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The 14 Shuttered Los Angeles Bars And Restaurants We'll Miss The Most
The restaurant scene in L.A. is constantly shifting and evolving, and while there are many wonderful new restaurants we're thrilled opened in 2014, we also have had to say farewell to some classics. Here are some of the restaurants we've sadly had to part ways with this year.
Sadly saying we'll be saying "adios" to Rivera after December 31 (Photo via Rivera on Facebook)
When John Sedlar announced that he'd be closing his Downtown L.A. outpost for modern Latin American cooking to move back to his hometown of Santa Fe, NM, it seemed to be the end of an era. We remember sampling then relatively unknown bartender Julian Cox's cutting edge cocktails like the Blood Sex Sugar Magic and the Barbacoa for the first time at that restaurant, and being so entertained by the flower-adorned tortillas and cleverly stenciled spices that adorned each of Sedlar's thoughtful plates of food. It was one of the first establishments that helped launch the renaissance of Downtown LA dining, and has made a lasting impression on the city's culinary scene. Their last night of device will be on December 31, with a retrospective menu that will reflect on their seven years of business.
For many, the iconic, space-age Encounter restaurant at LAX is the most memorable site at the airport. But as of late last December, the restaurant's operator’s lease ended, leaving the theme building in the center of the terminals vacant. The Encounter was built in 1961, but has been operated by Delaware North since 1997. There are hopes that the new restaurant that is planned for the space will live up to the stellar re-do of the food and beverage program inside the airport, but for now we're lamenting the loss of one of the city's most iconic restaurants for travelers and locals alike.
No more fish 'n chips on the patio (Photo via Cat & Fiddle's website)
Cat and Fiddle
The iconic Hollywood bar announced earlier this year that it would be shutting down in December to make way for a new tenant who's offered to pay the landlord twice as much as their lease agreement, much to the chagrin of locals who loved the English pub vibes and similarly themed fare. The bar officially closed on December 15, and there's rumor that the new tenant could be none other than a West Coast outpost of April Bloomfield's Spotted Pig. Here's hoping.
The Palm restaurant in West Hollywood closed to much fanfare in September, but opened a new location in Beverly Hills in November. The owners and operators opted not to take any of the famous caricatures off the wall of their original 39-year-old West Hollywood location, which had some customers quite upset. The prints served as a time capsule, but also made the restaurant seem somewhat stale in comparison to the SoHo House and other new industry hangouts. According to the New York Times, executive VP of The Palm Bruce Bozzi has commissioned a few caricatures so far: Sue Mengers, a talent agent who died in 2011; Sherry Lansing, the former chief executive of Paramount; Steven Tyler of Aerosmith; Bravo television personality Andy Cohen; and none other than Amy Pascal of Sony Pictures Entertainment, who's since become the subject of the recent "Interview" hacking scandal.
Chaya Beverly Hills
After 30 years of service, Chaya's Beverly Hills location will sadly be closing its doors for good after its NYE party, which will feature a 1984 throwback menu. Though they have plenty of other locations where diners can enjoy their Franco-Japanese cuisine, it's sad to see them go. But at least they're doing it with a splashy party.
Photo of Picca's ceviche mixta courtesy of Picca on Facebook
Mo Chica and Paiche
We had high hopes for Ricardo Zarate, having grown from a stall in Mercado La Paloma to a blossoming business. Perhaps we should have seen the writing on the wall when Ricardo Zarate's business partner Stephane Bombet—now of Faith & Flower and Terrine—parted ways with the Peruvian chef last year. Now Zarate's empire, which included two Mo Chica locations, Paiche, and Picca, has crumbled. (Picca is still open but the chef is no longer involved and may be reconceptualizing.) We can't help but be a little bit saddened, considering Zarate was seen as the leader of the modern Peruvian food movement in Los Angeles, and had received a nod as Food & Wine magazine's Best New Chef in 2011.
Hamburger Hamlet's In Pasadena
At the start of this year, Pasadena's Hamburger Hamlet's flipped its last burgers after 47 years, leaving just one location from the classic burger chain open in Sherman Oaks. It's now been taken over by the equally retro chain, Du-par's Restaurant & Bakery. Hamburger Hamet's was launched by actor Harry Lewis and his then future wife and celebrity clothing designer, Marilyn Lewis, in the 1950s, growing to 24 locations around the country before they sold the chain in the 1980s. Over the last few years, the Hamburger Hamlet's eateries in Larchmont Village and on the Sunset Strip also shuttered. —Jean Trinh
Lindy & Grundy's front door will open no more (Photo by Julie Wolfson/LAist)
Lindy & Grundy
We all shed some tears when Lindy & Grundy, the high-end butcher shop nestled in the heart of the Fairfax District, closed its doors in September after three years. Shop owners and former couple Amelia Posada and Erika Nakamura had made their store the go-to spot for local, sustainable and organic meats (as well as an amazing beef and house-made bacon grind perfect for patties). However, the couple split in June, and Lindy & Grundy closed shop just three months later. —Jean Trinh
Kate Mantelini In Beverly Hills
It was the end of an era when Beverly Hills' favorite power lunch spot, Kate Mantelini, said "goodbye" over the summer. The restaurant, which was known to bring in entertainment industry folks from the likes of Steven Soderbergh to Mel Brooks, had been open for 27 years. It was also owned by Hamburger Hamlet's former owners, actor Harry Lewis and wife, Marilyn Lewis. The last Kate Mantelini restaurant in Woodland Hills also closed its doors for good on Dec. 23. —Jean Trinh
We had to sadly bid adieu to Silver Lake's MJ's Bar in March. The hip gay bar was our go-to spot for dancing and watching hot go-go dancers shake their stuff. It followed the closing of two other LGBT mainstays—Le Barcito and The Other Side—over the last few years in Silver Lake, changing the face of LGBT bar scene in the area. The new bar taking its place will be called "Tenants of the Trees," a place the owner described as "an indoor/outdoor enchanted cocktail bar filled with trees that evokes vibes of Beach towns in South America." —Jean Trinh
Hollywood's favorite dive closed in June, disappointing its loyal team of regulars. After some extensive renovations, it re-opened in November as a fancy mixology bar. Totally unrecognizable with its charming, vintage touches, this bar now slings $12 craft cocktails instead of cheap PBR and wells. They may have kept the sign, but it's different enough to safely say that we lost the Power House this year. To add insult to injury, we also lost the nearby Whiskey Blu and its $2 PBR cans this fall, but rumor has it this isn't the last we've seen of that rock 'n roll bar. —Juliet Bennett Rylah
While you can still go to Dimples, get a buzz on and soulfully perform "Kiss From a Rose" to your dearest friends for now, we got the news that "America's first karaoke bar" will be shutting down in January. The entire Burbank block that Dimples resides in is being razed to make room for a luxury apartment complex and a new Whole Foods. The staff there says they are looking for a new spot—Burbank, North Hollywood or Hollywood being the ideal location—but for now, it's time to sing your last songs. Dimples has been open since 1982 and even appeared on Bar Rescue for a remodel and an attitude adjustment in 2013. (It was recommended that owner Sal Ferraro stop trying to get women to sing The Black Eyed Peas' "My Humps.") They'll be open on NYE for anyone looking to sing a song wishing them and 2014 goodbye. —Juliet Bennett Rylah