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Downtown LA Argentine Restaurant Barcito Is Closing Permanently

Plus, Today Starts Here ceases Taiwanese breakfast service in Chinatown, burgers at Yuca’s, and an ice cream pop-up in Leimert Park

Patio at Barcito before COVID-19 pandemic
Mona Holmes Mona Holmes is a reporter for Eater LA and a regular contributor to KCRW radio. In 2022, she was nominated for a 2022 James Beard Award.

Barcito, DTLA’s innovative Argentine bar/restaurant founded by Andrea Borgen, will close permanently on June 25. Borgen opened the charming spot in 2015 after taking out a small business loan. She was 26 at the time, had never previously owned a restaurant, and managed to establish a beloved neighborhood destination with small plates, an expansive wine list, and cocktails on 12th and Grand. Borgen transformed Barcito into a takeout/wine shop and market throughout the pandemic, and in a Medium post published yesterday outlined her various reasons for the shutter, which was not just about one thing.

Borgen factored in the ups and downs of restaurant ownership, the weariness of COVID-19 burnout, frustrations with the California Restaurant Association’s late 2020 push to reopen versus relief, the long struggle to bridge the pay gap between the front and back-of-house staff, and commitment to keep her employee’s healthcare during a time when over 600,000 Americans died of the coronavirus within 15 months.

Borgen will host a final outdoor goodbye drink session on June 26 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

In other news:

  • Today Starts Here owner Vivian Ku just announced that she’s suspending her Taiwanese breakfast phenom in Chinatown this weekend. In an Instagram post, Ku said she’ll “Incorporate breakfast into one of our new locations coming to DTLA later this year.”
  • Meanwhile, New York Times writer Tejal Rao declared that Chinatown is the place to be eating in Los Angeles.
  • The Manhattan Beach City Council voted to approve Rock‘n Fish and the Strand House’s outdoor dining decks until mid-July, while the outside deck of Shellback Tavern can remain until September 6, reports the Daily Breeze.
  • KazuNori opens a new 1,300-square-foot location in the Boardwalk Marina del Rey today. It’s on the waterfront at Pier 44, meaning the lobster hand roll comes with a side of harborside views.
The exterior of Kazu Nori restaurant in Marina Del Rey, California.
Kazu Nori Marina Del Rey
Manolo Langis
  • An early morning fire engulfed Sion’s Mexican Restaurant in Manhattan Beach on Monday, causing damage and forcing the 30-year-old eatery to temporarily close. A GoFundMe was set up to help.
  • LAs Legendary Yuca’s is well-known for its Yucatan menu but also serves a delicious burger. The Burger Show stopped by to show some love to this family-run restaurant that’s served from its Pasadena and Los Feliz locations for over 45 years.
  • Maxwell Chicken Rice recently opened on Spring and Ord Street in Chinatown. David R. Chan spotted the new walk-up window/drive-thru location that’s named after the Maxwell food center in Singapore and posted about it on Food Talk Central.
  • Inglewood’s Wood Urban Kitchen and the LA Rams are hosting a Juneteenth celebration this Saturday. All entrees are half-off, so go get that discounted brisket and rib tips.
Wood Urban Kitchen’s Juneteenth celebration flyer
Wood Urban Kitchen’s Juneteenth celebration
Courtesy of Wood Urban Kitchen
  • All Chill Ice Cream pop-up is celebrating Juneteenth by serving ice cream at their Leimert Park location throughout the weekend: