For nearly two decades Sal Marino's Il Grano has held high the Italian fine dining banner, with a heavy slant toward quality pasta and fresh seafood on Santa Monica Blvd. in West Los Angeles. The LA Times first reports that Il Grano will close by the end of the year, affording longtime regulars plenty of time to dine at the white tablecloth Italian restaurant for one last time (or perhaps more). His next door casual take out spot Bottega Marino will also close.
The reason for the closure is the end of the lease, which will soon expire. Rather than pay a much higher level of rent, Marino has decided to sell the restaurant. That gives Marino the leeway to begin a new venture, which he isn't sharing details about quite yet. Il Grano was known for, among other things, a terrific tomato tasting menu, as well as crudo service, which commenced back in 1998.
Until Il Grano's last days, Marino will be arranging special wine dinners and hosting guest chef dinners to remember the last 18 years. Also, fans of the tomato tasting menu can have one last go of it come October 14. After shuttering Il Grano, the LA Times writes that Marino will take a trip to Italy to recharge. His brother and mother continue to run Marino on Melrose.