We just got an onslaught of emails that the Santa Monica Tengu shuttered unexpectedly this weekend. The outgoing message on the reservation line confirms "closed until further notice." This really isn't too shocking since it was all a bit shaky from the start. Choice Hospitality Group (former Star Management Group), which still owns and operates the Westwood original, opened Tengu in the former Ivy at the Shore space in early 2007, but things turned towards the end of the year: Choice sold Tengu, the new owner was going to change name and then didn't, and the restaurant remained open but not affiliated with the original. It was about 90% the same, with the added bonus of a ridiculous $100 sushi roll.
So why the sudden shutter? We're not sure if it's related or not, but a source tells Eater that a major investor for the new Tengu was Marc Dreier, a New York lawyer who was arrested last week for cheating hedgefunds out of $100 million. If connected, maybe the only thing to do was to close until all of that wonderfulness gets sorted out. Not really related but interesting to note: One of the original Tengu founders, Anton Posniak, found himself in a bit of trouble after splitting with SGM and heading down to the OC. Playas, pull yoursleves together already.
· Eater Inside: Tengu Santa Monica [~ELA~]
· To Tengu or Not to Tengu [~ELA~]
· Lawyer Dreier Charged by U.S. With $100 Million Fraud [~ELA~]