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every once in a while you have the meal of a lifetime. in the three short years that alma has been open, i have eaten here only four times, and each time i went was one of those meals. sure there were mistakes, delays in timing, a dish off just slightly, but man was i astounded that every time i went in i left with my mind blown by some sort of delicacy that even if i had the recipe i was sure i couldn’t reproduce. this is culinary mastery at its best. tonight was no different.

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i had heard of the troubles alma was having via social media, and quickly donated to their indiegogo crowd funding site. i chose the ‘dinner for one’ perk, and a ‘tote bag.’ this place was too important to the downtown los angeles cuisine, and more importantly…its community, to let it go away. it raised upwards of 50k, but sadly even with many efforts to stay open, it will close october 24.

i have often thought, if i were to open a restaurant it would be a place like alma: small, personal, farm to table, community driven, and sustainable. the same person greeting you at the door could be pouring your wine and taking your order, but also expediting the kitchen, and even sometimes preparing your dish. the kitchen is small, and the prep has to be thought out precisely. there is no walk-in freezer, actually to my knowledge there is no freezer, and only a very small fridge to hold what has to be kept cool until made that evening. i have been there when the kitchen is shutting down, cleaning out, and throwing away the last bits of mis-en-place, and it seems extremely minimal. impressive.

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i will truly miss this place, and rumors of another alma in the future makes me giddy.

*i must say, even though they knew i was redeeming my perk (i would only have to pay tax), the staff treated me like any other diner, and because of that they got better (and then some) than twenty percent and not just on the $14.85 tax i owed them.

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