Out of nowhere a new Mediterranean eatery has appeared in Marina Del Rey. With other locations in Westwood and Encino, Naab Cafe is now open at 4020C Lincoln Blvd. Expect a menu of small plates, sandwiches, falafel, and kebob.
You know the old saying; When the Lord closes an ice cream shop, somewhere he opens another. People were devastated by the recent closure of Santa Monica’s longstanding and beloved branch of popular icy treat brand Ben & Jerry’s. But from out of nowhere, a brand new location has opened at 253 S Beverly Dr. (formerly home to Creamistry). You’re welcome.
I’ve known for a little while that this was going down, but I wasn’t at liberty to tell you. Now I can officially announce that the space at 1008 Montana Ave., formerly home to a branch of Maria’s Italian Kitchen, will be the future Westside home to Woodland Hills’ Brothers Sushi. An ABC application appeared this week on the front of the location confirming the news. The Brothers Sushi is the much-lauded and wildly popular “high-end” sushi spot that offers seasonal “Omakase Chefs courses or Ala Carte options”. This is indeed exciting news for the burgeoning SaMo restaurant scene.
Before the pandemic, window displays went up on the space at 313 Wilshire Blvd. in Downtown Santa Monica announcing that Hollywood Burger would be moving in… and nothing happened. But that arrangement seems to have changed. There’s a new banner over the troubled location letting us know that Papi Tacos & Churros is on the way. Papi’s has a location on Jefferson Blvd. in LA that appears to be “temporarily closed”. I’m not sure if this is a second location or a total move, but in the mean time you can check out their current menu of “authentic Mexican street food” here.
The C3 Restaurant Platform is having a moment… It was only last week when I told you about the arrival of Umami Burger to Venice. Now it seems Brentwood is getting lucky as well. Umami Burger is currently moving into the old Le Pain Quotidien space at 13050 San Vicente Blvd Ste 114 (corner of 26th), consequently the same shopping center that is the home to the new swanky bento box restaurant Imari. A company spokesperson contacted me to let me know that this location, as well as the new Venice location, will also host a ghost kitchen for Sam’s Crispy Chicken, Krispy Rice, Kumi.
Il looks like things are taking off for The Runway in Playa Vista. After a strong opening a few years back, the retail/restaurant heart of the development began to sputter. Restaurant closures left many spaces unoccupied. The recent opening of Free Market Playa Vista, the mini-mall filled with hip design shops and restaurants, has really brought a resurgence to the now pedestrian only complex. New restaurants appear to have taken notice and are moving in. And pizza is coming back as well… Window covering on the space that used to be the home of 800 Degrees Pizza, at 12751 W Millennium Dr. Ste B135, is announcing the upcoming arrival of Cacio E Pizza.
I recently noticed paper covering the windows at 9632 S Santa Monica Blvd. You may recall that this space was most recently inhabited by a branch of Danish lifestyle brand Joe & The Juice. It looks like Joe has moved on and something called La Ong is moving in. I don’t have any information on La Ong, except that “Thai cuisine” will be on offer.
The space at 235 Main St. in Venice has sat vacant ever since Komodo moved out. But that’s about to change… Window paper is covering the location announcing a new branch of Umami Burger. Umami caused quite a stir when it burst onto the scene at its flagship LA spot in 2009 and has since spread to San Francisco, Chicago, New York, The Bahamas, and Japan. And they are offering “free burger days” when they eventually open, so you may want to keep a look out.
There’s a new ABC application recently posted to the front of the space at 9705/9709 S Santa Monica Blvd (formerly Il Forno Caldo). It names the upcoming restaurant as Demonico’s. I don’t have much information on the upcoming eatery. There is already a Domenico’s that offers Italian products at local farmers’ markets, but I don’t have any confirmation that the two are connected. If you know more, let me know…
I do occasionally get out of The Westside… I recently noticed that the Westfield Fashion Square at 14006 Riverside Dr. in Sherman Oaks, will soon get to sample Yang’s Braised Chicken Rice. Yang’s began in 2011 in Ji Nan, Shandong Province of China, and has since spread to over 6,000 locations in Asia, Australia, and now North America. New branches are also in the works for Fairfax, Valencia, and Arcadia as well. It looks like they’re shooting for a Summer opening.
It look like Sawtelle Japantown is getting a new specialty cafe soon… There’s window paper and a new sign up on the space that used to be the home of gallery Eleven Arts announcing the impending arrival of Sunmerry Bakery Cafe to 2129 Sawtelle. Sunmerry already has a number of locations in SoCal. It was founded in 1986 in Taiwan and specializes in Japanese baking techniques for its many varied cakes, cream puffs, and “boba egg tarts”, as well as offering a selection of boba, taro, and tea drinks.
Long-standing Westside staple Mama Hong’s Vietnamese Kitchen is moving locations. A complany rep gave me the skinny on the new signage up at 12201 Santa Monica Blvd. in LA. This address used to be home to burger joint Quicksand which fell victim to the Pandemic. Mama Hong’s will be closing their Brentwood location in the under-renovation shopping complex at 11819 Wilshire Blvd. in about a week, and opening in the new space “soon”. They also have locations in Burbank and Orange as well.
Good people of Santa Monica, (more) carbs are heading your way! Main Street’s Sam’s Bagels has their sign up at 1305 Montana Ave. announcing the good news. Sam’s is replacing an earstwhile Gelato-Go at this location.