Basanti Tea Bar Landing Soon In Beverly Hills

Looks like a new venture, Basanti Tea Bar will soon be taking over the vacated Crumbs Bake Shop space at 9465 South Santa Monica Blvd. in Beverly Hills.  Not much out there yet except a still-developing website and job listings, but apparently the company was founded in Monterrey, Mexico in 2008.  Look for a menu of “more than 35 loose leaf tea mixes, exotic fruits and indulgent flavors”.  No word on an opening date, but I’ll keep checking…



Koala Tapioca Opening (Very) Soon In Westwood…

Koala Tapioca is in their final build-out and hiring phase and is poised to open soon at 10965 Weyburn Ave. in Westwood. Created by two UCLA alums, this is their first foray into brick-and-mortar after beginning in a truck named Koala Tea.  Look for a menu of icy drinks, boba, and street food with strong Asian influences that you can read more about here. 





Hillstone Restaurant Group Expands Into Montecito

It wasn’t that long ago that an old-timey nursery sat at 1255 Coast Village Road in posh Montecito, a relic of the now-tony street’s utilitarian past that has disappeared to accommodate the patrons of estates worth millions just a stone’s throw away.  The nursery was demolished to make space for a new development that will house a branch of LA-based Hillstone Restaurant Group (Houston’s, South Beverly Grill, Gulfstream, Bandera), according to the ABC application posted outside.  This will be a prominent national chain presence in the sleepy seaside town known for its fiercely local and independent restaurant scene.  And while I can confirm neither an opening date nor the exact branch of the HRG, rumor has it that the new venue will be an R+D Kitchen.



Here’s A List Of Restaurants Coming Soon To The Point In El Segundo.

I’ve been watching The Point, the upscale outdoor mall being built on the corner of Sepulveda and Rosecrans in Manhattan Beach/El Segundo.  After a little bit of investigation back in September, I told you that True Food Kitchen would be moving into the colossal development in 2015.  And now comes news, via the LA Times, of the other restaurants that will be on offer:  Mendocino Farms, Superba Food & Bread, Shophouse, North Italia (which along with True Food Kitchen is part of the Fox Restaurant Concepts group), and a “restaurant and marketplace” from the founder of Pitfire Artisan Pizza.  Look for the openings to begin sometime in 2015.



Baltaire Restaurant Arriving Soon To Brentwood…

I think many on the Westside were astonished and perhaps a bit nostalgic when that popular destroyer of waistlines, The Cheesecake Factory, abruptly closed its doors in 2012 at 11647 San Vicente Blvd. in Brentwood.  It’s long been reported that The Coral Tree Café has been renovating the space to make way for a cavernous new steakhouse.  And now we have a name…  According to the sign tacked up on the plywood announcing a job fair, the new restaurant will be called Baltaire.  No word on an exact opening date, but they appear to be getting close…