We're sorry to report Norman's is closing on Nov. 11, although no one is really surprised. It's too bad that a restaurant with excellent food, a great sommelier and killer pig couldn't make it in L.A., but the Sunset Millenium complex has already killed several other restaurants like Central and Rika. It's really too bad that Norman's didn't decide to locate closer to central Beverly Hills, as the Sunset Strip location just didn't seem user-friendly. I also think it's possible that well-heeled Angelenos might have a certain aversion to Caribbean food, no matter how haute, associating it with calorie-packed, lard-laden peasant fare.
Authentic Cafe, which managed to hang on for around 20 years, has finally sputtered to a close. It's being reconfigured as Terroni and so far the same owner's name is on the license. Authentic seemed cool when it first opened, but it's a great reminder to restaurant owners everywhere to take a close look at your menu and decor every five years or so and make sure it meets the tastes of your customers and the quality of newer establishments. Well, unless you're Musso and Frank, then just leave it as is.
New York's BLT Steak is getting ready to move into the old Le Dome space...Lots of migration from New York lately, with Mario Batali, Craft and BLT all coming to L.A.
Downtown L.A. continues to sizzle, with J Restaurant the latest high-profile addition. Located near the Staples center, it has a chef who used to cook at L'Orangerie, a Mediterranean-influenced menu and a huge bar/club space upstair. Address: 1119 South Olive St.