Cantina Urbana Kalaveras is sure having a moment. They recently opened their location in Santa Monica. Now a reader spotted a banner up on the old Jerry’s Deli in Marina del Rey that says they are taking over the long-troubled space at 13181 Mindanao. And that’s not the end of the story: They are planning a major expansion across SoCal. Besides their current eight outposts, their website lists no less than 13 new locations in the works including Burbank, North Hollywood, and Long Beach. Kalaveras offers an immersive El Dia de Los Muertos celebratory fast/casual concept with “Latin American culinary classics” and a focus on mixology. (Thanks Jennifer!)
A sharp-eyed reader (Thanks LaShonda!) noticed a new sign at Torrance’s erstwhile branch of burger joint Stacked. It appears that someting called Kitchen of Korea is taking over the space at 3525 W Carson St. in the Del Amo Fashion Center. Self-described as a steakhouse, the website promises us “boundless menu options consisting of freshly prepared meats, seafood, and vegetables” with “traditional Korean ban-chan (side-dishes)”.
I’ve been hearing from shocked readers that everyone’s favorite grab-and-go burrito joint has abruptly pulled up stakes at 475 N Beverly Dr. A notice on the front door informs us that Chipotle has unceremoniously quit the space that was previously the longtime home of a Baja Fresh. Wasting no time, something has already leased the location so I’ll keep watch to see what may be taking over.
Something fresh and new is coming to the tiny space at 1512 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica. Windowpaper covering the front lets us know that Sogno Toscano is moving in. And what is that? While the name might not be immediately familiar, they are the “USA’s largest Italian online food store”. Maybe you’ve even spotted their delivery trucks ferrying their wide selection of Italian meats, cheeses, pasta, and oils. While they currently have a coffee and wine bar in New York, this location is being described as a “lifestyle cafe, wine bar, & specialty market”. (Thanks Kurt!)
Excited readers have been letting me know that there’s a great new sushi/ramen place open in El Segundo. While I’m a little late in the game in reporting this, Japonica is now open at 229 Main St. Japonica has two other South Bay locations and offers a solid menu of Japanese favorites such as sashimi, tempura, bowls, and rolls.
The space at 1237 3rd St. Promenade in Santa Monica has seen a number of eateries come and go. Years ago it was a Greek restaurant, then a BurgerIM, and most recently, a hot chicken place was slated to move in. But apparenty that fell through… Italian specialists Ugo Cafe has long had a relationship with Downtown Santa Monica. Originally, they had a shop in Santa Monica Place. Then they moved to 1400 Third Street Promenade. And now, they are opening a new location at 1237 3rd St. As you can see, the sign displays the new business as Ugo An Italian Trattoria. A spokesperson assured me that this will be their second location in Santa Monica (and third in total), and whereas their current Promenade location is more of a “grab and go” concept, the new location will be more of a “fancy” sit-down restaurant.
A new tea shop is coming to the space at 11138 Palms Blvd (corner of Sepulveda). With a handful of locations in Northern California, Ume Tea is expanding Southward. Expect a menu of milk teas with boba and/or mochi, fruit teas, and snacks.
People are demanding answers after an ABC application went up on the front of the beloved theater most recently home to ArcLight at 9500 Culver Blvd. in Culver City. Here’s what I can find out so far… It appears that Amazon is taking over the historic theater. And there will be food as well. The ABC app lists the name of the new business as LAX75, and the primary owner is listed as multinational foodservice company The Compass Group. There are a lot of rumors swirling around, so if you have more concrete info, please pass it along. (Thanks John!)
Erratum: This story originally reported the new restaurant as French 75. Thanks to all the readers who took the time to let me know.
It was back in March of this year that I told you about what was going to fill the cavernous hole left by the shocking disappearance of P.F. Chang’s on the corner of Wilshire and 4th in Santa Monica. Wasting no time whatsoever, Lotus Dim Sum Dumpling House has fully moved into the location and is throwing open their doors today, July 27th at 12:00pm. Along with recently-opened popular Osteria Del Fornaio on the opposite corner, Lotus is bringing a much-needed injection to a struggling Downtown Santa Monica dining scene that was hit hard by pandemic closures. We wish them the best of luck. You can check out Lotus’ menu here.
Yes, you read that headline right. There’s a new pork purveyor coming to the former home of Salt Creek Grille at 2015 East Park Pl in Plaza El Segundo. With a smattering of locations throughout CA, Sauced BBQ & Spirits is promising us “authentic slow-cooked Southern BBQ”, but that’s not all… We’re also being promised “axe throwing” at this location, which you’ll just have to read more about here. And yes, you can drink alcohol while throwing axes because, well, why not?
The troubled corner space at 1001 Gayley in Westwood Village was most recently and briefly the home to juice shop Qwench, and before that it was a branch of Coffee Bean. Now a reader (Thanks Kiko!) wrote to tell me that a new coffee joint is taking over to location. It appears that national chain Dunkin’ Donuts will soon be dishing breakfast pastries and sugary coffee drinks to the good people of Westwood.
A reader (Thanks Tom!) noticed new options coming to Downtown Santa Monica’s outpost of the rapidly expanding ghost kitchen enterprise Kitchen United Mix at 1315 Third St Promenade. This location (formerly The Gallery Food Hall) has had a troubled past, and has seen many eateries come and go. According to a banner on the front, we can soon expect take-away food from popular chains than previously were not easily accessed by the beach community: Chili’s To-Go, Maggiano’s, and It’s Just Wings. Chili’s To-Go‘s website says that they will open on August 9th.
Since like many locals in Summer I avoid Venice Beach, I appreciate a reader (Thanks Billy!) taking the time to let us all know that a sandwich shop that inspires cult-like devotion is opening a location there. Fat Sal’s Deli is replacing burger joint Simmzy’s at 37 Washington Blvd, near the corner of Pacific Ave. Fat Sal’s has 6 other locations (including Saudi Arabia) and appears close to opening this location, which means that beachgoers will soon be lined up for deep-fried mozzarella sticks on top of mouth-watering sandwiches.
I’m a little late in reporting this, but I’ve been hearing from shocked readers that Chin Chin has closed its doors at 206 S Beverly Dr. in Beverly Hills. I’m not entirely sure what happened, but the Asian-ish eatery has been a staple of the Beverly Hills dining scene for 25 years. One reader (Thanks Steve!) claimed it was due to leasing issues, and noted that the nearby branch in Brentwood is getting a much-needed scrub-up so don’t count Chin Chin out yet. It appears that the space is already leased, and as always, I’ll keep an eye out to see what may develop.
Update: While I have not confirmed this, a reader (Thanks Robin!) reports that this will be a branch of San Diego’s own Parakeet Cafe.
Ever since Argentinian steak house Malbec vacated the cavernous space at 2628 Wilshire, I’ve been keeping my eye on the location to see what would develop. Leased notices went up a while ago, but I could detect no movement… until now. An ABC application recently appeared on the front, spilling the beans that The Original Thai Dishes is setting up housekeeping (as opposed to the unrelated Thai Dishes on Broadway). According to a spokesperson, this not a second location for the classic Thai eatery, but rather a move from their current space at 19th and Wilshire.
Don’t ever count out plucky Panini Kabob Grill. While the chain has lost some prominent locations during The Pandemic (Santa Monica, Beverly Hills), they continue to open new ones. A sharp-eyed reader (Thanks Jennifer!) spotted a nonresponsibility notice on the door of the empty storefront at 13455 Maxella #250, on the second floor of the Villa Marina Marketplace in Marina del Rey. The notice lets us know that there’s a new Panini Kabob Grill on the way. PKG prides itself on fresh Mediterranean fare produced daily in their “scratch kitchen”. You can peruse their menu here.
There’s a banner hanging on the front of the space at 4850 Rosecrans Blvd. (corner of Inglewood Ave.) in Hawthorne, formerly home to a branch of Waba Grill. The banner informs us that Cluck & Blaze is moving in. C&B has two other locations (Long Beach, Glendale) and will soon be bringing “authentic Nashville-style hot chicken” to the good people toiling away in the nearby aerospace industries.
Poke & Co went belly-up a while ago, leaving a gaping hole at 2010 Sawtelle Blvd. That’s about to change. There’s a hiring notice on the front door that lists the new tenant as Supita. Their logo describes them as “tart specialists”. Other than that, I can’t seem to locate much on the new treat shop.
Update: I heard from the good people at Supita who asked me to pass along a link to their website. We wish them the best of luck.
A sharp-eyed reader (Thanks Kiko!) noticed window paper up on the former home of Veggie Grill at 10916 Lindbrook in Westwood Village. The paper promises us a branch of “modern fast-casual Indian eatery” Tulsi. Tulsi has two other locations in LA (with the ambitious goal to eventually bring “Indian food into every neighborhood”) and offers a menu of plant-based faves including dosa, samosas, kathi rolls, dabeli, and even a few tacos.
Some excellent sleuthing on the part of one of my readers (Thanks Helen!) uncovered the mystery of what has leased the former Swingers space at 802 Broadway (corner of Lincoln) in Santa Monica. She was able to discover a municipal application that reveals the name of the new business. Apparently, it is none other than a Sawtelle’s white-hot Mexican destination Hermanito. And this guy’s company is doing the design and consulting. Interesting…