Los Angeles' Recession Indicators: Cheaper Tacos and Car Washes

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What are the visible signs of Los Angeles' economic health? Riffing on a story by New York Magazine that details Manhattan's visible economic indicators such as the presence of squeegee men and an uptick of hot restaurant servers, The L.A. Times' Top of the Ticket blog looks at similar signs in L.A. Plunging prices at car washes and already inexpensive taco stands going lower are the first signs of city-wide pocketbook stress, followed by hotels greatly reducing rates but still experiencing low occupancy. In popular L.A. refuge Santa Barbara, daily hotel rates are more than ten percent lower than last year, but occupancy is down almost as much. Our favorite economic indicator in L.A. has to be happy hour prices, as we watch Santa Monica's fancy Catch at Casa del Mar get in on the penny-pinching with super-cheap cocktail eats ranging from two to five dollars and The Edison's Depression-era cocktails set at thirty-five cents on Thursdays during happy hours. Even a squeegee man could drink at that cost.

Recession Brings Hotter Waitresses, Emptier Hotels, and Cheaper Tacos [LAT]