Though a few other outposts of the red sauce chain are still up and running in Los Angeles, Maria’s Italian Kitchen downtown has closed its doors. The never-quite-bustling dinner location sat for years on the ground floor of a pair of towers along Flower St., with a patio out on the sidewalk and plenty of window real estate.
The semi-recent shutter is likely tied to Downtown’s more recent culinary explosion. Not only are there more options than ever before (even compared to 2008, when the restaurant opened), but the overall quality has improved for most restaurants. In most cases, it’s no longer enough to trade on a known name and provide a sense of dining value, especially downtown. Even the relatively forward-thinking Le Ka couldn’t survive in the area.
Add in nearby options that are raising the bar, like Pez Cantina, and Maria’s days in the Financial District seem to have been numbered for a while. All is not lost, though: the foot-traffic-heavy location is already in turnaround mode, with this ABC license pointing to a nondescript restaurant group called Ivory Heron. The 47 license allows for on-site alcohol sales, and was issued late last month, though no other who/what/where details are available as of yet.
Though Google Maps shows the downtown Maria’s location to be gutted as of January, don’t expect the sizable space to stay empty for long.