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.  We can look forward to another year of LA food scene madness, and I’ll be right there with you in 2023…  Let’s see what happens next.  Until then I’m grateful for all of you and I wish you a Happy New Year!  Cheers!

Duck Donuts Coming In For A Landing In Downtown Santa Monica

I haven’t quite figured out the revolving door situation at Kitchen United MIX (formerly The Gallery Food Hall) at 1315 Third St Promenade in Downtown Santa Monica.  Restaurants seem to come and go with alarming rapidity.  But at least two new eateries are giving the location a go.  Recently, I told you about a branch of Santa Monica Brew Works that is settling in.  And it now appears that Duck Donuts will be occupying the front space.  Duck Donuts has locations across America and offers customizable made-to-order donuts with choices for coatings, toppings, and drizzle.

Cofax Coming Bringing “Caffeine & Burritos” Culver City?

I’ve been hearing from excited readers who have noticed new window signage on the former home of Quicksand at 10868 Washington Blvd. While I don’t have confirmation, It appears that Cofax is settling into the location.  Cofax has a location at 440 N Fairfax in LA, and is known for excellent coffee and popular breakfast burritos.

Fruit Factory Comes To Century City

Something new has opened in the Food Court of the Westfield Century City Shopping Center.  Fruit Factory is billing itself as “The Ultimate Fruit Experience”, and offers gourmet caramel apples, chocolate covered strawberries, dipped pretzels, and açaí bowls.  I’m told they are currently in soft opening awaiting certain permits, so their full line may not be available just yet.  We wish them the best of luck.

Honest Abe Bringing Cider To Abbot Kinney Soon

There’s a new ABC license application on the space at 1522 Abbot Kinney in Venice, formerly home to a matcha cafe.  The app lists the new business as a “small beer manufacturer” with the name of Honest Abe Cidery.  Honest Abe produces cider, mead, brandy, and sangria using “fresh and Local ingredients”, and shares a production facility with SoCal Vibes Co., which operates a brewery and restaurant in Carson that serves 40 different house beers, ciders, and meads, and offers a menu consisting of burgers, sandwiches, and small bites.  I’m not sure if the concept here will resemble that or not, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Hokey Pokey LA Bringing “Cloud Bowls” To Century City

It was only just two months ago when I told you about the disappearance of short-lived pudding concept Pudu Pudu from their second-floor location in the Westfield Century City Shopping Center.  Now, if you’re a regular reader of this site, you know I keep a close eye on the food scene in the shopping center.   So, it took me by surprise that a new confectionary spot is already up and running in Pudu‘s old location.  Hokey Pokey LA is now open and pushing “cloud bowls”.  And what are those?  Cloud bowls, which the window display claims are “New Zealand’s favorite dessert”, are soft-served ice cream (dairy and non-dairy) with pavlova (meringue), berries, and whipped cream.  We wish them the best of luck.

Everytable Celebrates Grand Opening In Santa Monica With Free Food

It was back in September when I told you about Everytable‘s triumphant return to Santa Monica with a new location at 1005A Wilshire.  Everytable believes that “nutritious food is a human right”, and aims to bring communities fresh, ready-to-eat chef-prepared meals at price points based on what is affordable for that area.  While this location has already been in soft opening, Everytable will host their Grand Opening this Thursday December 15 at 11:00am.  There will be a live DJ, and you can score a free meal if you’re one of the first 200 people who sign up for their rewards program.

Kye’s Quits Montana Ave, Opening In Colony And Venice’s New Colony

Kye’s opened at 1518 Montana Ave. in November of 2014 and has maintained a solid fanbase ever since.  Their signature “KyeRito” (essentially a wrap that they describe as a “handheld bowl or salad”) was popular among the carb-conscious crowds of NoMa.  So I was quite surprised when readers began messaging me to let me know that Kye’s has closed at this location.  But don’t panic, they are moving the operation to West LA’s “smart kitchen” Colony at 11419 Santa Monica Blvd.  Their website also says that they will be opening in a new Colony at 411 Lincoln in Venice as well.

(Thanks Casey!)

SANTA Monica Pub Crawl Returns Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022

This from my inbox:

The largest pub crawl on the West Coast and Santa Monica’s most cherished holiday fundraiser returns with the 14th Annual SANTA Monica Pub Crawl, on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022 at 5 p.m. Featuring more than 25 of the city’s best bars and restaurants, three routes and thousands of crawlers, this famous charity crawl brings the community together to raise money for those in need through the Westside Food Bank. Attendees dress in their finest holiday garb and receive discounted food and drink specials at popular bars such as The Victorian, Red O, The Viceroy, Circle Bar, Santa Monica Whaler, Barney’s Beanery, Harvelle’s, Lanea, Ashland Hill, and Ye Olde King’s Head. Over the last 13 years, the SANTA Monica Pub Crawl has raised more than $160,000, enough money for half a million meals for the less fortunate over the holidays.

Tickets range from $20- $35 and are available at www.santamonicapubcrawl.com.

Sushi Enya Taking Over Kiriko Sushi Space In Sawtelle Japantown

People were traumatized by the loss of Kiriko Sushi after 23 years.  Now we know what is taking over the address at 11301 W Olympic Blvd #102 in Sawtelle Japantown.  Signs have recently gone up proclaiming the new tenant as Sushi Enya.  Sushi Enya has four other locations throughout SoCal.

(Thanks Tony!)

Sweet Maple Bringing San Francisco’s Famous Bacon To Santa Monica

The commodious space at 1705 Ocean Ave. In Downtown Santa Monica has hosted a number of different restaurants including (maybe) a Joan’s on Third, H B Daisy, and Winston Pies.  The location has been vacant for a cool minute, but that’s about to change.  Self-described “laid-back and unpretentious neighborhood restaurant, coffeehouse and meeting place” Sweet Maple is moving into the address.  Their website confirms it.  This will be the first SoCal location for the San Francisco-based restaurant famous for their Millionaire’s Bacon, which is “extra-thick, sweet and spicy bacon” that is “slow-cooked for hours with brown sugar and spicy peppers to a chewy perfection”.  Check out the menu of their original branch for an idea of what may be coming.

(Thanks Frank!)

KC Chocolatier Closes In Downtown Santa Monica

It was back in 2017 when I told you about the exciting arrival of KC Chocolatier to Downtown Santa Monica.  Impressive chocolates, ice cream, and hot chocolate flown in from Belgium put KC squarely on the map for chocolate lovers.  Sadly, fan adoration didn’t appear to be enough.  KC Chocolatier appears to have closed up shop at 1431B 2nd St.  All is not lost though… You can still order online