2 Closings that break my heart: Pradeep's and Valentino (SM)

I seemed to have taken these two beloved restaurants for granted, one is gone, one is closing soon. Pradeep’s on Montana Avenue was my go-to for take-out, just super clean and flavorful Indian. A great place for a meal before the Aero Theater.

Valentino, it just feels like they stopped caring. I’ve had some of my most memorable meals there, and even recently have had outstanding meals. But they lost their will to live, or something.

@yogachik I’ve never been. Is Valentino worth going to try before they close?

Yes. Kinda like being in the arena for the first time to watch Michael Jordan play in an NBA game live, but with MJ in a Wizards uniform. You can always say you were there.


Looks like I’m going to have to book a meal here before they check out. Thanks, @J_L!

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Somehow in the years I have lived in Los Angeles, I never made it to Valentino, but sadly I think that style of white table cloth fine dining is being replaced by the more casual. I don’t know if Valentino is as grand as Del Posto in New York where everything from the stemware to every piece of china or pottery is exquisite (and the food is great as well), but I do find it sad that there doesn’t seem to be much room in the market any more for that style of dining.

I never made it out to Valentino either. What are some of the hits there?

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Someday we will say the same thing about Melisse.


Stick to the antipasti and pastas

Not a peep of excitement over Melisse’s product on food websites recently. Staid.

Same could be said of Valentino. And it would also be true. Maybe truer.

True, but Valentino at least has some more historical value.

Perhaps as early as 2019, when the current Melisse lease ends:

“Regardless of the outcome, Citrin will evolve Melisse into something new in 2019, whether in its current location or new location.”

For that brief moment when Michelin included Los Angeles, Valentino and Melisse were both given a star (2 for Melisse).

I will not sing the praises of the food at Valentino, but I will sing the praises of a meal there. It’s nice to eat at a spacious restaurant with a mature environment in which I don’t have to strain to hear my dinner companion over loud rap or rock music and a cacophony of young inebriated diners. It’s also nice to have experienced, professional servers instead of know-nothing amateurs trained to recite spiels about the “concept” of the menu and their own “personal favorite” dishes.

Restaurants like this are few and far between. Valentino, Spago, Melisse, and Providence are the historical leaders in my mind. My new favorite is Officine Brera, which I think also happens to have much better food than Valentino (and nearby Bestia for that matter).


For some reason, Melisse’s menu has always seemed uninspiring to me, but from the looks of it, I better hit it up before they morph into an entirely different concept.

Was never a fan of pradeep tbh…

The Valentino part makes me somewhat sad. It was the spot of my wife and I’s first nice dinner out together when we were sweethearts. To this day I remember the tortellini in brodo changing my mind about, well, mainly everything. Maybe we’ll make it out one more time, is there an actual close date?

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According to Eater, it’s closing the end of the year.

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