Monday, July 7, 2008


It's a sad, sad time in Washington, DC's "foodie land." Among the restaurants that have recently closed its doors in Our Nation' s Capital, one of my personal favorites - Butterfield 9 - has joined the list. After eight years of service, the restaurant is now only a memory. The restaurant has been a constant fixture in Washingtonian Magazine's "top" lists, and even made its 100 Best Restaurants list this past January.

The last time I had dinner at Butterfield 9 was sometime in 2003, if I remember correctly. I had planned an engagement dinner for friends there, and we had such a great time. From the restaurant's ambiance, to the service, and - most especially - the food, it truly was a classic place for a special occasion. And not too long ago, my brother and his wife had dinner there during one of DC's many "Restaurant Week" celebrations, and they both loved it.

It's sad to know that the next time I fly into DC, Butterfield 9 will not be there. Hopefully Chef Michael Harr will have a project waiting in the wings. His talent surely deserves to be displayed - if not in DC, then elsewhere.

Here in Los Angeles, there are a number of things going on as well. LA, as you know, is not exempt from the ugly world of restaurant turn-overs. In fact, I feel like LA might be the "king" of such. In Santa Monica, two of my favorites have gone under. Akwa (formerly on 5th Street) has closed its doors. It wasn't exactly the best of its kind in that area, but their weeknight happy hours were surely commendable. In its place: Wokcano. I'm not a super-huge fan of Wokcano, but maybe the huge space that Akwa enjoyed will work in its favor.

Another spot that is rumored to have bitten the bullet is Yose (on Main Street). There really isn't much to be said about sushi being served in a Korean-owned restaurant (sorry!), but this was actually one of the "good guys." Again, the place seemed to be a snooze-fest if it weren't for their outstanding happy hour: everything was pretty much 50%-off the menu. And so it goes - another happy hour spot bites the dust.

Now open in Century City: RockSugar. This is the "Asian" bistro brought to us by the concept-creators of The Cheesecake Factory; in other words it is a "PF Chang's done by The Cheesecake people." I haven't gone, and I'm not sure I'll ever go. Per a friend that has gone recently, it really isn't anything to write home about. It's the effin' Cheesecake Factory/Grand Luxe Cafe - but Asian. Bore-o.

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