UPDATE 2/24: Spoon By H now has a GoFundMe page, which you can donate to here.
In an Instagram posted on the evening of February 22nd, the beloved Beverly Grove dessert cafe, Spoon By H, announced that they will be closing their doors, permanently. Known for their excellent array of Korean comfort foods, this tiny shop on Beverly Blvd. was once one of the highest rated restaurants on our site.
Citing “a barrage of fraudulent disputed charges” and “countless refunds issued,” this comes only two weeks after they posted another Instagram, outlining a recent incident in which a customer purchased an unusually large order, lied and complained that they never received it, then successfully disputed the charge through their credit card company.
“We never expected the end of this incredible ride to come so suddenly. We haven’t had the time to let it sink in and prepare ourselves for this, but we truly gave it our all,” wrote Spoon By H’s owner, Yoonjin Hwang. “We took it day by day until we couldn’t anymore. We spent hours upon hours fighting each claim and refund, until eventually they buried us.”
According to the LA Times, this type of scam — a modern-day version of the dine-and-dash — has increasingly become a problem for LA restaurants. “Scammers are taking advantage of restaurants that have prioritized safety over in-person security measures such as checking driver’s licenses and manually swiping credit cards,” reports Jenn Harris. “Some people are scamming restaurateurs with fraudulent credit cards, while others request refunds, claiming they never received part or all of an order.”
So, what can you do to help?
For now, Spoon By H has announced that their last day of service will be Saturday, February 27th (or until supplies last). Which means, you have until the end of the week to order all of the pork belly dumpling soup, Spam fried rice, and milk and honey snow drizzle you possibly can — perhaps for the last time. Make sure to shower them with plenty of extra love, in the form of posts, sharing and tagging your favorite meals and memories, and of course, leaving generous tips.
In regards to the credit card scamming issue, what you can do is simple: frequent your favorite restaurants more often, limit your use of third-party apps, and call the restaurant directly whenever possible. As it becomes more and more clear that there will be little to no government support for small restaurants and locally-owned businesses, it’s up to us to support our city’s restaurants in whatever ways we can.
We’ve reached out to Spoon By H for comment, and will keep this page as updated as possible.
Spoon By H is available for takeout, call (323) 930-0789 to place an order.
For a full list of restaurants that have had to close permanently due to the pandemic, click here.