There has been a lot of confusion over much-beloved neighborhood haunt Babalu on the corner of 10th and Montana Ave. in Santa Monica. Indeed, Carmen Miranda’s smiling face has been gazing down on traffic from their sign for 27 years. Locals have been wildly speculating about recent odd hours and closures, but now it’s final: Babalu is officially closed. After a quick redo to replace tropical kitch with a cool industrial vibe, a new venture, Art’s Table has moved in and is now open. Brought to you by businessman, restaurateur, and owner of Westside Rentals Mark Verge, his latest offers a menu of burgers, salads, and sandwiches in a cozy neutral setting. Read Babalu’s parting message here.
The 35th anniversary of Food Fare takes place this Thursday, March 6th at Barker Hangar at the Santa Monica Airport. Benefitting Planned Parenthood, the event began in 1979 with a cooking demo from Julia Child. This year’s Food Fare honors Celestino Drago as Chef of the Year and includes an auction and offerings from over 100 participants such as Chi Spacca, Craft, Border Grill, Salt’s Cure, Lucques, and Kreation. Read more and purchase tickets here.
Way back in August 2012, I first noticed that signs had gone up announcing a new frozen yogurt shop going into the building on the corner of Centinela and Washington Place. Since then, locals have waited, and waited, and waited… Well, the wait is over. After a mysteriously long time, the Culver City location of self-serve frozen yogurt chain Cherry On Top is finally open. Read more here.
Here’s welcome news if you’ve been tortured by the thought of having to walk more than a block for fresh juice anywhere on the Westside: The new Groundwork on the corner of 16th and Montana Ave. in Santa Monica now carries a range of cold-pressed juices from rapidly expanding Pressed Juicery.
Back in October, I told you about a sign that went up on a storefront in a strip mall at 12201 Santa Monica Blvd. in West LA announcing Another Burger Joint: Carnivores and Vegetarians Welcome. Well, as you can see from the photo, it looks like they’ve settled on a name: Quicksand and they’re shooting for a March 4th opening. Until then, read more about them and check out their menu here.
It took a bit longer than the December projected opening, but diminutive coffee shop Comoncy recently opened in the old Boule space at 413 N. Bedford in Beverly Hills. Brought to you by the people at Coral Tree Cafe, Comoncy (which according to the website mean “coming together and sharing” in case you’re wondering) offers a menu of coffee, pastries, salads, and sandwiches that you can read more about here.
The controversial Starbucks on the corner of 11th and Wilshire in Santa Monica opened for business today. And while the opening of a new Starbucks isn’t exactly headline-making news, this particular one is notable because it became a poster child for Santa Monica’s inexorable drive toward over-development and loss of local character, even garnering a petition drive to retain the previous tenant, Farrah’s Florist. But the coffee giant has prevailed, and now sits firmly in command of the prominent corner across from Melisse.