Surfas to close?
Could it be true that the beloved cookware supply and recently opened cafe at Surfas could be closing less than a year after it opened its sparkling new location? We would hate to lose those grilled cheese and fig sandwiches and lavender lemon bars, but apparently clunky warehouses are not cool enough for Culver City's rapidly gentifying downtown. Owner Les Surfas, whose father started the company in 1937, has refused to accept Culver City's offer to buy the Surfas warehouse through eminent domain for a large redevelopment project. Surfas contends that even if his retail outlet remains, he can't afford to run the business without the warehouse right around the corner. He lays out his case in a long Q & A on Culver City blog thefrontpageonline.com, and it looks like there could be another side to the story. Either way, it would be a sad day for the cooks and eaters of Los Angeles to lose the Beluga lentils, artisanal olive oil and bizarre kitchen gadgets that attract chefs from far afield.
Moving into the House: Apparently "upscale diner" wasn't the right concept when Scooter Kanfer owned The House on Melrose, because it didn't last all that long. Now Jay Fagnano, who used to own Tahiti on Third (before it was Yi), is opening Jay's Larchmont Grill in the cozy bungalow space. Jay's will open for lunch Aug. 21 and for dinner Sept. 5.
Bel Age Blowout: Superstar British chef Gordon Ramsay will be behind two new restaurants in the restyled Bel Age Hotel. The hotel had a killer Strip-adjacent location and a swank rooftop pool, but its haute Russian restaurant and busy bar mitzvah business wasn't exactly cutting edge. The hotel will reopen as The London in late 2007.