved to L.A. from Boston in 1986 was how little outside dining there was here. In part that was because the sidewalks were too narrow or too regulated. (The CPK in Westwood Village had to close its sidewalk dining area for a while a few years ago because they hadn't fulfilled some permit requirement.)
I remember coming back to LA in full time in 1997 after four years in Ohio for school and being surprised to see how patio and sidewalk dining had suddenly taken off. (That and all the giant multi-screen cinemas with stadium seating, Barnes and Noble, and Starbucks that seemed to suddenly be everywhere.
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