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.
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.
The local collapse of German pudding concept Pudu Pudu left some gaping holes in prominent locations in the Southland, including the location at 1432 Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice. But that’s about to change. Wasting no time, window paper has quickly put up announcing that a branch of acai expert Oakberry is setting up housekeeping at this address. Oakberryprides itself on bowls and smoothies based on acai that is 100% natural with no food coloring, artificial preservatives, or guarana syrup. They hail from Brazil and claim to have “more than 500 units” across the world.
Good news People of Venice, honey lavender cakes are heading your way! Popular organic gluten-free bakery/cafe Breadblok is moving into the space at 512C Rose Ave. Ever since the French Provencal bakery moved from farmers’ markets to brick-and-mortar back in 2020, they’ve been slowly expanding with locations in Santa Monica, Silverlake, Studio City, and an upcoming location in Beverly Hills as well.
Wishing all readers a joyous Holiday filled with good food, family, and dear friends. I’m very grateful to all my dedicated readers for giving me the inspiration and support to keep exploring the excitement of the LA food scene. Happy Thanksgiving from Toddrickallen!
Holiday pro tip… There’s one yearly tradition that many of us don’t relish: Standing in a long line at a local See’s Candies to buy essential gifts for hosts, coworkers, out-of-town relatives, and service folks. But this year, to ease the burden on Santa Monicans, See’s has opened a full size pop-up that practically no one know about yet. It’s on the ground floor of Santa Monica Place, near Nordstrom, and it promises to save you a lot of time. You’re welcome.
It appears that folks in the new Google building on Pico will have a sweet choice for lunch. Jennifer Pinnifer Bakes is moving from their old location on National to 10839 W Pico Blvd, directly across from the complex. Jennifer Pennifer Bakes, known for their handcrafted gourmet cheesecakes, also boasts a menu organic sandwiches, salads and other treats. It looks like they’re planning on opening in the new location on 11/22, or at least that’s what the chalkboard in the window says. (Thanks Brad!)
There is window paper up on one of the storefronts in the North Village shopping center at 150 S Pacific Coast Highway in El Segundo, previously home to Valentino’s Pizza, announcing a new branch of Prime Pizza. Prime Pizza has been in expansion mode with newish locations in Santa Monica, West LA, as well as other locations. They promise “authentic NY style Pizza”.
A sharp-eyed reader (Thanks John!) noticed that beloved local institution Bud’s Deli has closed up shop at 2727 Ocean Park Blvd. The hole-in-the-wall breakfast and sandwich shop had been on the go for 35 years. The unassuming space is currently being gutted and there is a hand-written sign in the window thanking fans for years of patronage and blaming “issues with the lease” for the closure. I’ll watch the location to see what may develop.
I noticed brightly colored window paper and an ABC application at 1836 Sawtelle Blvd. It appears that hand-crafted California-brewed alcoholic beverage company Sawtelle Sake is opening a storefront at the location. The license is a “02-Winegrower” type which means they produce their own wines but doesn’t give a clue about what may be on offer here. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
The space at 1315 Third St Promenade in Downtown Santa Monica has had a turbulent history. A while ago, it was The Gallery Food Hall. That cleared off to make room for mega ghost kitchen Kitchen United MIX, which as recently as July was promising new food options. I’m not sure what’s going on, but while the Kitchen United signs are still up, the place is closed and gutted with construction underway. And last week, a new ABC application went up on the front announcing that Santa Monica’s very own Santa Monica Brew Works is moving in. As you know, Santa Monica Brew Works is that crazy-busy complex on the corner of 20th and Colorado with proprietary brews and famous square pizza. I don’t have more info than this at this time, but I’ll keep digging…
Signs have recently gone up confirming that Alfred Coffee is indeed coming to The Boardwalk Shops at 4635 Admiralty Way in Marina del Rey. The third-wave purveyor of caffeinated drinks will be joining eateries HiHo Cheeseburger, KazuNori, and UOVO in the sleek new waterside shopping center. I’m not sure what is taking everything so long to open, but it looks like they’re close to throwing open their doors…
A popular Mediterranean dining option has vacated its location in the shopping center at 400 N Sepulveda Blvd in El Segundo. Sabra Beirut Mix has closed, and the space is currently being gutted. Not sure what happened, but as you know, El Segundo is an important lunch dining scene for the local aerospace and military workers so I’ll keep my eye on the address to see what may develop,
It looks like a new java joint is heading to the Del Rey neighborhood of LA. Signs are already up in the new multi-use complex at 11612 Culver Blvd. announcing a branch of Commissary.Commissary has been on the go for 10 years and has a smattering of locations across LA serving fair-trade, single origin coffee as well as teas, pastries, and selected food.
It looks like something new is coming to 109 Santa Monica Blvd. in Downtown Santa Monica, formerly home to Little Ruby. Construction is underway, and there is a small piece of paper taped to a front window that exposes the new eatery as Bar Monette. There’s not much information out there on Bar Monette, just an under-construction website that lists the new establishment as a pizzeria & wine bar. The website says they are aiming for a January 2023 opening.
The Kebab Shop is taking over the one of the spaces at 460 N PCH in El Segundo. Expect the fast/casual Mediterranean eatery to offer a menu of “seasoned kebabs hand-carved from a vertical rotisserie or grilled over an open flame”, falafel, salads, and sides. The rapidly expanding chain has locations across California, Texas, and Florida, and is also opening new local restaurants in Atwater Village, Northridge, and Seal Beach.
I’ve been hearing from shocked readers that after 25 years, under-the-radar Brentwood powerhouse Vincenti Restorante has closed up shop at 11930 San Vicente Blvd. Vincenti dazzled The Westside for 25 years with its combination of inventive Italian food created by Chef Nicolo Mastronardi and its sophisticated setting. The hard-working woman behind Vincenti, Maureen Vincenti, would greet you with a hug at the door and inquire about your life as she led you into the elegantly appointed dining room studded with old-school Hollywood A-listers and industry execs. And while the luster may have dulled a tad recently, it’s easy to forget that Maureen’s late husband, Muaro Vincenti, along with Piero Salvaggio and others, revolutionized the way Los Angeles and America experienced Italian food. Its closure feels like the end of an era of classic Italian fine dining. Read Maureen’s and Chef Mastronardi’s parting message here.
Wasting no time whatsoever, it appears that Telefèric Barcelona will be throwing their hat into the ring of the recent tapas craze by taking over the space. Telefèric Barcelona hails from Spain and has a smattering of locations in NoCal. They offer a “truly authentic Spanish Tapas concept and experience”. Check out their menu here.
Erratum: This story was originally published with the misspelling of Vicenti instead of the correct Vincenti. My apologies.
If you’re travelling South on Lincoln through Westchester, you might have noticed a large banner hanging on the wall of the former location of Chicago For Ribs at 8311 Lincoln Blvd. The banner lets us know that The Nook Breakfast Spot is taking over the space. The Nook Breakfast Spot has one location in Lomita and promises “homemade meals from scratch”. Check out their Lomita location’s menu here.
I’ve been hearing from startled readers who have noticed that one of the last local branches of former pizza darling 800° Woodfired Kitchen has been taken off life support at 120 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica. Signs have been pulled down and the cavernous space has been gutted. 800° burst onto the scene a few years back wowing people with their innovative design-your-own assembly line approach using quality ingredients that produced a charred-crust pie that seemed like a revelation at the time. I’ll keep my eye on the tricky address to see what may move in.