Despite sunny forecasts for the restaurant business in 2011, two L.A. gems are looking troubled. Following the shutter of Culver City favorite Beacon, Eater reports that Mark Peel's well-hidden, but top-notch lunch spot The Point has been struggling to maintain, with the chef's fingers pointing to an unauthorized Groupon deal that has drained the eatery of profits. Peel even admits that he thought of closing The Point this week, denying us all the reuben we love. What's the other bad news?
Ortolan has shuttered its doors on Third Street, Eater writes, though an answering machine at the restaurant offers a little bit of hope that it's not yet the end of the road for this fancy Frenchie, owned by chef Christophe Emé and his wife, actress Jeri Ryan. If Ortolan is to return, will small plates and lower prices suddenly be in its future, following the trend of the last couple of years that turns fine-dining into more accessible dining for the public? Hey, even Ferran Adria is doing it, so we wouldn't be surprised. Either way, these are two places we'd like to see thriving.
UPDATE: Squid Ink talks to Emé, who says he's looking for a partner so he won't have to shutter Ortolan. And yes, a lower-priced bistro concept could indeed be in the works if it survives.
Did Groupon Kill Mark Peel's The Point? [Eater]
Ortolan Turns Off The Lights "Until Further Notice" [Eater]
Ortolan Closes [Squid Ink]