Many of you have been asking for answers about what is happening behind the construction at LA’s legendary fine dining space Melisse. This just landed in my inbox: Josiah Citrin’s highly anticipated new restaurant is named Citrin and will open on December 12th at the Melisse location (1104 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica). The food is being described as “modern Californian” and the space a “fun, welcoming, and approachable room” with a large bar and an a la carte menu. Reservations are now being accepted here. And we’re being told to expect a new “Melisse experience” soon. I’ll keep you posted…
Meanwhile, a but farther north… Apparently there have been rumors for a while, but proof is now up in the form of a window banner announcing that a branch of Santa Barbara’s mini chain of “craft burgers with heart and soul”, Mesa Burger, is landing in the old Tutti’s/Coffee Bean location at 1209 Coast Village Road in Montecito. If you don’t know about Mesa Burger, you should: Celebrity Chef Cat Cora is part owner and force behind the menu of gourmet, handcrafted burgers, farm fresh salads, hand-spun shakes, and other items that are made using conscientiously-sourced and sustainable ingredients. Local beers and wines are also on offer. It looks like they’re shooting for a Spring opening. Well worth the drive.
Asian food specialist Northern Café has quietly been leading the recent tenuous revival of Westwood Village. In 2016 they opened a dumpling restaurant on Gayley, followed by a noodle joint on Weyburn earlier this year. Now a banner is up on the space at 1061 Broxton, former location of SpireWorks, announcing their intention to open a Chinese hot pot restaurant. We wish them the best of luck…
It appears that casual outdoor burger spot Cowabunga Republic has closed up shop at 2912 Main St. in Santa Monica. The giant for lease sign on the front confirms the sad news. Cowabunga Republic burst on the scene earlier this year with a lot of initial attention from locals. I’m not sure what happened, but I’ll keep watching the unusual space to see what new venture may take a chance.
Wishing all readers a joyous holiday filled with good food, family, and dear friends. I’m very grateful to all my dedicated readers for giving me the inspiration and support to keep exploring the excitement of the LA food scene. Happy Thanksgiving from Toddrickallen!
You know I’ve been tracking the massive expansion of the Israeli chain obsessed with lilliputian burgers, Burgerim. But could there be a bump in the road to SoCal domination? As a reader pointed out (Thanks Tony!) the new-ish Burgerim at 250 S Beverly Dr. in Beverly Hills has already called it quits after about a year. Not sure what happened, but the reader suspects competition from Burger Lounge, which is directly across the street, could have had something to do with it.
Sometimes, for reasons I don’t immediately understand, the amount of interest in a story of mine catches me by surprise. This is exactly the case here. Ever since I told you about the impending arrival of the iconic sign that inspired Ed Ruscha to the corner of Imperial and Crenshaw, a great many of you have been asking for updates. Well, today is the day you’ve been waiting for: Popular SoCal diner Norms opened today (November 21) in Crenshaw Imperial Plaza to long lines of excited fans. You’re welcome.