More restaurant closures plus a couple of newbies *

mr-cecils-closed.jpgI noticed paper in the window at Mr. Cecil's California Ribs on Pico in West Los Angeles — never a good sign — and stopped to have a look. Sure enough, a note on the door confirmed the barbecue joint opened in 2000 by Hollywood producer and chef Jonathan Burrows closed Dec. 19. An ABC notice in the window says a new Shunji is coming to the spot. This Mr. Cecil's location is located beside the 10 freeway in one of those round former Chili Bowl burger diners from the 1930s. Two other Mr. Cecil's, in Sherman Oaks and Manhattan Beach, remain. [* Update: The New Year's Eve report from Howard Fine is the Sherman Oaks location is now boarded.]

mr-cecils-zoomout.jpgKat Odell at Eater LA has some backstory: a steep rent increase killed the Pico location, and Manhattan Beach and The Valley are reportedly being shopped. "Shunji Nakao of Asanebo fame (who also launched the short lived Shunji's earlier this year), has stepped up to next claim the West LA eatery," Odell writes. Also: Hideo Yamashiro, aka chef Shiro, will close Orris on Sawtelle Boulevard at the end of January.

West Pico is not all bad news. A few blocks east of Mr. Cecil's, Freddy's Bar and Kitchen, from the founder of The Counter, opened this month in the former El Serape across the street from the San Francisco Saloon Company and Jamaica's Cakes.

Meanwhile in Westwood: Lots of work going on inside the former Hamlet Gardens on Glendon Avenue, after months of inactivity. Skylight Gardens hopes to open soon after the new year.skylight-gardens-sign.jpg Around the corner on Lindbrook Drive, next to Peet's Coffee in the historic-landmark former Ralphs building, 800 Degrees has been previewed for Westwood community types and food editors. It's due to open Jan. 3. The concept is quick but good and not-expensive Neapolitan pizza from former Michael Mina corporate chef Anthony Carron and the Umami Restaurant Group.

LA Observed photos

More by Kevin Roderick:
Ralph Lawler of the Clippers and the age of Aquarius
Riding the Expo Line to USC 'just magical'
Last bastion of free parking? Loyola Marymount to charge students
Matt Kemp, Dodgers and Kings start big weekend the right way
LA Times writers revisit their '92 riots observations
Recent Food stories on LA Observed:
Expo Line grand opening at noon hour on Friday
Advice to aspiring food writers from Amanda Hesser: don't do it
Southern California's romance with the taco is now a book
Frank Bruni, ex-NYT food critic, blogs about his gout
Five reasons to respect Taco Bell

New at LA Observed
Follow us on Twitter

On the Media Page
Go to Media
On the Politics Page
Go to Politics

LA Biz Observed
Arts and culture

Sign up for daily email from LA Observed

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

LA Observed on Twitter and Facebook