Very sad news: One of Los Angeles' best known and most loved neighborhood restaurants is going out of business. After 27 years, Evan Kleiman's Angeli Caffe will close next month. January 8th will be its last day in business.
Owner and chef Evan Kleiman, who also hosts the weekly KCRW program Good Food, broke the news to us in an email, writing that she was "devastated," but it was "a decision that I've known I had to make for the last couple of years." [Full text of the email after the jump.]
Angeli Caffe was perennial favorite for our own Jonathan Gold, always making his Essential 99 Restaurants list.
We were also big fans of their lunchtime panini, their ultra-garlicky insalata forte as well as special events like Street Food Mondays, where Kleiman generously opened her kitchen to the proprietor of shuttered Sri Lankan restaurant Priyani and food truck Antojitos de mi Abuelita.
Patrons who visited the restaurant could often find Kleiman rolling out dough for pastries, greeting customers, overseeing the kitchen or hosting special events. (For the record: Kleiman is one of the nicest, most decent people you may ever meet, a rare quality, especially restaurateurs.)
Evan Kleiman's note:
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Today I am meeting with my staff to let them know that I will be closing Angeli. Sunday, January 8 will be our last day. If you would like to meet as a group to ask me questions I am open to that. If you want to contact me separately that is fine too. This is a decision that I've known I had to make for the last couple of years and I can put it off no longer. I had hoped someone would come forward to buy the brand and carry it forward but up to now, that hasn't happened.
I am devastated for my staff, especially those who have been with me for more than ten years, and the core group since the first day - That's 27 years. I hope to find them all jobs. Or maybe a real angel will appear. Who knows. Anyway, I need to do as much business from now until the 8th as possible to be able to pay my final payroll etc.
Feel free to ask questions.
[Note: Angeli is not open for lunch this week.]
Elina Shatkin is a staff writer at LA Weekly. Follow her at @elinashatkin or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.