Latino Restaurant Week kicks off at El Portal in Pasadena

Latino Restaurant Week is offering food deals for customers across L.A. from April 6 to April 11. It's a new initiative to help support struggling Latino businesses during the pandemic.
PASADENA (KABC) -- Dine Latino Restaurant Week kicked off on Tuesday at El Portal in Pasadena.

"It is part of our restaurant recovery programming that we have at the Latino Restaurant Association," said Executive Director Lilly Rocha.

The goal is to highlight Latino restaurants. Many were hit hard during the pandemic.

"Not only are we the labor inside of restaurants, but we're also you know, restaurant owners," said Rocha.

El Portal has been in Pasadena for 27 years. The owner said the pandemic has been devastating for his business.

"We suffer tremendously. And we were only 63 employees, we went down to five employees," said El Portal owner Abel Ramirez.

But Ramirez says he has hope for the future with the return of indoor and outdoor dining.

"We were able to give the second vaccine to 16 of our employees. So, I feel good because we're not only protecting our employees, but we're also protecting our guests," said Ramirez.

Latino restaurant week is free for owners to join. Plus, the Latino Restaurant Association will provide free promotion and social media posts.

"We're asking restaurants to create a special menu item, a lunch or dinner item, for the week so that people can come and taste and see the wonderful diversity that is Latino cuisine in L.A.," said Latino Restaurant Assoc. Director of Operations Jessica Ureña.

Restaurant owners who are interested in joining Latino Restaurant Week can still sign up.

"I am thrilled to be back, it feels like home," said customer Danny Feldman.

Dine Latino Restaurant Week will run through April 11.
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