McCall’s Meat & Fish Co. Opens Today On Montana…

McCall’s Meat & Fish Co. has certainly generated a buzz in Santa Monica.  Ever since I first posted about the expansion of Los Feliz’ beloved “gourmet neighborhood market” to 1426 Montana Ave (Ste 7) late last year, people been demanding answers as to an opening date.  After much anticipation, McCall’s Meat & Fish Co. will officially throw open their doors today (Wed. 26 January) at 10:00am (or possibly 10:30am, the website and notice on the door don’t agree).  Expect the “highest quality meats, fish, produce, pastries, and retail accompaniments”.  You’re welcome…

Honeybee Burger Flies Into Venice

A large painted sign has popped up on the space at 326 Lincoln Blvd., previously home to a branch of CAVA.  The new resident will be vegan specialist Honeybee Burger.  With two other outposts in LA, Honeybee Burger offers a menu of 100% plant-based sandwiches, burritos, and breakfasts that have made multiple “best of ” lists including VegNews‘ best LA vegan burger.

Lorenzo California Bringing Tuscan-style Sandwiches To Beverly Hills

S. Santa Monica Blvd. is notorious for being a revolving door for restaurants, so it takes a brave contender to give it a go.  One courageous eatery is about to try their luck.  There’s window paper up on a former jewelry store space at 9529 S Santa Monica Blvd. announcing the arrival of something called Lorenzo California.  According to the announcement, Lorenzo will be introducing a “Florence style schiacciata sandwhich” to The Golden Triangle.  As near as I can tell, a schiacciata sandwich is a Tuscan sandwich composed of a specialty regional bread with various cuts of meats and cheeses.  I don’t have much information on Lorenzo other that this, so if you know more, please send it along.  

Shake Shack Conming To Culver City

Congratulations Good People of Culver City, fabled burgers are heading your way!  Plywood on one of the free-standing spaces in the food court of the Westfield Culver City Shopping Center (Fox Hills Mall) is proclaiming the news that this will soon be home to a branch of Shake Shack.  As you know, Shake Shack began life about 20 years ago as a pet project of legendary New York restaurateur Danny Meyer and has ever since embarked on an inexorable march toward world domination fueled mostly by cultish devotion of fans.   The ABC app on the front lets us know beer and wine will be on offer as well as shakes.  Looks like they’re very close to opening…

Tu Madre Coming To Downtown Santa Monica

Obica ended its LA run back in 2020.  The Downtown Santa Monica location of the Italian mozzarella chain, at 606 Broadway Ste 100, has sat empty since at least January of that year.  But that’s about to change.  An ABC application has recently gone up on the space informing us that this will soon be a branch of Tu MadreTacos Tu Madre has four other locations across LA and specializes in creative Mexican food in bright, colorful surroundings.

Cha Cha Matcha Dances Into Century City

Compartes Chocolates closed down fairly early into the Pandemic, leaving their first floor Westfield Century City Shopping Center location vacant for months.  But a new tenant is on the way.  A reader (Thanks M!) wrote to tell me that this will soon be a branch of Cha Cha MatchaCCM currently has two other LA locations and four NYC outposts and “specializes in all things matcha” using only ceremonial-grade powder from Uji, Japan.  Looks like they’re shooting for a Spring opening.

Wood Ranch Replacing Bandera In Brentwood

People were absolutely gutted when I reported that beloved Westside institution Bandera, which closed during the lockdowns, would not be reopening at 11704 Wilshire in Brentwood.  Even now I still hear from gob-smacked fans wondering what will replace it.  Now we know…  A sharp-eyed reader (Thanks Durendal_et_joyeuse!) wrote to tell me that this location will soon be the home to a branch of Wood Ranch.  Their website and a notice of nonresponsibility on the front door confirm the news.  For those unfamiliar, Wood Ranch has locations throughout SoCal and specializes in wood-fired BBQ, oak-grilled steaks, seafood, burgers, and sandwiches.

Hurry Curry of Tokyo Rises From The Ashes In Santa Monica

Ever since I told you about the heartbreaking closure of Hurry Curry of Tokyo in Sawtelle Japantown, many readers reached out to me to express their shock and sadness.  Well, you can take a breath.  A reader (Thanks JC!) let me know they have found a new location in a small space at 2901 Ocean Park Blvd #125, formerly home to Ocean Park Ramen House.   Looks like they’re shooting for an early 2022 opening.  You’re welcome…

Bubbletopia LA, Dogbite Gourmet Hot Dogs Coming To Santa Monica

It appears something new is taking over the Market Pavillion at 1260 Third St. Promenade, last home of the extremely short-lived Kindred Spirit coffee shop.  Actually, two new things.  The north half is turning into something called Bubbletopia LA. The south half will be Dogbite Gourmet Hot Dogs.  Bubbletopia LA will feature milk tea, fruit tea, and waffles with ice cream and various toppings. Dogbite‘s menu offers such things as Chili Dogs, Elote Dogs, and Ring Dogs (bacon-wrapped beef dogs with onion rings, coleslaw, onion, and BBQ sauce), served alongside fries with various toppings.  Curiously, I can’t seem to locate much information about these two businesses, so if you know more, let me know…

Happy New Year From Toddrickallen!

At this time of year, I like to say a heart-felt thank you to all who read and support this blog.  What a year 2021 has been.  I know I’m not alone in looking forward to a more hopeful 2022.   We’ve all had to learn how to live with change, including in the LA food scene.  But regardless of what’s to come, I’ll still be here as your trusted source for Westside food news.  I wish you all a safe, healthy, delicious New Year!

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Killer Sushi Replacing Killer Cafe In MDR

The space at 4213 Admiralty in Marina del Rey, in the same building that houses crustacean specialists Killer Shrimp, used to be the home of their diner concept, Killer Cafe.  That closed a while ago, and the location has been undergoing renovations for quite some time.  Maybe about a year ago, I started hearing rumors that the address was to be converted into a sushi restaurant, but I could never find any evidence… until now.  Signs have recently gone up announcing the brand’s new venture: Killer Sushi.

Cafe Berlina Arrives In Santa Monica

A charming new German-themed coffee and pastry shop has appeared almost overnight in Santa Monica.   Cafe Berlina recently threw open their doors in the space at 1620 Wilshire Blvd., most recently home to Posh Cafe.  Expect a menu of coffee, espresso, pastries, breakfasts, and sandwiches.  Their signature drink is is the Bearlatte which is their espresso, oat milk, and a pinch of hazelnut.  We wish them the best of luck.

Buena Vida Tea Bar & Garden Opens On Montana Ave.

This was certainly a long time coming…  It was back in March of 2020 when I first noticed window paper on the front of the space at 726 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica announcing the arrival of Buena Vida Tea Bar & Garden.  Then nothing happened.  Well, they recently (finally) opened.  Expect a strong emphasis on the “experience”, “sensation”, and “journey” of tea, as well as sweet and savory baked goods with a “California Coastal” vibe.  We wish them the best of luck.

Fogo De Chão Coming To El Segundo

Rosecrans Blvd. in El Segundo continues its transformation into Restaurant Row.  It is already lined with supper-clubby big-ticket steak and seafood spots such as Fleming’s and Eddie V’s.  Now a long-standing inhabitant of La Cienega’s Restaurant Row is joining the mix.  In the space that used to house Grimaldi’s at 2121 Rosecrans Ave Ste 1399, construction is underway on a branch of Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chão.  As you probably know, Fogo de Chão serves grilled meat, and LOADS of it, brought to your table on long skewers as long as you continue to signal that you want more.  

Islands Sank In MDR

I’ve been hearing from surprised readers that one of The Westside’s last remaining outposts of Islands Fine Burgers & Drinks has disappeared overnight from its longstanding home at 404 Washington Blvd. in Marina Del Rey.  As you can see, all signage has been pulled down and the place looks deserted.  The Santa Monica Mirror confirmed the sad news yesterday, and lets us know that the next closest branch is in Westchester.

Prime Pizza Replacing Grey Block In Santa Monica

A sharp-eyed reader (Thanks Andrew!) spotted a note taped to the front door of of Grey Block Pizza at 1811 Pico Blvd.  The note simply says, “Grey Block Pizza closed Prime Pizza coming soon”.  You may recall that Prime Pizza recently opened a branch in West LA, as well as other locations, and promises “authentic NY style Pizza”.

Schwartz’s Adding Another Location In Pico-Robertson

Schwartz’s has been a stalwart presence in Pico-Robertson for a long time.  They opened in 1954, when they became the first kosher bakery in LA.  They have since increased to five retail locations, two of which are on Pico.  Now they’re expanding just a few doors down from their location at 8856 W Pico.  A spokesperson confirmed that the banner hanging over the front of 8820 W Pico is announcing the impending arrival of Schwartz’s Deli & BBQ.  

Cavcas Restaurant Coming To Beverly Hills

The space at 345 N Canon Dr. in Beverly Hills has been a number of different things, including a hair salon and whatever this was.  There’s now an ABC application on the front, indicating that a plucky new contender is about the give the location a go.  The name of the new eatery is listed as Cavcas Restaurant.  Other than that, I can’t seem to find much information.  If you know more, let me know…

Festive Food Choices In The Market At Westfield Century City

Westfield Century City Shopping Center always puts on a beautiful display during the Holidays. This year is no different.  The Market has returned this year, complete with unique one-off shops (including Brik + Clik Pantry that carries delectable packaged sauces by Fly by Jing and Omsom among other things) and a schedule of impressive live shows. They have also introduced a couple of food choices.  LA-based Cookie Dough Dreams is offering their proprietary sweet treats.  Nearby Sweet Laurel Bakery has a presence in local markets and coffee shops and specializes in “grain-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free baked goods”.  And there’s real snow…