Happy New Year From Toddrickallen!

At this time of year, I like to say a heart-felt thank you to all who read and support this blog.  What a year 2021 has been.  I know I’m not alone in looking forward to a more hopeful 2022.   We’ve all had to learn how to live with change, including in the LA food scene.  But regardless of what’s to come, I’ll still be here as your trusted source for Westside food news.  I wish you all a safe, healthy, delicious New Year!

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Killer Sushi Replacing Killer Cafe In MDR

The space at 4213 Admiralty in Marina del Rey, in the same building that houses crustacean specialists Killer Shrimp, used to be the home of their diner concept, Killer Cafe.  That closed a while ago, and the location has been undergoing renovations for quite some time.  Maybe about a year ago, I started hearing rumors that the address was to be converted into a sushi restaurant, but I could never find any evidence… until now.  Signs have recently gone up announcing the brand’s new venture: Killer Sushi.

Cafe Berlina Arrives In Santa Monica

A charming new German-themed coffee and pastry shop has appeared almost overnight in Santa Monica.   Cafe Berlina recently threw open their doors in the space at 1620 Wilshire Blvd., most recently home to Posh Cafe.  Expect a menu of coffee, espresso, pastries, breakfasts, and sandwiches.  Their signature drink is is the Bearlatte which is their espresso, oat milk, and a pinch of hazelnut.  We wish them the best of luck.

Buena Vida Tea Bar & Garden Opens On Montana Ave.

This was certainly a long time coming…  It was back in March of 2020 when I first noticed window paper on the front of the space at 726 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica announcing the arrival of Buena Vida Tea Bar & Garden.  Then nothing happened.  Well, they recently (finally) opened.  Expect a strong emphasis on the “experience”, “sensation”, and “journey” of tea, as well as sweet and savory baked goods with a “California Coastal” vibe.  We wish them the best of luck.

Fogo De Chão Coming To El Segundo

Rosecrans Blvd. in El Segundo continues its transformation into Restaurant Row.  It is already lined with supper-clubby big-ticket steak and seafood spots such as Fleming’s and Eddie V’s.  Now a long-standing inhabitant of La Cienega’s Restaurant Row is joining the mix.  In the space that used to house Grimaldi’s at 2121 Rosecrans Ave Ste 1399, construction is underway on a branch of Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chão.  As you probably know, Fogo de Chão serves grilled meat, and LOADS of it, brought to your table on long skewers as long as you continue to signal that you want more.  

Islands Sank In MDR

I’ve been hearing from surprised readers that one of The Westside’s last remaining outposts of Islands Fine Burgers & Drinks has disappeared overnight from its longstanding home at 404 Washington Blvd. in Marina Del Rey.  As you can see, all signage has been pulled down and the place looks deserted.  The Santa Monica Mirror confirmed the sad news yesterday, and lets us know that the next closest branch is in Westchester.

Prime Pizza Replacing Grey Block In Santa Monica

A sharp-eyed reader (Thanks Andrew!) spotted a note taped to the front door of of Grey Block Pizza at 1811 Pico Blvd.  The note simply says, “Grey Block Pizza closed Prime Pizza coming soon”.  You may recall that Prime Pizza recently opened a branch in West LA, as well as other locations, and promises “authentic NY style Pizza”.

Schwartz’s Adding Another Location In Pico-Robertson

Schwartz’s has been a stalwart presence in Pico-Robertson for a long time.  They opened in 1954, when they became the first kosher bakery in LA.  They have since increased to five retail locations, two of which are on Pico.  Now they’re expanding just a few doors down from their location at 8856 W Pico.  A spokesperson confirmed that the banner hanging over the front of 8820 W Pico is announcing the impending arrival of Schwartz’s Deli & BBQ.  

Cavcas Restaurant Coming To Beverly Hills

The space at 345 N Canon Dr. in Beverly Hills has been a number of different things, including a hair salon and whatever this was.  There’s now an ABC application on the front, indicating that a plucky new contender is about the give the location a go.  The name of the new eatery is listed as Cavcas Restaurant.  Other than that, I can’t seem to find much information.  If you know more, let me know…

Festive Food Choices In The Market At Westfield Century City

Westfield Century City Shopping Center always puts on a beautiful display during the Holidays. This year is no different.  The Market has returned this year, complete with unique one-off shops (including Brik + Clik Pantry that carries delectable packaged sauces by Fly by Jing and Omsom among other things) and a schedule of impressive live shows. They have also introduced a couple of food choices.  LA-based Cookie Dough Dreams is offering their proprietary sweet treats.  Nearby Sweet Laurel Bakery has a presence in local markets and coffee shops and specializes in “grain-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free baked goods”.  And there’s real snow…

It’s Boba Time Bounces Into Beverly Grove

There’s a banner up on on the space at 8250 West 3rd Street, Suite 106 (corner of Sweetzer) in Beverly Grove announcing a branch of drink expert It’s Boba TimeIBT has a multitude of locations across The Southland with about 30 more in the works.  Expect a menu of 140 different customizable drinks including “smoothies, slushes, coffees, juices, milk teas, shaved ice, and milk foams” using fresh fruit and popular toppings.

SMiZE Cream Done Smiling In Santa Monica

That didn’t take long…  Back in February, I told you about the arrival of SMiZE Cream to the space formerly occupied by Ugo Cafe in Santa Monica Place.  You may recall that TV personality and model Tyra Banks was behind the premium ice cream project.  Sadly, it appears that they have cleared off from Downtown Santa Monica.  Their website says that they are switching to a delivery model.  

BOP Asian Rice Bowl Coming To West 3rd St. In Beverly Grove

It appears that a new eatery is landing in the vacant space at 8234 W 3rd St. in LA (Beverly Grove) occupied in the past by such businesses as a barbershop and a women’s clothing store.  Now there’s a banner hanging over the front announcing the arrival of BOP Asian Rice Bowl.  Not much out there on BOP, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see what will be on offer besides rice.