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Kismet Falafel has closed in Grand Central Market

Chef Sarah Hymanson, left, hands a falafel sandwich to customer Ryan Badaraco at Kismet Falafel, previously Madcapra.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Kismet Falafel, the fast-casual stall from chefs Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson in Grand Central Market, has closed permanently.

“We didn’t feel we could sustain [Kismet Falafel] in the current climate,” Kramer said in an email. “We need to focus our energy where it makes the most sense, sad as it makes us.”

The closure comes as many small restaurants across the country are struggling to maintain their financial footing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kramer and Hymanson opened Kismet Falafel in 2015 under the name Madcapra. The white-tiled lunch counter was best known for its crunchy green-hued, rectangular-shaped falafel served in a sandwich or salad with pickles and herbaceous hot sauce.

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The chefs would later open Kismet in Los Feliz in 2017 and Kismet Rotisserie in 2019. Those restaurants remain open for takeout.

Nicole Rucker’s pop-up Fat & Flour, which is currently operating out of a different location in the market, is slated to take over the stall temporarily.

Although Grand Central Market has reopened for dine-in business, foot traffic at the downtown institution has not returned to pre-pandemic levels.


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