A few days shy of a year ago I posted enthusiastically about the opening of a new Mid City-area restaurant called Indulge Cafe on the corner of Pico and Redondo. I was specifically excited because it marked the revivial of Mo’ Better Meatty Meat Burgers since Indulge was owned and operated by the creators of the Mo’ Better magic and were the original proprietors of the eatery at Fairfax and Pico, which closed a few years ago to much mourning by its fans.
Bad weather and the holidays and schedules and work and stuff conspired to postpone my first burger until a month later when a bunch of us including my friends Mr. Rollers and downtown blogger Pamela, Blogdowntown’s Eric Richardson, and fellow Metblogs contributor Spencer Cross got together and on our bikes for a visit. Once there we found the warm hospitality of owner/operators Tami and Jack and Eve and — as Spencer wrote about it here — we enjoyed their scrumptiously hand-crafted and very tasty burgers, such as the one pictured at right.
I’d been there a couple times since then and damn if Indulge wasn’t the kind of friendly and welcoming neighborhood place a lot of people yearn for, populated by a revolving a cast of local characters with conversations and introductions frequently shepherded by Tami and Jack. In fact, my last time in there happened to coincide with a visit by actor Dominic Monaghan (Merry in the “LOTR” trilogy; Charlie in “Lost”) and as he placed his order while I awaited the arrival of mine Tami suddenly asked him: “Do you know Will?”
“He bikes everywhere!” she told him and we shook hands. When she asked if I knew Dominic. “Are you kidding?” I replied. “Who doesn’t know Cha-lee!”
Fast forward to this October. My wife Susan and I were coming back home after a community bike ride along Ballona Creek, and decided to stop in for a long-overdue visit. We were happy to find the place freshly muralized, but disappointed to be greeted by a sign on the door that indicated Indulge would be closed for renovations until early November. A few weeks later on my way in to work I pedaled up to the door and noted that sign had been replaced with a more ominous one tersely directing all mail delivers to be made next door.
Curiosity finally got the best of me last week and I dialed Indulge’s number to find it had been changed. Calling the new number I got Jack’s voicemail and left a message wondering if the closure was only temporary. He was kind enough to return my call over the Thanksgiving weekend with bad news and good news.
Bad news: It turns out the 5101 Pico Boulevard location’s wasn’t working out — no doubt made worse by the lack of available parking — and Indulge had indeed closed.
Good news: A search is underway for a new address and he’s hopeful that sometime not too long into 2009 Indulge will be back in the burger biz, once mo’.