Recently, French body care line L’Occitane vacated its diminutive jewel box space at 1301 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica. Wasting no time whatsoever, signs have gone up in the window indicating that Florida-based French pastry chain Le Macaron will soon be moving in. The window promises coffee, croissants, gelato, chocolates, and of course, macarons, or as they describe them, “a mouthful of heaven”.
I just noticed that Chicken Dijon at 2224 Sawtelle Blvd. in West Los Angeles has officially flown the coop. And replacing it? A branch of Orange County’s purveyor of Taiwanese poultry Popcorn Chicken.
Just what you need as the temperature continues to climb… Back in September of last year, I first noticed that a new shop offering a frozen alternative to yogurt was moving into the space at 729 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica. After what seems like a long time, the Frozen Fruit Company is now up and running. Originally hailing from the UK, FFC offers a soft serve made entirely from fruit in flavors such as pineapple & passion fruit, mango & strawberry, raspberry & orange that you can read more about here.
We all know that since opening, the food scene at Santa Monica Place has had its share of troubles. The much-anticipated Market now sits mostly empty and largely untouched, as do a number of other restaurant spaces, even as the wildly popular Cheesecake Factory continues to be a big draw. Into this chaos, one plucky new eatery is making a courageous bid. Mall staple Great Khan’s Mongolian Grill is now open in the food court. We wish them luck.
Remember back in October of last year, when we were informed by Eater that Il Grano, Western LA’s fine Italian restaurant known for its truffle menus (and consequently La Bottega Marino next door) were closing? Since then, I’ve been watching things carefully. Recently, the façade was redone, and the windows papered over indicating that a new establishment was taking over. And now we know what is coming to the space at 11359 Santa Monica Boulevard. It turns out, the upcoming restaurant will be a new venture named The Nickel Bar, brought to you by the same people behind Studio City’s The Woodman and Cocina Condesa. I had a chance to speak to a rep, who gave me the skinny on the upcoming bar/restaurant. The focus here is local sourcing for drinks/food in a cozy neighborhood environment with a prominent bar. And while they’re still working things out, the menu will feature New York style pizza. We wish them the best of luck. Look for a projected August 1st opening.
This is a bit of a mystery… It appears that Santa Monica’s branch of perennially popular fast/fresh Mexican chain Poquito Mas has closed up shop at 2025 Wilshire Blvd., next to Veggie Grill. As you can tell from the photo, the space hasn’t yet lined up a new tenant, but I’ll keep watching.
I recently noticed a banner attached to the front of the space at 12801 Inglewood Ave. (corner of El Segundo) in Hawthorne announcing that Verylicious Yogurt will soon be arriving. This particular corner has become a bit of a destination recently, owing to Eater‘s nod to new Chinese-American restaurant sensation Chubby Rice. Not a great deal of information out there yet on the new icy treat shop, just a Facebook page, but I’ll keep watching.