Despite all the well-deserved praise that Los Angeles is getting for its booming restaurant scene, this city is not without its own personal trials and tribulations. Restaurants at just about every price point and experience level have been closing down since January, with some being replaced by popular new options and others simply fading away into the ether.
Below is a list of the hardest closures Los Angeles has had to suffer through this year, from Westside Mexican mainstays to genre-defining restaurants near Downtown. There have been many other shutters than can be chronicled here though, so if you find your personal restaurant heartbreak hasn’t been listed below, jump to our closures page directly to reopen that old wound.
Don't worry too much though: Los Angeles is still the best dining city in America at the moment, and there are lots of awesome projects coming next year to look forward to.
Border Grill Santa Monica
Address: 1445 4th St., Santa Monica
Major Players: Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken
After 26 years serving Santa Monica, the Too Hot Tamales team pulled the plug on their 4th Street address. Fear not though, they plan to come back with a new modified concept for the neighborhood some time down the line.
The Hungry Cat Santa Monica
Address: 100 W. Channel Rd., Santa Monica
Major Player: David Lentz
One of the city’s most well-known seafood emporiums shuttered both a Santa Monica and Santa Barbara location in 2016. The Westside outlet hung on for half a decade, while the still-open Hollywood original (pictured above) is going strong at more than 12 years in.
Address: 1032 Swarthmore Ave., Pacific Palisades
Major Player: Alain Giraud
Powerful neighborhood French bistro player Maison Giraud was forced to shutter in the Pacific Palisades to make room for some big new development plans in the area. The hope is that they’ll be able to reopen sometime down the line in a big new space, but so far nothing is confirmed.
Corazon y Miel
Address: 6626 Atlantic Ave., Bell
Major Player: Eduardo Ruiz, Robin Chopra
Bell favorite Corazon y Miel announced their closure over the summer, with chef Eddie Ruiz moving on to other projects around town. The loss leaves a big hole in LA’s burgeoning modern Mexican dining scene, though Ruiz and company say they could reopen at another date elsewhere in the city.
Skooby’s Hot Dogs
Address: 6654 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood
Major Player: John Hooper
Hollywood Walk of Fame icon Skooby’s shuttered quietly over the summer, as owner John Hooper transitioned the place into a DIY crepe shop. It was certainly sad news for the legions of fans of the long-running takeaway shop right on Hollywood Boulevard.
Address: 309 Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles
Major Player: George Laguerre
Owner George Laguerre finally brought an end to the long-running TiGeorges’ Chicken after lots of back and forth over the better part of a decade. Consistently considered one of the best Haitian restaurants in the city, Laguerre outlasted previous plans to close and an electrical fire back in 2010.
Address: 1023 Abbot Kinney, Venice
Major Player: Joe Miller
After almost nailing the quarter-century mark, fine dining legend Joe Miller decided to pull the plug on his namesake Joe’s along Abbot Kinney. The Venice staple had been a monster success for years, but now is set to be replaced by a pasta-focused, pizza-slinging Italian emporium from the awesome Evan Funke.
Superba Snack Bar
Address: 533 Rose Ave., Venice
Paul Hibler, American Gonzo Food Corp.
The Situation: After helping to define the dining scene along Rose Avenue in Venice, Paul Hibler’s Superba Snack Bar ultimately faltered around the first of the year. Chef Jason Neroni left for The Rose not far away, with Sydney Hunter III coming in thereafter, but all was ultimately for naught as the place closed down in January of 2016.
Scarpetta Beverly Hills
Address: 225 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills
Major Player: Scott Conant
Scott Conant’s Italian signature spot Scarpetta closed over the spring to make way for Georgie, a colorful new option from mega-restaurateur Geoffrey Zakarian. No more spaghetti for the tony Beverly Hills set, unfortunately.
Loteria Grill Studio City
Address: 12050 Ventura Blvd., Studio City
Major Player: Jimmy Shaw
Mexico City native Jimmy Shaw has closed both his Santa Monica and Studio City Loteria Grill locations this year, with plans to fall back on the fast casual model he first perfected at the Original Farmers Market. That simpler service style should help keep costs low and allow Shaw and company to continue to innovate on the time-honored taco tradition.
Address: 7274 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles
Major Player: Perfecto Rocher, Adam Fleischman’s AdVantage Partners, Stephen Gelber
Owner Stephen Gelber tried to lightly reconcept Smoke.Oil.Salt. once Spanish chef Perfecto Rocher departed for Seattle, but ultimately the tapas-style restaurant couldn’t hold on along pricey Melrose Avenue.
Knuckle & Claw
Address: 3112 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake
Major Player: Nikki Booth, Chloe Dahl
With a splashy opening and quick second location in Santa Monica, the future initially seemed bright at Knuckle & Claw. Unfortunately the good times were not to be, as owners Dahl and Booth simultaneously pulled the plug on both outlets earlier in December.
Butchers & Barbers
Address: 6531 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood
Major Player: The Houston brothers
After tackling the nightlife and bar scenes rather extensively, the Houston brothers seemed primed for success with dinner option Butchers & Barbers. Unfortunately a late March closure brought an end to those plans, with a takeout Thai window now replacing the space.
Address: 507 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica
Major Player: Kevin O’Connor
Lasting right around 18 months, Aestus in Santa Monica was ultimately shuffled off as of May. With its beautiful wood-lined interior it’s a shame steak-heavy place couldn’t make a larger impact on the Westside community.
Maruhide Uni Club
Address: 2130 W. Redondo Beach Blvd., Torrance
Major Player: Maruhide Marine Products
The uni was the thing at Maruhide in the South Bay, with the Torrance mainstay turning out endless amounts of sea urchin to waiting fans. That all ended in May after three years of decadence though, with the strip mall specialist moving on.
Address: 6333 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles
Major Player: David Rosoff, Chris Feldmeier
Causal Spanish fare proved to be a tough sell (along with a challenging corner location) at the Original Farmers Market, though David Rosoff and Chris Feldmeier — both Mozza alums — continue to run their Grand Central Market iteration in Downtown.