It's become next to impossible to believe what restaurants and their reps say when things aren't going well these days. Shutters over sagging finances are increasingly blamed on lease and landlord negotiations while potential chef shuffle controversies get shuttled under the rug with promises that the executive toque "amicably departed" to pursue their bucket list. So it was probably no surprise to learn that the "temporary" shutter "for reorganization" that Eater uncovered at Palate Food + Wine has lead to The L.A. Times' announcement that Palate is closed forever.
Whereas Eater's story seemed to be drawn from the ground up, through a swell of disgruntled staffers who were understandably angry that they hadn't been told a thing about the closure until doomsday struck, the paper's story offers owner and chef Octavio Becerra the final word, neatly shielding the gifted cook from any polemic flaps.
Becerra offers the following statement on the restaurant's website:
It is with a heavy heart and profound sadness that I announce the closure of palate food + wine.
The spirit and essence of the dream that was palate was no longer sustainable.
Our sudden realization of this, combined with the organization of proper notifications
within a very short period of time have left some feeling - well, like us, shocked.
Our goal now is to exit thoughtfully, carefully and graciously.
I am super happy to have shared so many stellar times with all that experienced palate
and are grateful for those moments spent together breaking bread and raising a glass.
We give thanks to everyone who contributed to the life of palate food + wine
and look forward to the future.