Adding to the string of recent restaurant closures in Los Angeles are four notable establishments: Bar Moruno, Cassell’s DTLA, K-Zo, and Know Reality Pies. They join a winding list of beloved businesses that have shuttered so far this year including Shabu-Shabu House in Little Tokyo, Petty Cash Taquería in Beverly Grove, and Swift Cafe in South LA.
Bar Moruno announced yesterday that it would be closing in early November, giving fans two weeks to dine at the Silver Lake restaurant helmed by chef Chris Feldmeier. Cassell’s in Downtown quietly closed without fanfare in recent weeks, though the Koreatown location inside the Hotel Normandie remains open. Culver City’s 17-year-old Japanese restaurant K-Zo announced its final service would be on October 29. And finally, Eagle Rock’s tiny but mighty Know Reality Pies shared yesterday on Instagram that it would vacate its Colorado Boulevard space on Friday. “We can’t promise we will be open on Saturday, our official last day of business,” owner Tracy DeVore said, but assured customers that online pick-up would be available at their home in the interim.
Bar Moruno’s closure comes just 19 months after reopening in Silver Lake inside the former Kettle Black space, with original co-founders chef Chris Feldmeier (Mozza, Love & Salt) and David Rosoff reviving their modern Spanish restaurant. Moruno had originally opened at the Original Farmer’s Market and also operated a stall inside Grand Central Market before both shuttered. The Silver Lake revival took over a welcoming corner space and was part of a wave of Spanish restaurants making a splash in Los Angeles. Moruno’s sister restaurant Causita, which was helmed by chef Ricardo Zarate, closed after nine months in February 2023.
Cassell’s in Downtown didn’t garner quite the attention of its Koreatown original but operated on a busy nightlife stretch of 8th Street. Co-founded by chef Christian Page, who has since departed from the restaurant, Cassell’s was originally founded as a build-your-own burger restaurant in 1948 in Koreatown, relocating to the Hotel Normandie in 2015. Cassell’s DTLA opened in 2018, lasting five years serving a similar menu of burgers, sandwiches, and pies.
K-Zo had a commendable 17-year run in Culver City from chef Keizo Ishiba and co-owner/wife Yuki Ishiba along a busy stretch of Washington Boulevard. Trained in French and Japanese cuisine, Keizo served some of LA’s freshest sushi, fusing European flavors and techniques along the way.