Gone for good
The storied history of the American roadside food stand is a tale that begins largely in Southern California, thanks to the proliferation fast food, highways, and suburban sprawl half a century ago. One of the most popular San Gabriel Valley names to emerge from that period in the decades after World War II was Belly Busters on Valley Boulevard, a standalone home for Italian sandwiches in what is now a sea of mostly Mexican and Chinese restaurants up and down the street. As the Pasadena Star-News reports, the restaurant has officially closed its doors after some 51 years in business, with ownership blaming rising rents for the shutter. The final day of service was July 22, though ownership says they hope to be able to reopen in a different location some day down the line.
Less in Downtown
In other closure news, it seems that Sinners & Saints dessert shop has given up its expansion effort inside the Corporation Food Hall in Downtown after just three short months. The restaurant has removed signage and now lists the place as closed.
Chef Freddy Vargas is moving on from The Ponte, having accepted a corporate chef position with a group out of Miami, FL instead. The longtime Scarpetta chef’s last night of service in Los Angeles was yesterday.
LA Magazine is all about the lumpia-inspired sausage roll by Ria Barbosa at Paramount Coffee Project. It’s easy to understand why.
Long Beach lessons
The Long Beach Post shares some love for Ammatolí, an unassuming restaurant that happens to turn out some of the city’s best Middle Eastern food. Bonus points for the great food photos.
LA Times has details on Collective Avenue Coffee in Lynwood. The “worker-owned cooperative” is trying to change the trappings of traditional high-end coffee around Los Angeles, focusing instead on a workshare model where every employee gets to be invested in the process, and in serving their immediate customers (mostly kids and families) from their walk-up window attached to a community center.
LAist has a story out on Hsi Lai Temple, a Buddhist temple found in Hacienda Heights that — among other things — offers an $8 vegetarian lunches every day of the week. All anybody has to do is walk in and ask.
Inside the Ruckerverse
Nicole Rucker’s new restaurant Fiona is still a little ways away, but crews are dropping in equipment now and the overall shell of the dining area is pretty much complete.