At a scheduled court appearance today, the Larchmont Bungalow was granted another continuance in the criminal case against it filed by the City of Los Angeles.
Today’s hearing was scheduled to review progress toward fulfillment of a plea deal in a criminal case against the Larchmont Bungalow and its late owner Albert Mizrahi (Mizrahi entered a plea of “no contest” last February to three criminal charges that he violated several laws in the operation of the restaurant), the defendants’ representative Richard Hirsch requested a continuance, arguing that since Mizrahi passed away six months ago, Larchmont Village Partners, a Limited Liability Corporation in which Mizrahi was the sole manager, has no chief officer. Hirsch said the defendants need more time to comply with a court order that requires them to bring the Bungalow into compliance with local operating laws within 18 months, or face closure of the restaurant, and that there has been so much to deal with in Mizrahi’s businesses since his death, they have not yet been able to replace him as principal officer.
City Attorney Serena Christion, who has prosecuted the case, opposed the request, saying her office would like to withdraw the plea bargain and allow the case to go to trial, because there is currently no responsible party with whom to carry out the deal.
The judge granted the continuance until March 23, but required that Hirsch and the defendants submit a brief of their arguments 21 days before that hearing, with a requirement that the City Attorney will respond to the brief 14 days before the hearing, and the defendants respond to her within 7 days of the hearing.
A quick stop at the restaurant after the hearing today confirmed that it appears to be still operating as usual.
[Buzz Publishers Patricia Lombard and Elizabeth Fuller contributed to this story.]