Off-Ramp

Off-Ramp host John Rabe and contributors share thoughts on arts, culture, and life in L.A.

Where's Bruce? Giant martial arts hero disappears from Highland Park restaurant

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Many months ago, I posted an Instagram and Facebook photo of Bruce Lee that got a lot of attention.

Eight feet high, Bruce was poised as you see him here, impossibly abbed and nun-chucking on top of a new Japanese restaurant at 4017 North Figueroa Street in LA's Highland Park neighborhood.

You see the problem already: Bruce Lee was of Chinese descent. Born in San Francisco in 1940, raised in Hong Kong, taught by the famous Yip Man. He's iconic, he's beautiful, but passers-by could probably sense that something wasn't quite right.

That restaurant is now gone - replaced by Pasta Fresca Italian Grill - and so is Bruce. Anna Urvina, who was behind the counter this morning, says she doesn't know where Bruce went, and she also smiled at the incongruity.

Pasta Fresca has the usual pasta and sandwich fare, but Anna promises a pizza oven is coming soon. Anna, just a hint: it wouldn't take much to raise the bar for pizza delivered to this part of town. Make a solid pizza and get it to us in 45 minutes and it won't matter if you have a statue of Karl Marx or Sam Yorty on the roof.

Meantime, will the owner of the Bruce Lee statue please identify themselves?

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