Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

ICYMI: Formosa Cafe Moving Toward Historic Status, CAFAM Name Change, New Restaurants & More

In our daily reading, we come across a number of items that are worth passing along to our readers. Here’s a selection from the last few weeks, “In Case You Missed It”:

West Hollywood Historic Preservation Commission Designates Formosa Cafe as a Cultural Resource

West Hollywood’s online news site WEHOville reported yesterday that the city’s Historic Preservation Commission has voted to recommend the designation of the Formosa Café as a cultural resource, and the recommendation will now go to the West Hollywood City Council for final approval.   In the WEHOville story, Roy Rogers Oldenkamp, a member of the HPC board, said the building may also be eligible for state and local historic designations.  According to the WHOville story:

“The Formosa was eligible for designation as a cultural resource because it is identified with persons or events significant in local, state or national history, one of the criteria for such a designation. Another criterion the Formosa Café meets is that it has “distinguishing characteristics of an architectural or historical type or specimen.” That distinction is based on the Formosa’s repurposed Pacific Electric Red Car, a trolley built between 1901 and 1906 that is now home to the Formosa’s bar. The 1933 Group has been restoring that classic car using money it received from the Los Angeles Conservancy, which promoted the Formosa in a national contest for grants from Partners in Preservation.”

The iconic restaurant is now being renovated by its owner, 1933 Group, which specializes in creating new bars and restaurants in historic places.

CAFAM is Now Craft Contemporary

It’s not often one of our major museums changes its name, so it was kind of surprising to hear that Miracle Mile’s Craft and Folk Art Museum has now become Craft Contemporary.  According to an LA Times story on the name change, “The new name is an attempt to better reflect what the museum has been emphasizing of late: the intersection of contemporary art, craft and design, as opposed to historical exhibitions or dedicated folk art shows.”  Also in the Times story, the museum’s executive director Suzanne Isken said, ““We feel like folk is a kind of craft; we don’t see it as a separate category…All this stuff — folk art, craft, contemporary art, fine art, high art, low art, street art — it all comes together in one category: art. So for us, those categories aren’t useful anymore. If you’re weaving in Oaxaca, it’s craft.” The name change is effective immediately, and the museum will debut a new website to go with the name change in April.

Chef Christophe Émé Opening Kass in Old 320 Wine Bar/Wilde Space

Several sources, including EaterLA and Los Angeles magazine, have reported that former Ortolan chef Christophe Émé will be opening a new venture, Kass Wine Bar + Restaurant, very soon in the old 320 Wine Bar/Wilde space at 320 S. La Brea.  According to the Eater story, Émé “plans to create an approachable wine bar with a tight menu of appetizers, entrees, and desserts.”  Also, “Émé thinks most diners will spend about $50 to $60 after a glass or two of wine and a few plates. He’ll also plan to offer reasonably priced $40 wine bottles to keep it approachable for the neighborhood, though oenophiles will certainly see rare and unique finds that should pique their interest.”

Supremo Ristorante Open in Old Mo’ Better Space

Much more low-key, but still of interest to neighbors, is the news that Supremo Ristorante, a new Italian restaurant, is now open in the former Mo’ Better Burgers storefront at 901 S. La Brea.  We haven’t visited yet, but the business’ Facebook page has yummy-looking photos of pizzas, coffee, pasta, homemade calzones, risotto and more.

Obituary: Rafael Marquis de Marchena-Huyke

Finally, sad news for friends, family and neighbors of Hancock Park resident Rafael Marquis de Marchena-Huyke, who passed away on January 6, just shy of his 87th birthday.  A LA Times obituary notes that de Marchena-Huyke was born in Barranquilla, Colombia.  After moving to Los Angeles, he worked in Beverly Hills and Hollywood as a hair stylist and interior and floral designer, and “is also remembered for his charitable giving to institutions supporting the arts and education in Los Angeles and his native Colombia.” In September of last year, Rafael published a memoir, “My Life Between the Sheets: the Memoirs of a Beverly Hills Hairstylist and Interior Designer,” recounting his adventures in those professions.   The obituary also noted that “Rafael said goodbye to his devoted friends and family in recent weeks by hosting a number of soirees in the home he lovingly decorated. At Rafael’s request, the funeral mass will be private. His wish is to have family and loved ones remember him in life – boundless energy, highly creative and intelligent, and always thoughtful. Living every day to the fullest.”


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Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and has been writing for the Buzz since 2015.

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