BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- A high-end Beverly Hills restaurant was inviting customers to a "discreet" indoor New Year's Eve dinner that apparently was going to be held in violation of Los Angeles County COVID-19 protocols.
La Scala described the event as a 1920s Prohibition-era "Speak Easy"-themed dinner to be held indoors New Year's Eve. Some customers who were picking up food found the invitations in their takeout bags.
Current Los Angeles County and state of California regulations prohibit in-person dining at restaurants, whether indoors or outside. The county is trying to limit the coronavirus surge that has put significant strain on local hospitals and left almost no room available in intensive-care units.
The Beverly Hills Police Department said it was aware of the event and the city's Code Enforcement division was handling the matter.
La Scala, which opened in 1956, is a Beverly Hills institution best known for its chopped salad and its celebrity sightings.
The news is generating backlash, with the restaurant's Instagram feed being filled with comments describing the party plan as "selfish and destructive" and "disgusting."
"I'm surprised a restaurant would attempt to do this, seeing as we have a stay-at-home order right now," said Marcel Logan of West Hollywood. "I personally don't think it's a good idea. Both my parents had COVID. We just got out of the hospital."
"If everyone took it serious and did what we're supposed to do we can have more indoor parties when the time is right."
The restaurant has not publicly responded to the controversy. The restaurant's website said it was closed on Christmas Day and the day after, as well as Dec. 31.
News of the New Year's Eve party comes as Gov. Gavin Newsom pleads with the public not to gather over the holidays saying it will only add to the COVID-19 surge.
"The peril will be a surge on top of a surge, where we are today, on top of yet again another surge in the middle and latter part of January and February," Newsom warned.
If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here.
Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here
RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- From COVID-19 to Black Lives Matter, these 13 people defined the Bay Area in 2020
- Map: CA counties that can, can't reopen under new rules
- CALCULATOR: Find out how many people may get a COVID-19 vaccine before you
- VIDEO: When will I get the COVID-19 vaccine? We explain who goes 1st
- COVID-19 risk calculator: The safest and most dangerous things to do this holiday season
- Want to get a COVID-19 test in time for the holidays? Here's what you need to know
- Updated number of COVID-19 deaths, cases in Bay Area
- Map shows everywhere you can get a COVID-19 test in the Bay Area
- COVID-19 Diaries: Personal stories of Bay Area residents during pandemic
- California EDD: The most commonly asked questions we get about unemployment and PUA
- Health experts urge flu shots in effort to avoid 'twindemic'
- How to tell the difference between seasonal allergies and coronavirus symptoms
- Here's which mask is better to protect from COVID-19
- First COVID-19 vaccine volunteers in US describe experience as Bay Area launches vaccine trials
- Coronavirus origin: Where did COVID-19 come from?
- What is a COVID-19 genetic, antigen and antibody test?
- What will it take to get a COVID-19 vaccine and how will it be made?
- What does COVID-19 do to your body and why does it spread so easily?
- Here's how shelter in place, stay at home orders can slow spread of COVID-19
- Coronavirus Timeline: Tracking major moments of COVID-19 pandemic in San Francisco Bay Area
- Coronavirus Doctor's Note: Dr. Alok Patel gives his insight into COVID-19 pandemic