Storefront Report: The comings and goings of Silver Lake restaurants

While Silver Lake’s former Tantra restaurant reopened on Monday as Naya, another neighborhood restaurant a few blocks away has apparently closed its doors. Passersby and customers of La Parrilla Family Restaurant found the doors to the longtime Mexican restaurant – which once hosted performances by a “Mexican Elvis” – closed last weekend. The doors of the restaurant at Sunset Boulevard and Westerly Terrace have remained shut since.  Meanwhile, on Silver Lake Boulevard, a black security gate has been stretched across the stark-white facade of Domenico Ristorante, an Italian restaurant that closed last month after being hailed as the new “neighborhood darling” when it opened in early 2009.  It’s not clear why both restaurants are closed, but some other restaurateurs say the weak economy is not helping matters.

“We are feeling the economy,” said Nadine Trujillo, who owns Alegria on Sunset Boulevard.

Calls and emails to the owners of Domenico and La Parilla, which also operates restaurants in Boyle Heights and in Mid Wilshire, were not returned.

The triangular, brick building that housed La Parilla on the ground floor and 10 apartments above had been put up for sale earlier this year for $1.4 million as new shops and restaurants opened along Sunset Boulevard. Across street and a block east, Los Globos, a nightclub that primarily served a Latino clientele, has been purchased by the owners of El Cid with plans to feature indie bands.  The listing for the La Parilla building said the restaurant, where napkins folded into triangles remained popped up on tables, would be “delivered vacant” upon the sale and touted its potential:

It presents an ideal opportunity for a new owner-user to reposition the restaurant / retail space into a thriving business within one of the hippest areas of Los Angeles.

The most recent listing information indicated the building is no longer for sale.

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  1. I remember when Michelangelo’s was kicked out of the Domenico Ristorante a few years ago due to a crazy landlord (rumored), and hiking up the lease exponentially (think it was raised to $5k+ a month??). Luckily Michelangelo’s found a spot on Rowena and it looks like the ‘Landlord’ is now out a tenant. Guess it didn’t work out for the landlord so well….

  2. The La Parilla location in Boyle Heights is great. I went to the location in Silver Lake once — and never returned. Different menu, and I didn’t like it. Unfortunate bad layout. Just didn’t measure up to the Boyle Heights location.

  3. I clicked over to La Parrilla’s website from the Yelp link, and only the Boyle Heights and Westlake locations are now listed, as if the Silver Lake eatery never existed. I agree with Tom that the flow of the place was disconcerting, but there was a certain charm to the gaudy decor. What a shame for the neighborhood to lose such a long-time resident.

  4. This La Parilla was the only place I could afford to get a margarita and a meal when I was unemployed. I loved their tomatillo sauce over the pork.

  5. Oh no! La Parilla was fantastic —

    What a bummer —

  6. feel like i should have given this place another chance. i only went once and had a terrible experience – with both the service (painfully slow and inattentive) and food (bland). maybe i went on an off night?

  7. The landlord for Domenico is not the owner of the restaurant. The landlord was actively seeking another restaurant to take over the spot several months back. She did seem….a little out there.

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