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Downtown LA’s Most Impressive Vegetable-Focused Restaurant, PYT, Will Close

Josef Centeno’s place is now in the hands of some interesting people

PYT signage
Wonho Frank Lee
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Downtown vegetable paradise PYT is set to close early next month. That’s per chef Josef Centeno, who told Eater over the weekend that he would be letting go of the popular space.

The decision to hand over control of PYT comes at the end of a long, winding road for the corner location. For years it was staple neighborhood spot Pete’s Cafe, before Centeno took over as executive chef in October of 2014. He eventually flipped the whole restaurant to a new concept called Ledlow Swan (and then just Ledlow) before bifurcating the dining room to create PYT.

With the dust settled Centeno set about creating one of LA’s most vegetable-forward menus, turning heads and gaining traction with folks like the late Jonathan Gold as a result. The restaurant also doubled as overflow for Centeno’s other projects, including Bar Ama and the next-door standard Baco Mercat. Centeno tells Eater that many of the most popular PYT dishes will be heading over to Orsa & Winston, another restaurant of his around the corner, and that the whole feel there will begin to skew more vegetable-heavy as a result. Not that Centeno is ever happy to stand still; he’s also got Bacoshop in Culver City, and recently started a clothing line called Prospect Pine.

Decor inside PYT
Wonho Frank Lee

Centeno told Eater and also the LA Times that the restaurant “wasn’t on the market, but I got a great offer from an operator that I feel will complement the corner.”

As for those new tenants, it looks like Francis Miranda and Cyrus Batchan are taking over. Their restaurant group No. 8 (Lock & Key) is coming on board with expectation for a quick flip of the whole space, though they won’t say yet just what the food will look like or who will be cooking. It’s worth noting that the pair are also co-owners and managing partners in Mei Lin’s Downtown project Nightshade, though Lin seems to be currently focused on her new Arts District restaurant, and nobody has confirmed any involvement with Lin whatsoever at the PYT address.

More on this as it comes; meanwhile the final day of service for PYT will be March 7.

PYT. 400 S. Main St., Los Angeles, CA.