BY JEFF HALL & KELLY HARTOG
A neighborhood hangout for 45 years, the popular café is set to close sometime this summer.
High property taxes are forcing local Brentwood eatery Early World to close its doors.
Owner Nazmi Qutami told Brentwood News that while the exact date they will serve their final meal has yet to be determined, they expect to be out of the premises sometime this summer – possibly in July.
Nazmi and Georgia Qutami, together with their loyal crew – Paula, Marcie and Platon – have been taking orders and pouring coffee at their family-friendly café on San Vicente Boulevard since 1972.
However, back in October 2014, Brentwood resident and well-known local developer Rick Caruso, snapped up the property when it came on the market for the first time in 88 years.
The parcel Caruso bought also includes the adjoining Vicenti Ristorante and the Brentwood Cut Salon.
Caruso’s purchase of the property triggered property tax reassessments that saw Qutami’s tax bill rise a massive 500 percent, from $6,000 to $30,000 per year.
“We really enjoyed the neighborhood,” Qutami told Brentwood News. “Brentwood’s [residents were] always very supportive of Early World. Brentwood is part of us.”
Indeed, Early World had a reputation as a great family establishment (Qutami’s children Ari and Miriam also grew up helping in the restaurant), with excellent food. A recent Yelp review stated Early World was, “The absolute best diner in Los Angeles! It’s our go-to weekend place with the family. Food is delicious (best eggs, pancakes, hash browns in town!) and the owner Nasmi and waitstaff could not be nicer!”
Another reviewer wrote, “I love the classic hometown diner feel of Early World. When I want a yummy, simple breakfast, this is my go-to. It’s not hip or fancy, but the food is great and the staff is really friendly and provides good service. It’s another good spot to take my parents when they come to town.”
Early World has also been a staple with celebrities over the decades, including Christian Bale, Dustin Hoffman, Hal Fishman, Fergie, Governor Jerry Brown, Tom Hanks, Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake, Ryan O’Neal, Pam Dawber, Steven Spielberg, David O’Russell, Josh Duhamel, Eugene Levy, and Julie Andrews, to name a few.
Locals also knew that the late Stan Lefcourt – Brentwood’s “Poet Laureate,” – would only meet people at Early World.
Qutami said he doesn’t know what will happen to the property once he leaves, but speculated that a “fancier” restaurant may take Early World’s place.
For now, though, Early World is still here, so make sure to pop in for a final meal and bid a fond farewell to this local haunt.