Anybody who's ever read Roald Dahl's classic children's book

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory remembers the defining moment when we learn that the factory is a cypher, the owner absent, the doors perhaps permanently closed. “Nobody ever goes in and nobody ever comes out.”

Despite this fact, or maybe because of it, the mystery deepens, the doorway becoming more of an enigma as the months (and, in the case of Wonka, years) go by. Joe Pytka's shuttered restaurant doors are not unlike this: closed, secretive, stubbornly refusing to morph into a trendy shoe shop or cupcake boutique or, perhaps, an annex of the nearby David Myers empire. A call to the number for the Bastide kitchen (from back in the day when Walter Manzke answered that phone) produced, after many rings, a recording which promised that Bastide was indeed open for “private parties and tastings only” while “improvements” were being made. Perhaps Mr. Pytka is installing a chocolate-mixing waterfall. If anyone could (or would) do it, it would be him.

LA Weekly