Santa Barbara’s finest, McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams, is opening a location in Downtown Santa Monica. There’s a now hiring notice posted in the window of of the diminutive space at 1456 Third Street Promenade, most recently home to ice cream shop Somi Somi, and Pinkberry before that. For over 70 years, McConnell’s has been producing what some call the “best ice cream in the world” using simple, straight-forward ingredients. It looks like they’re close to opening…
It appears that juice and cleanse experts Kreation Organic has cleared out of its location at 11754 San Vicente Blvd. in Brentwood. That leaves another gaping hole in a block that used to contain many eateries. I’ll keep my eye on the location to see what may develop. And yes, I’m still watching the former Pizzicotto space which appears to have been leased. (Thanks Eric!)
Ever since I first spotted the ABC application over a year ago, people have been demanding answers about an opening date for The Brothers Sushi at 1008 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica. The Brothers Sushi is the insanely popular high-end sushi spot in Woodland Hills and folks were excited by the idea of getting a branch on the Westside. I’m happy to report that they are now in soft opening. Their hours are: Tuesday through Friday 12pm to 2pm and 5:30 pm to 9pm, and Saturday and Sunday for dinner only from 5:30 to 9:30. You can snag a rezzie by calling (424) 330-0270 or locating them on Tock. You’re welcome.
A sign has gone up at 11688 Gateway Blvd. (corner of Barrington) announcing that a new Thai eatery is coming to the Sawtelle neighborhood. La La Rice appears close to opening. I can’t seem to find out a lot about the new restaurant except that they have applied for a beer and wine license, so I guess we’ll have to wait on details.
(And yes, it officially is in “Sawtelle”, I carefully checked.)
While no one was looking, the tiny branch of massive sandwich chain Subway quietly slipped out of its long-time location at 625D Montana Ave. And why does this matter? While this may be welcome news to some, this particular branch served as one of the very last quick and inexpensive lifelines for employees on a street that has been completely taken over by expensive restaurants, high-end delis, and fourth-wave coffee joints. I’ll keep my eye on the space to see what may move in.
Cantina Urbana Kalaveras is sure having a moment. They recently opened their location in Santa Monica. Now a reader spotted a banner up on the old Jerry’s Deli in Marina del Rey that says they are taking over the long-troubled space at 13181 Mindanao. And that’s not the end of the story: They are planning a major expansion across SoCal. Besides their current eight outposts, their website lists no less than 13 new locations in the works including Burbank, North Hollywood, and Long Beach. Kalaveras offers an immersive El Dia de Los Muertos celebratory fast/casual concept with “Latin American culinary classics” and a focus on mixology. (Thanks Jennifer!)
A sharp-eyed reader (Thanks LaShonda!) noticed a new sign at Torrance’s erstwhile branch of burger joint Stacked. It appears that someting called Kitchen of Korea is taking over the space at 3525 W Carson St. in the Del Amo Fashion Center. Self-described as a steakhouse, the website promises us “boundless menu options consisting of freshly prepared meats, seafood, and vegetables” with “traditional Korean ban-chan (side-dishes)”.
I’ve been hearing from shocked readers that everyone’s favorite grab-and-go burrito joint has abruptly pulled up stakes at 475 N Beverly Dr. A notice on the front door informs us that Chipotle has unceremoniously quit the space that was previously the longtime home of a Baja Fresh. Wasting no time, something has already leased the location so I’ll keep watch to see what may be taking over.
Something fresh and new is coming to the tiny space at 1512 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica. Windowpaper covering the front lets us know that Sogno Toscano is moving in. And what is that? While the name might not be immediately familiar, they are the “USA’s largest Italian online food store”. Maybe you’ve even spotted their delivery trucks ferrying their wide selection of Italian meats, cheeses, pasta, and oils. While they currently have a coffee and wine bar in New York, this location is being described as a “lifestyle cafe, wine bar, & specialty market”. (Thanks Kurt!)
Excited readers have been letting me know that there’s a great new sushi/ramen place open in El Segundo. While I’m a little late in the game in reporting this, Japonica is now open at 229 Main St. Japonica has two other South Bay locations and offers a solid menu of Japanese favorites such as sashimi, tempura, bowls, and rolls.
The space at 1237 3rd St. Promenade in Santa Monica has seen a number of eateries come and go. Years ago it was a Greek restaurant, then a BurgerIM, and most recently, a hot chicken place was slated to move in. But apparenty that fell through… Italian specialists Ugo Cafe has long had a relationship with Downtown Santa Monica. Originally, they had a shop in Santa Monica Place. Then they moved to 1400 Third Street Promenade. And now, they are opening a new location at 1237 3rd St. As you can see, the sign displays the new business as Ugo An Italian Trattoria. A spokesperson assured me that this will be their second location in Santa Monica (and third in total), and whereas their current Promenade location is more of a “grab and go” concept, the new location will be more of a “fancy” sit-down restaurant.