Troubling news for one of Los Angeles’ brightest culinary teams, as Ari Taymor and Ashleigh Parsons of the exceedingly well-received Downtown restaurant Alma have begun asking for a little crowdfunded financial help.
The innovative eatery has experimented with different dining formats over the years (they recently switched to a simpler a la carte menu during the week and regularly host big-name nights with big-name guest chefs), but has always made sure to provide one of the most carefully-sourced, artfully-done dinners around.
Citing a myriad of high, but important, costs, from their non-profit outreach program to their Venice-based urban garden, the Alma team is asking Indiegogo-ers for at least $40,000 in order to keep the restaurant viable. This, they say, will allow them to keep operations going without relying on outside investment, which would provide a vastly different business dynamic that they fear could irrevocably alter the way the restaurant runs.
Money earned will also go towards a pending lawsuit against the restaurant, levied by a former Alma advisor who now claims fraud by Taymor and Parsons. They’re serious allegations, and Alma plans to fight them the whole way, which is obviously a pricey proposition. Faced with a financial shortfall, the campaign says that, very realistically, the restaurant would perhaps be forced to close as soon as this summer.
Interested in supporting Alma, beyond making a reservation to get in and experience the food? Campaign levels span the gamut, including a $250 donation that gives people a tour of their urban garden and a $25,000 level that lets you and a guest eat dinner for free for life. If you’ve got that kind of cash, it’s not a bad way to feel like a permanent VIP at one of the city’s best restaurants.