La Scala was reportedly gauging interest with notes tucked into takeout orders.

The old saying goes, “No one is above the law.” And in the era of COVID-19 restrictions, the same could be said for dining: No restaurant is above the rules—regardless of how many celebrities like to frequent your legendary Beverly Hills’ digs.

The 64-year-old Italian fine-dining joint La Scala has been publicly outed for considering plans to hold a semi-secret indoor dining event on New Year’s Eve. Over the Christmas holiday, a printed announcement card—which was purportedly placed in customers’ takeout bags—began circulating on social media, offering up some oddly mixed messages. In a recent statement, the restaurant has denied organizing any such event.

La Scala Beverly Hills Restaurant Exterior
Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

“Welcome back to the 20’s Prohibition: Speak Easy—New Year’s Eve Dinner,” the shared note began. “We are considering taking reservations for New Year’s Eve Dinner. Inside. If this is something you’d be interested in, Please let us know as soon as possible. If enough interest [sic] we’ll contact you back to secure a reservation. Please keep this discreet, but tell all your friends.”

Though the city of Beverly Hills often likes to separate itself from its less-upmarket Los Angeles surroundings, the pricy area is still part of Los Angeles County, and, according to the Los Angeles Times, local officials say they reached out to La Scala to remind them of the current rules. “We understand this is an incredibly difficult time for all of our businesses,” Beverly Hills spokesman Keith Sterling told the paper, “however the County Order does currently prohibit indoor and outdoor dining, including in the City of Beverly Hills.”

On Tuesday, the restaurant issued a statement via their Instagram account, stating that it was never their intention to violate the dining ban. "No harm was meant," read the post.

Beverly Hills Police even used their official Twitter account to alert the public that they “will be handling this matter.” Yet exactly how the matter will be handled isn’t clear. Both Los Angeles County and the entire state of California currently prohibit all in-person dining, both indoors and outdoors due to the pandemic.