Impasta Expanding To Downtown Santa Monica

With one location in Beverly Hills, it appears that the “no regretti spaghetti” folks at Impasta are expanding their operation westward.  There’s window paper up at 413 Santa Monica Blvd. announcing the impending arrival.  You may recall that this particular block was nearly destroyed in May of 2020, but has been slowly reviving with the arrival of Blue Bottle, MIXT, and now ImpastaImpasta offers a menu designed for low-carb and gluten-free diets with items such as “classic pasta and pizza recipes made with zero to low carb noodle options, cauliflower crusts”, and no red meat.

Layla Bringing Bagels & Coffee To Santa Monica

A sharp-eyed reader (Thanks Robert!) spotted widow paper up on the space at 1614 Ocean Park Blvd. announcing the impending arrival of Layla Bagels & Coffee.  Bagels are a bold move considering they can also be procured two doors down at crazy popular Jayan Isaac Bread.  I can’t seem to find out much more information on this business so if you have any details, pass them along…

Fresh Corn Grill To Leave Santa Monica

On a tip from a reader, I went by to check out what was going on at Santa Monica’s branch of healthy California-cuisine minichain Fresh Corn Grill.  It was over two years ago when I first told you about their arrival to the space at 720 Wilshire, formerly home to a branch of Baja Fresh.  Sadly, this location is ceasing operations after today (Friday 09//23).  It was explained to me that the company is being restructured by the owners.  The other two locations (Westwood, West Hollywood) are to remain open.

(Thanks Jonny!)

Love Coffee Bar Expanding To Mar Vista

A new java joint is landing on a neglected stretch of Centinela Ave.  Santa Monica’s dog-friendly neighborhood coffee spot Love Coffee Bar is expanding to Mar Vista.  There’s window paper up on the space at 3519 S Centinela (crossroad Palms Blvd.) announcing that they will be opening at this location as soon as they can. 

Saint & Second Expanding To Manhattan Beach

Long Beach’s Saint & Second is expanding North.  A sharp-eyed reader (Thanks Sher!) noticed the plywood on the front of one of the cavernous interior spaces in the new addition of the zhuzhed-up Manhattan Village on the corner of Sepulveda and Rosecrans.  For those who don’t know, Saint & Second is run by the Hofman family, who has been operating a restaurant at their Belmont Shore location for over 70 years.  Expect a “a chef-inspired, come-as-you-are destination with creative, locally-sourced seasonal cuisine, organic cocktails, hundreds of curated whiskies, works by California artists and a spirit of community and hospitality“.

Baby Blues BBQ Closed Due To Fire, Rebuild Promised

Readers have been writing to tell me that Venice’s popular Southern grilled meat spot Baby Baby Blues BBQ has been closed due to a fire.  As you can see, operations have ceased and the front is boarded up at 444 Lincoln Blvd.  Their website promises a rebuild and says they are looking for another location while that happens.  We wish them the best of luck.

Truxton’s Quits Santa Monica

I’ve been hearing from startled readers that Truxton’s American Bistro has unceremoniously disappeared from the corner spot at 14th and Santa Monica Blvd in Santa Monica.  Truxton’s opened this location in 2013, and was a solid neighborhood lifeline on an otherwise desolate stretch of Santa Monica Blvd.  It was able to survive The Pandemic with take-away and outdoor seating, so it’s a bit shocking that it pulled up stakes so abruptly.  It appears that the Westchester and Torrance locations remain open.

Everytable Returning To Santa Monica

Everytable has had a spotty history.  After appearing on the scene a while ago with grand ambitions, they were forced to close a number of locations, including Downtown Santa Monica’s branchEverytable is the nobly-inspired concept chain aiming to bring fresh, nutritious, made-from-scratch meals to a fast food world at price points based on what a community could afford.  New signage has popped up almost overnight at 1005A Wilshire announcing a brand new outpost of of the socially-conscious brand.  They appear to have shifted their focus to subscription and home delivery, but hopefully retail will be available at this location.

Please Enjoy Coffee Bar Coming To Santa Monica?

Originally I reported that the small space at 3008 Santa Monica Blvd. was going to be something called Kohi Cafe.  That never happened.  Then it was going to be a Japanese-themed lounge/cafe named Kissaten Coffee/Wine Cafe.  That never developed either.  Now a new sign is promising us Please Enjoy Coffee Bar.  Construction is well underway so it shouldn’t be long now to find out exactly what is going on…

Monty’s Good Burger Landing In Downtown Santa Monica

Congratulations, Good People of Santa Monica, exceptional plant-based burgers are heading your way!  There’s a small hiring notice on the front of the erstwhile home of Thai Dishes on Broadway at 123 Broadway.  It lets us know that popular plant-based Monty’s Good Burger is moving in.  Monty’s has locations across LA and specializes in hand-breaded plant-based chicken sandwiches, fries, tots, shakes, and an artisanal vegan burger that is so good, it landed them a spot on Eater’s list of Essential Los Angeles Burgers.

Mixt Coming To Downtown Santa Monica

You may recall the corner spot at Fourth and Santa Monica Blvd. from the nightly news after an arsonist torched the place in May of 2020.  Back then, it was the home to Sake House by Hikari which decided not to return to the location at 401 Santa Monica Blvd.  The space had been undergoing renovation since then, and now window paper lets us know the new occupant: MIXTMIXT has locations throughout California and in Scottsdale and Dallas. They offer a menu of chef-crafted salads, market plates, sandwiches, and bowls, as well as a “design your own” concept featuring “whole, honest, pure foods”.

Capri Gelato Giving Away Free Gelato All Weekend Long in MDR

The good folks at Capri Gelato & Coffee Bar asked me to pass this along:

Capri Gelato & Coffee Bar will be announcing some major news over Labor Day Weekend.  To celebrate, they are treating all guests in Marina del Rey to a complimentary mini cup of their unique and homemade Passion Fruit Goat Cheese flavored gelato all weekend long.”

Passion fruit goat cheese is their wildly popular proprietary gelato flavor that is “similar to a passion fruit cheesecake: a perfect balance of sweet, and sour yet still creamy“.  Sounds like an excellent way to cool off this hot Holiday Weekend.

Capri Gelato is at 4222 Lincoln Blvd. in Marina del Rey.  The deal runs from Friday September 2nd through Monday September 5th.  Their hours are Friday-Sunday 7am-9pm, and Monday (Labor Day) 7am-8pm.

McConnell’s Bringing Icy Treats To Downtown Santa Monica

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…

Kreation Quits Brentwood

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!)

The Brothers Sushi Now Dishing Fish On Montana Ave.

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.

La La Rice Bringing Thai To Sawtelle

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.)

Subway Disappears From Montana Ave.

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.  

Kalaveras Coming To MDR, And Just About Everywhere…

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!)

Kitchen Of Korea Coming To Torrance

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)”.