A new fast-food option is landing in Rancho Park in West LA. There’s a banner up on the space at 11201 National Blvd. announcing that a branch of poultry purveyor Wingstop in taking over the space. The strip mall where the address is located, at the corner of National and Sepulveda, has long been the home of another fan favorite Hamburger Habbit.
News has been slowly dripping out on the latest batch of contenders in the saga of the Kitchen United MIX (formerly The Gallery Food Hall) at 1315 Third St Promenade in Downtown Santa Monica. I’ve already told you about Duck Donuts and Santa Monica Brew Works, but now we have more news because of a sign that recently went up on the front. Here’s the impressive lineup: Lolo’s Tacos, Calico Fish House, 101 Burger, Mad Scientist Ice Cream, Go Go Ya, Ms. Cluck’s Deluxe Chicken & Dumplings, Farmesa, and breakfast experts Blu Jam Xpress.
Looking for something fresh and new to snack on? Irvins has you covered! There is now a kiosk on the first floor of The Westfield Century City Shopping Center selling their proprietary nibbles. Irvins is a smash hit in its native Singapore, across Asia, and elsewhere. They have been called an “international phenomenon” with designs on the American market. And what exactly is it? Salted duck egg potato chips and salmon skins. Yup. Check out their website to learn more about the company’s history and how they make their snacks. And now that you know this, you know you have to try them…
Remember a few weeks ago when I told you about a new restaurant landing in the old Red Ruby space at 109 Santa Monica Blvd? At the time, I had little information about Bar Monette except that it would be a pizza and wine bar. Since then, the good people over at Bar Monette were kind enough to reach out to me with more information. Bar Monette is described as a “Neapolitan pizza concept” with Chef Sean MacDonald at the helm. This is his first US restaurant. Chef MacDonald was previously chef/owner of Biga Pies and ēst Restaurant in Toronto, which recently made Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants List. (Incidentally, Bar Monette is named after MacDonald’s wife Monette.) Expect a “refined tapas” and wine bar menu with Spanish/Italian influences. I’ll let them describe the menu themselves:
“The menu will be split into five categories; Pizza (eg Pesto Dungeness Crab, Pine Nut, Basil, Aged Cheese), Piccoli Piatti (small plates designed to pair with the pizza eg. Butterleaf with Basil, Pine Nut and Passionfruit), Sugo (a selection of sauces and dips for the crusts (eg Burnt Romanesco and Jalapeño Tonnato) and a small selection of Addizionale (eg Shaved Truffle and Caviar). Desserts will be changed daily depending on seasonality and chef preference (eg Black Cacao, Reishi Mushroom and Mint). The menu will change seasonally and offer vegan and vegetarian options. The drinks menu will offer unique selection of natural wines and beers alongside a water menu highlighting a choice of carbonation level and mineral content.”
They are planning on opening any day now, pending liquor license approval. Bar Monette will be open for walk-ins only from Noon to Midnight, closed Sundays, and will be cashless. We wish them the best of luck.
There’s an intriguing new option in the Food Court of the Westfield Century City Shopping Center. Lucky Tacoshi is now open and in full swing, serving “Asian Fusion” sushi tacos made with seaweed shells. Also on the menu are chicken karage tacos, various skewers, snacks, and desserts. But you can see for yourself here.
The news was first reported on this two years ago. And then nothing happened. But just this week, an ABC application has appeared on the front of the space at 202 Main St. in Venice confirming that Melrose’s Standing’s Butchery IS moving into the address after all. This means Standing’s selection of ethically sourced local meats, with burgers and beer and wine, but you can read the full skinny on what this will mean for the Seaside Neighborhood on Eater’s original story here.
I’m hearing from many of you who are really not that surprised that Santa Monica’s branch of Fox Restaurant Concepts‘ Flower Child appears caput at 1332 Second Street in Downtown Santa Monica. You may recall, Flower Child started spreading their good vibes back in 2016 with a sunny menu aimed at the health conscious. I’m not sure what may have gone wrong, but I’ll keep my eye on the space to see what will develop.
For much of 2022, Montana Ave. was buzzing about a new Asian eatery landing on the tony avenue in Santa Monica, but few details emerged. Now we know exactly what’s coming. Billing itself as “Fresh Asian Fusion”, Bun & Mi will officially soft open on Monday Jan. 16th at 1004 Montana. Look for a menu of banh mi, salad bowls, rice and noodle bowls, spring rolls and more, with take away and limited seating options. If you order online, you will 15% off your first order with code word WELCOME. We wish them the best of luck.
Every once in a while, I’m surprised by the number of people tracking a seemingly innocuous story. This is one of those times. So, for all you have been wondering when the Dunkin’ Donuts would be opening in Westwood, this is for you: Dunkin’ Donuts officially throws open its doors today at 9am at 1001 Gayley in Westwood Village. (Thursday 01/12/2023) You’re Welcome.
A very sharp-eyed reader spotted a banner hanging over the former Make Out spot at 9426 Washington Blvd, behind The Culver Hotel. The banner lets us know that Wrapstar is setting up housekeeping at this address. Wrapstar has a location in Beverly Hills and offers a menu of fast/casual “signature and build-your-own wraps” and salads. They are also opening another location at 8593 Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood.
As you might know, sourcing quality Thai and Asian ingredients can be really difficult on The Westside. The preeminant destination for groceries and culinary advice has been the delightful Ma’am’s International Foods. If you don’t know about Ma’am’s, it is your one-stop shop for a carefully curated selection of Asian groceries, cooking school, deli and take-away, and encyclopedic culinary wisdom freely displensed by an affable Ma’am herself. So I was in shock recently when I went by their location near the corner of Pico and 23rd and noticed that they had cleared out. But we can all breathe a sigh of relief. Ma’am’s has only just moved and is open at their new address at 306 Pico Blvd in Santa Monica.
A sharp-eyed reader (Thanks Jeff!) noticed a change in residency at 326 Lincoln Blvd. in Venice. Vegan eatery Honeybee Burger has cleared out of the space, and new signs are up announcing a new branch of Prince Street Pizza. Prince Street Pizza hails from New York (of course), and has a location in Miami and three other locations already in LA. They pride themselves on their “Neapolitan Rounds and Sicilian Square pizzas”.
At this time of year, I like to say a heart-felt thank you to all who read and support this blog. We can look forward to another year of LA food scene madness, and I’ll be right there with you in 2023… Let’s see what happens next. Until then I’m grateful for all of you and I wish you a Happy New Year! Cheers!
I haven’t quite figured out the revolving door situation at Kitchen United MIX (formerly The Gallery Food Hall) at 1315 Third St Promenade in Downtown Santa Monica. Restaurants seem to come and go with alarming rapidity. But at least two new eateries are giving the location a go. Recently, I told you about a branch of Santa Monica Brew Works that is settling in. And it now appears that Duck Donuts will be occupying the front space. Duck Donuts has locations across America and offers customizable made-to-order donuts with choices for coatings, toppings, and drizzle.
I’ve been hearing from excited readers who have noticed new window signage on the former home of Quicksand at 10868 Washington Blvd. While I don’t have confirmation, It appears that Cofax is settling into the location. Cofax has a location at 440 N Fairfax in LA, and is known for excellent coffee and popular breakfast burritos.
Something new has opened in the Food Court of the Westfield Century City Shopping Center. Fruit Factory is billing itself as “The Ultimate Fruit Experience”, and offers gourmet caramel apples, chocolate covered strawberries, dipped pretzels, and açaí bowls. I’m told they are currently in soft opening awaiting certain permits, so their full line may not be available just yet. We wish them the best of luck.
There’s a new ABC license application on the space at 1522 Abbot Kinney in Venice, formerly home to a matcha cafe. The app lists the new business as a “small beer manufacturer” with the name of Honest Abe Cidery. Honest Abe produces cider, mead, brandy, and sangria using “fresh and Local ingredients”, and shares a production facility with SoCal Vibes Co., which operates a brewery and restaurant in Carson that serves 40 different house beers, ciders, and meads, and offers a menu consisting of burgers, sandwiches, and small bites. I’m not sure if the concept here will resemble that or not, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
It was only just two months ago when I told you about the disappearance of short-lived pudding concept Pudu Pudu from their second-floor location in the Westfield Century City Shopping Center. Now, if you’re a regular reader of this site, you know I keep a close eye on the food scene in the shopping center. So, it took me by surprise that a new confectionary spot is already up and running in Pudu‘s old location. Hokey Pokey LA is now open and pushing “cloud bowls”. And what are those? Cloud bowls, which the window display claims are “New Zealand’s favorite dessert”, are soft-served ice cream (dairy and non-dairy) with pavlova (meringue), berries, and whipped cream. We wish them the best of luck.