Sad news for West Hollywood folk as two great local haunts have recently closed their doors.
Two of my favourite restaurants in L.A. are no more - Dolce on Melrose Avenue and Mark's on La Cienega Blvd.
Dolce may have closed yesterday, but it was well known for being Ashton Kutcher's venture into the restaurant business.
I remember dining there at the start of our Route 1 vacation (from L.A. to San Francisco) five or so years ago with our friends, so it holds a special place in my heart. It also had an impressive flaming fireplace behind the bar which was the focal point of the stylish dimly lit interior.
On the other hand Mark's has been a local gay dining institution for around twenty years, but as their lease was up for renewal the owners decided to call it quits in WEHO and merge with the established Vermont restaurant in Los Feliz instead.
The place holds fond memories for me, being one of the nightspots that friends took us to on our first ever trip to L.A. and it's since become one of our local haunts this past year. Plus Mark's was the location of my celebrity sighting of Naveen Andrews (Sayid from LOST), as he celebrated a friend's birthday at an Upright Cabaret Madonna Tribute evening (Friday 8th August 2008).
I shall miss the fabulous beetroot and goats cheese salad starter most, which was simply delicious and almost like eating a savoury dessert. We made sure we turned up for closing night for some farewell cocktails on Monday 1st June 2009.
All this tells me we obviously need to eat out more to support our local restaurants in these tough economic conditions (well at least when the detox is over), plus it's time to find some new favourites...