The food court of the Westfield Century City Shopping Center has been hit particularly hard over the past year, and there remain a number of empty spaces. But one plucky contender is giving it a go… Mochinut has moved into the space most recently occupied by Beleaf Cafe. And what is Mochinut? According to their website, they specialize in mochi donuts, which are combination of American doughnuts and Japanese mochi that they describe as having a “unique shape and wonderful texture; light crispy coating with soft chewy inside”. They also offer “Korean Rice Flour hotdogs”. Mochinut currently has 10 US locations with 30 more in the works as well as upcoming locations in South Korea and Thailand.
While no one was looking, a delightful new coffee and pastry spot opened recently in Santa Monica. Readers have been letting me know how excited they are… once they find it. You probably didn’t notice the little charmer Paderia Bakehouse because it faces the parking lot behind the newly refurbished former bank building at 3032 Wilshire Blvd. (corner of Berkeley). It took me a while to find it as well, but once discovered, you’ll be rewarded with menu of coffees, teas, horchata, pudding, pastries, and cultishly popular Portuguese Egg Tarts. Paderia has locations in Irvine and Fountain Valley, but this is the Westside’s first.
The hidden little space at 11740 San Vicente Blvd. Suite 104 has had a bumpy ride since its under-the-radar glam industry spot La Scala quit the location. For a while it was a short-lived French eatery called Meet In Paris, but mostly it has sat empty. That’s about to change. There’s an ABC application posted on the front announcing that this space will soon be a branch of Santa Monica’s perpetually popular Italian powerhouse Rosti Tuscan Kitchen. (They also have a branch in Calabases as well.) Brentwood sure does love its Italian restaurants…
Good people of Brentwood, carbs are heading your way! With one other pop-up store in Culver City, Pop’s Bagels is moving into the space that used to be home to Alfred Tea Room at 11928 San Vicente Blvd. And what makes Pop’s special? Their three flavors of bagels (plain, everything, and cinnamon raisin) are made in small batches throughout the day ensuring crispy, hot perfection. They also make their own cream cheeses and cultured butter from scratch. We wish them the best of luck.
A new Latin American restaurant plans on opening April 23 in the old Estate space at 1519 Wilshire Blvd. La Condesa is the latest project of Misael Guerrero. Guerrero, who originally hails from Sinaloa, is the man behind the rapidly expanding chain Culichitown and Mama Por Dios. He is known for his Mexican sushi and lively atmospheres. We wish him the best of luck.
Good news, Westsiders! From out of nowhere, a tiny outpost of LA’s iconic Canter’s Deli has appeared in the strip mall on the corner of Santa Monica Blvd. and Bundy in Santa Monica (12109 Santa Monica Blvd. to be exact). This miraculous apparition is now up and running from 10:30AM to 9:00pm and is offering a takeaway menu of Canter’s classics, including their legendary soups, sandwiches, black and white cookies, salads, and breakfasts. You’re welcome.
Erratum: Thanks KJ, this is officially West LA.
I first noticed that Runway Playa Vista was bulding something called Free Market back in 2019. Free Market has two other locations and describes itself an “ever-evolving collective” of “curated products, services, and experiences”. They are close to opening; Their website says May 1, but I was told April 16. In any case, here’s the food lineup: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, something called Joliet Cafe and Bar, and Loqui, which began as a Mexican pop-up at Tartine in San Francisco.
Check out what they built in the middle of The Third Street Promenade, between Broadway and Santa Monica Blvd. There’s a new beer garden operated by popular local watering hole West 4th & Jane. And just to the north of that is a new oyster bar brought to you by nearby restaurant The Independence. What a great idea!
Things just got tastier for the aerospace crowd in El Segundo. There’s now a branch of beloved sandwich chain Ike’s Love & Sandwiches in the little shopping center at 460 N Pacific Coast Highway. Ike’s started in San Francisco in 2007 and now has more that 55 locations. It is known for its unique flavor combinations and “dirty sauce”.
While I’ve been watching the transformation of the former Starbucks at 1426 Montana Ave Ste. 4 (corner of 15th), it was a reader (Thanks again, Kurt!) who sleuthed out the next tenant. While no signs are up yet, I had a chance to speak with someone inside who confirmed what Kurt had discovered: This is to be California’s first branch of Texas’ La La Land Kind Cafe. And what is that? La La Land is a “socially conscious” cafe on a mission to “normalize kindness” by hiring foster youth who, when they turn 18, are often aged out of the system with few supports. I don’t have any confirmation that this will be the model here, but La La Land provides real opportunity and apparently some really good coffee. They offer an extensive menu of coffee and tea, signature drinks, and toasts. We sincerely wish the the best of luck.
I first learned of Cinderella Cakes arrival to 214 S Beverly Dr. in Beverly Hills back in Summer of 2019. Sadly, they have vacated the location, leaving an opportunity for a new star bakery. There’s now a notice on the front that this will be the new home of a branch of ever-popular Sweet Lady Jane. And according to their website, they will soon be bringing their signature Triple Berry Cakes to Manhattan Beach as well.