“We’re figuring out ways to adapt while the months ahead are still uncertain. We’ll miss all of you, our Culver City neighbors, but it isn’t goodbye. We’re evolving…” Chef Josef Centeno announced August 13, 2020 on social media that he would be closing his downtown Culver City restaurant Amacita, “for the forseeable future.”
According to LA Eater, Centeno has also lost Downtown LA restaurant Baco Mercat this month, while seeing his tasting menu restaurant Orsa & Winston be named the Restaurant of the Year by the LA Times.
Amacita had a bustling bar scene, and was beloved by many of the downtown office works as a great spot for a beer and a bite at the end of the day. As a part of the domino effect of office closures, the pandemic has taken down a number of the places they frequented for fun.
Centano is not closing doors and going home; his social media also notes that the “soul” of Amacita will continue on at Bar Ama, which is also now home to some of Baco Mercat’s most beloved dishes. Everyone from New York Times California critic Tejal Rao to LA Times co-critic Bill Addison spent time raving about dishes at Amacita, particularly the lush queso, which can still be found at Bar Ama.
Prior to operating as Amacita, the corner location in DTCC was actually an offshoot of Baco, called BacoShop, which sold even more casual versions of the famed baco sandwiches and other vegetable-focused sides.
Since the pandemic, Centeno and his staff have worked tirelessly, including feeding healthcare workers across the city for weeks on end.
It’s unclear if, or when, Amacita will reopen, though given the current state of affairs between the pandemic and resulting economic slowdown, it’s hard to imagine an immediate return.