El Bulli to Close. Three New Bars to Open Downtown.

My taste buds are at a loss for words. One thing that has kept them going through times of desperate hunger pangs followed by a quickly made-up meal of cheap pizza or not-so-fresh leftovers was the promise of traveling to Spain to taste what Chef Ferran Adria has been cooking at his legendary El Bulli restaurant in Spain.

Chef Ferran Adria

Last month, Adria announced he would be temporarily closing El Bulli for 2012 and 2013 to reevaluate how to take the restaurant and his cooking workshops to the next level. The plan, for which my taste buds were very grateful, was to reopen in 2014. On Friday, however, came the news that El Bulli—about which there is no word to overestimate its contribution to molecular gastronomy and world cuisine in general—will close permanently as a result of Adria and his partner’s continually enormous expenses. The space will become a culinary academy, which does inspire some hope to my palate, but I’m confident that just because Adria will be teaching doesn’t mean we’ll be able to meet his level of excellence in the kitchen.

Deep breath and onto some good news—the JW Marriott (which will soon have a Ritz-Carlton section), which opened this week, debuts restaurant LA Market, a lounge called Glance, their poolside bar, Ion, as well as a cocktail bar aptly dubbed The Mixing Room.

Here’s what you can expect from each (aside from a full bar to quell any lingering El Bulli depressions): LA Market takes advantage of the Californian tradition of procuring the freshest ingredients possible, will feature former Haute Ambassador Chef Kerry Simon in the kitchen, and will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Glance will serve as the hotel’s wine bar and sits in the lobby while Ion is set at the rooftop pool and will be open for dinner.  Lastly, following in the footsteps of L.A.’s most popular bars of the moment, The Mixing Room will highlight its mixologists’ innovative and alcoholic creations, small plates, and people watching.  The hotel will also feature a coffee bar called Eli’s Coffee that will be open for breakfast and lunch—a cure for that Ferran Adria-induced hangover.

The JW Marriott is located at 900 W. Olympic Blvd. in Downtown L.A. 213.765.8600

For more information on El Bulli, please click here.