In today's feature food story, local journalist Laurie Winer considers whether we've come to the end of the era of white-tablecloth dining here in Los Angeles. Because although this may not be a permanent condition, things have decidedly changed since the pre-recession days: when the Michelin Guide still published in Los Angeles, before Bastide and L'Orangerie and Ortolan closed, before food trucks lined the streets and more casual restaurants dominated the food scene.
The decline of “white tablecloth” dining had been a long time coming. Maybe it never recovered from the scene in which the Vietnam-era hippie played by Treat Williams danced on the formal wedding table in the film version of Hair (1979) — sending guests scurrying to recover flying dishes and flowers while he sang “I Got Life.”
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