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During the shutdown, while eateries across L.A. were closing down or shifting to takeout/delivery only, a few restaurateurs were pluckily debuting.
One is Wabi on Rose (512 Rose Ave.), a Venice sushi spot that counts Sentinels gaming agency CEO and former Paramount vice chair Rob Moore as its lead investor. (Other eateries to open recently include Highland Park Mexican spot Pocha, DTLA Filipino restaurant Petite Peso and Interstellar cafe in Santa Monica.) Wabi on Rose is a new iteration of Wabi, a beloved Abbot Kinney staple that closed in 2018 after being gutted by a fire.
“Compared to what they’d gone through [with the fire], they were ready,” says Moore of the decision to open in early April for delivery and takeout. “They just immediately adapted and addressed how to open in an environment that would be safe for the well-being of everybody.”
The restaurant, which has been donating meals to unemployed hospitality workers since its debut, is now ready to fully open June 18 for dine-in, including on its patio, which has “these semicircle booths that are separate from everybody else,” says GM Brent Moon. It also hopes to secure a permit for additional sidewalk tables.
For Moore, his new venture sometimes delivers unexpected flashbacks.
“Looking at the prior night’s report feels like looking over box office grosses,” he says. “It’s that same bizarre dynamic.”
A version of this story first appeared in the June 17 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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