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‘It Just Didn’t Work’ Says Owner In Surprise Westside Closure Announcement

Plus, MrBeast sues his ghost kitchen company, a new tenant for the Ma’am Sir space, and more

A side angle of a daytime dining room, aqua blue and pink, named Tallula’s near the beach in Los Angeles.
The dining room at Tallula’s.
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.

Santa Monica restaurant Tallula’s is closing, ending a six-year run for the Mexican hangout within the Rustic Canyon family of businesses. Tallula’s opened with a bang in May 2017, with fans excited for a colorful, cool option away from the bustle of Santa Monica proper — and right by the beach no less. The restaurant found a loyal local following (and was home to the rise of chef Saw Naing, now up at the Dutchess in Ojai), but ownership says the place “quickly encountered challenges that persisted throughout our six-year-run,” per a newsletter sent out to customers. “Ultimately it just didn’t work and never found its footing,” the email continues. “It no longer was sustainable to keep Tallula’s open.”

The final day of service will be Sunday, August 20. Until then, customers can expect adjusted dinner-only hours (that means no more weekend brunch), and changes to the Hotville Chicken pop-up that was scheduled to take place all month. Kim Prince’s spicy bird will have one more day at Tallula’s on August 14, with another pop-up at sister property Esters on September 5.

And a loss on Barrington

Westside plant-based sushi option Kusaki has also closed following its final night of service last weekend. The restaurant, at 2535 S. Barrington Avenue, opened in January 2023, and said goodbye on Instagram just last week.

Ghost kitchen woes

YouTube star MrBeast (real name Jimmy Donaldson) is mired in a lawsuit struggle with ghost kitchen company Virtual Dining Concepts, as the online celebrity seeks to shut down — or at least distance himself — from the MrBeast Burger concept he helped to launch a few years ago. Donaldson says that Virtual Dining Concepts, with its anchor location in the heart of Hollywood, sold low-quality food under the YouTuber’s name (thus damaging his brand), while a VDC counter-suit claims that Donaldson has failed to honor his contractual obligations, among other allegations. VDC’s suit against Donaldson alleges damages north of $100 million, according to Variety.

Newcomers in familiar spaces

Echo Park’s Brite Spot has a new owner, reports the Eastsider. The longtime diner is now under the control of daytime chain Breakfast Republic, which is based out of San Diego but has a dozen locations in the state, including several in greater Los Angeles. L.A. Taco reports that the company is currently renovating the space, but has not revealed final details or an opening date.

Meanwhile, a new tenant has taken the former short-lived Junkyard Dog space at 4330 W. Sunset Boulevard in Silver Lake, previously home to Bar American and Ma’am Sir. The new project, titled Drugstore Cowboy, opened on Saturday, August 12 with cocktails and a robust menu of bar and grill staples, plus televisions playing nonstop sports.