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Alma, Ari Taymor's lauded DTLA restaurant, is closing

Alma, Ari Taymor's lauded DTLA restaurant, is closing
Chef Ari Taymor is shown in 2012, when he opened his downtown Los Angeles restaurant, Alma, with partner Ashleigh Parsons. The two have just announced the restaurant will close later this month. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)

In a post on Instagram this morning, Ari Taymor and Ashleigh Parsons wrote that despite last-ditch efforts to save their 3-year-old downtown Los Angeles restaurant, Alma, they will be closing later this month.

Alma has been in the news over the last few months, as Taymor and Parsons struggled to raise money and fight a lawsuit brought by a former patron who alleged that Taymor and Parsons reneged on a handshake agreement to give him 20% ownership of Alma. Alma's owners fought the suit, raising money to keep the restaurant open from a Indie-gogo campaign.

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Alma had been on shaky ground almost since the beginning. It was a tiny experimental restaurant in a grungy part of downtown that got enormous acclaim very quickly. Within a year of opening, Alma was crowned the best restaurant in the country by Bon Appetit magazine — when both Taymor and Parsons were only 26 years old.

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For the record

Oct. 3, 1:18 p.m.: An earlier version of this article reported that Alma was named best restaurant in 2013 by Bon Apetit. Alma was named best new restaurant by the magazine that year.

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"Traditional investors would laugh us out of the room," Taymor told the L.A. Times in July. "We were week-to-week from Day One."

That last week will end Oct. 24. As Taymor and Parsons wrote via Instagram: "Today we announce that after 3 years of operating in downtown Los Angeles, we will be closing Alma.

"... The challenges this small business faces restricts its ability to continue. To those who contributed to our @indiegogo campaign thank you. We will certainly honor your perks. Thank you to all who have supported this vision. We hope to see you in the space over the coming month and we look forward to sharing with you what we intend to create next."

Hopefully what they do create next will be in Los Angeles, and in the not too distant future.

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