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Counter Culture: Green Hut, Le Ka', Johnny Rockets, Mediterranean City Grill

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Friday, June 25, 2010, at 03:45PM
Order Up Ed Fuentes

The Mayor flipped burgers when Johnny Rockets opened in the Financial District, but the chain's two Downtown locations are now closed.

TWEET PEEKS: Green Hut Cafe is another project from the owners of Wokcano, replacing Panino at 818 W. 7th. "We are a new organic, healthy restaurant opening in Downtown LA next month!" hypes the Facebook page. Demolition started on May 15, according to a tweet from partner Kerry Moy.

WOK THIS WAY: While on the topic of Wokcano ownership, work is underway at Le Ka', the new french restaurant on the ground floor of 800 W. 6th first reported here at blogdowntown in February. Yet another tweet from Kerry Moy offers a peek at interior demolition.

FRESH NEWS: Mediterranean City Grill will be replacing California Fresh at 609 S. Spring. The cafe opened up in October of 2006, but had been lunch-only for a while. Word on the street is that the new owners will have much more resident-friendly hours.

OCHO: No real details, but Ocho Mexican Grill is taking over the former Juice It Up location in Library Court at 6th and Hope. A one-page website says the spot opens this summer.

SO MUCH FOR HAPPY DAYS: Times are hard for the joint that had a opening so grand, Marion "Mrs. Cunningham" Ross made a visit and the Mayor flipped burgers. Now Downtown's two Johnny Rockets have closed, along with NutriPartners' other project, four Downtown Robeks. Talking to the Downtown News, Moe Nariman blames the recession, and says the closures should be temporary if he can find a buyer.

BACK UP LUNCH DOG: If Johnny Rockets' dogs are what you are missing, in the Financial District there is Jack's Coney Island Dogs. The small cafe at 601 W. 5th, next to Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and across from the Central Library, grills dogs in that New York style. Credit them for knowing their Downtown Los Angeles client base: they also serve dogs wrapped in bacon.

PARISIAN BITE IN RESIDENCE: Chef Ludo Lefebvre's pop-up restaurant at Gram & Papa's put the Fashion District eatery on a wider map. "Even though Ludobites 4.0 dinner service ended a few weeks ago, his spirit lives on in the form of 'Ludo’s Parisian,'" reports Midtown Lunch. For those who forgot, Gram & Papas opened in 2008.

WHO YOU LOOKIN' AT? Eater LA reports that interior designer and restauranteur Dana Hollister will take a crack at the small Arts District venue on Sante Fe and Palmetto. The space was first built out by Gideon Kotzer's team, then closed, then purchased by Elizabeth Peterson who was planning for a themed pub. This time, its cocktails in a bar with small plates, and the vibe will be that the cafe "was born in NYC's the Bowery." Villian's Tavern is the name.

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