Zinqué Adding A Second Venice Location…

They’re on a roll…  It was only last month that Zinqué opened a location in Century City.  And now, as Lincoln Blvd. in Venice continues its gentrification, it looks like the increasingly buzzy street is getting its own branch of the cheery French charmer.  Plywood is covering the front of the space at at 1440 Lincoln, informing us that a new Zinqué is coming soon.

Alma Cocina De Mexico Coming To The Grove

It appears that The Grove is about to get a new Mexican restaurant.  You may recall that Cronut king Dominique Ansel’s bakery and upstairs restaurant, 189 at The Grove, quit the location due to problems related to COVID.  Now plywood is covering the former bakery space in The Grove announcing a new tenant, Alma Cocina De Mexico.  We wish them the best of luck.

Proper Pizza And Pasta Coming To West LA

It’s good to see so many new restaurants in the works…  There’s a new sign up at 8570 W 3rd St. in LA/West Hollywood, previously home to Nonna’s Empanadas, announcing a new pie joint.  Proper Pizza & Pasta operates one other location outside of Downtown LA and promises a “great New York style pizza”, as well as pasta, salads, wings, strombolis, and calzones.

Erratum: I stand corrected:  A sharp reader quickly let me know that this location is squarely in Beverly Grove, City of Los Angeles.  

Trejo’s Tacos Heading To Downtown Santa Monica

Santa Monica has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic: 40% of businesses in The Third St. Promenade are now permanently closed.  And Montana Ave. and Main St. aren’t faring much better.  With such a bleak outlook, I’m glad that I was able to post some good news this week.  This is the third post in a row about new eateries moving into Downtown Santa Monica, surely an indication of hope… A new sign is proudly declaring that the space that used to be home for Le Pain Quotidien, at 316 Santa Monica Blvd., will be the future location for a branch of wildly popular and beloved Trejo’s Tacos.  This is indeed exciting news for the area.

Jinky’s Coffee Coming To Downtown Santa Monica

It looks like popular breakfast/lunch spot Jinky’s Cafe is expanding into the world of coffee and grab-and-go.  You may recall that The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf on the corner of Second St. and Santa Monica Blvd. disappeared in last year’s mass extinction event that saw so many closures for the beloved SoCal chain.  Now there’s a banner on the location, at 200 Santa Monica Blvd., announcing a new java joint: Jinky’s Coffee.  We are promised a chai and coffee bar, bakery, sandwiches, wraps, and “empanads and samosas”.

Nick The Greek Coming To Downtown Santa Monica

At least one restaurant has been expanding during COVID…  After opening a new location in Westwood in November, Nick The Greek Souvlaki & Gyro House is moving into the location at 219 Arizona (Third St. Promenade) in Santa Monica, most recently oppcupied by Creams & Dreams.  Nick The Greek has a number of locations in Northern California, and is slowly moving into SoCal.  They offer a menu of souvlaki and gyro, as well as falafel, burgers, salads, and soup.

Mama Por Dios Bringing “Mexican Gourmet” To LA

It looks like LA/West Hollywood is getting a new Mexican joint.  A banner on the front of 8722 W 3rd St. (previously home to The District by Hannah An) and some brightly painted fiberglass cows are announcing the impending arrival of Mama Por Dios.  MPD operates one other location in Rancho Cucamonga and promises us “Mexican gourmet” served with a side of live Mariachi music or DJs.

Strings Ramen Bringing Chicago’s “Monster Hell Challenge” To Beverly Hills

It looks like Beverly Hills is about to get a fresh new noodle shop.  A sign is up on the space at 255 S Beverly Dr., formerly home to The Coral Tree Cafe, announcing that Strings Ramen is moving in.  While I don’t have confirmation, I believe this is the same Strings Ramen that has been voted Chicago’s best ramen and is famous for their “Monster Hell Ramen Challenge“, or a challenge to empty their level 5 hell ramen bowl in 20 minutes to recieve a $50 gift certificate and a t-shirt.  There’s an ABC application on the front as well, so beer and wine will be on offer.  Check out this concept video to get a glimpse of what’s coming… 

Winston Pies Heading To Santa Monica

After having sat vacant for ages, the space at 1705 Ocean Ave. in Santa Monica, previously inhabited by H B Daisy and a dubious branch of Joan’s on Third before that, is about to get a new tenant.  Window dressing has gone up on the commodious corner shop informing us that this will soon be the home of a branch of popular pastry perfectionist Winston Pies.  This will be their third location, we wish them the best of luck.

SMiZE Cream Bringing Celebrity Frozen Treats To Downtown Santa Monica

In the very center of Santa Monica Place is a small, unassuming kiosk that, until last September, used to be the home of Santa Monica’s branch of Ugo Cafe.  Now window covering is informing us that something called SMiZE Cream is moving in.  And what exactly is SMiZE Cream?  Apparently, it is a “Super premium ice cream w/ a hidden, yummy SMiZE Surprize” launched by none other than TV personality and model Tyra Banks. (SMiZE = “smile with your eyes”)  Definately an interesting development for Downtown Santa Monica…

The Other Door’s Mardi Gras Crawfish Boil

This landed in my inbox: The Other Door Bar, at 10437 Burbank Blvd. in North Hollywood, is hosting its 11th annual Mardi Gras Crawfish Boil on Tue, Feb 16.  They are flying in hundreds of pounds of the live little critters from Louisiana for the occasion.  I’m told there will be “bottled Hurricanes and other cocktails, and a brass band in some form appropriate to the pandemic lockdown.”  Check out their link for the event here.  Don’t we all need a little bit of New Orleans right about now?

ISno Cafe Gone From Downtown Santa Monica

I first noticed banners declaring the intended arrival of “shaved snow creation” shop iSno Cafe in January of 2019.  It took them a year, but they opened in January of 2020.  And now in less than a year, sadly, they have closed their doors at 1260 Third St. Promenade.  COVID to blame?