We were as confused as some of our readers when we read, last week on Eater LA, that La Bottega Marino in Beverly Hills would soon be closing. So we called owner Sal Marino. He says, unequivocally, the rumor is untrue.
“It's completely false. I have no idea where it came from,” Marino says. Strike one.
“On Tuesday, someone called and I happened to be there,” he tells us. “The manager, Richard, answered the phone and [the caller] asked: 'Are you closing?' He said, 'Absolutely not. As a matter of fact, the owner is here and would love to find out where you got the information.' By the time he handed me the phone, they had hung up.” So that's what Eater means by “denies allegations.” It sounds so much more devious when it's phrased like that. Strike two.
The post goes on to say, “Word on the street is that Sal's father recently passed away, which affected his decision to sell.” If by “recently” they mean “two years ago” and by “word on the street” they mean “tipster with an ax to grind,” that is 100% accurate. Strike three.
Opening chef de cuisine Enzio Puccini is still in place and the restaurant does a brisk lunch trade, according to Marino. While it's not as busy as the other two La Bottega locations, especially for dinner, Marino says he has absolutely no plans to close the Beverly Hills outpost in the near future. Consider this one confirmed.
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