If you follow this blog, then you know that I’ve been carefully watching the massive redo of Manhattan Village in Manhattan Beach. The extensive project will add a whole new open air addition called Village Shops, greatly expanding the retail and restaurant space. The latest restaurant news? I now have confirmation that the wildly beloved bakery Sidecar Doughnuts is opening in the Fall of 2020, and popular purveyor of salads and bowls Sweetgreen is slated for the Winter of 2020.
Big Mango Café has been serving the hungry workers of Silicon Beach for over seven years. Recently, they gave up their popular location at 12035 E Waterfront Dr. in Playa Vista. But if you’re a fan of their signature sandwiches, wraps, and salads, all is not lost. Big Mango Café is relocating to another busy industry hot spot: 777 S Aviation Blvd. #107 in El Segundo. We wish them the best of luck.
I’ve been carefully watching the branch of international Italian brand Obica at 606 Broadway in Downtown Santa Monica. Recently, the restaurant went silent, and the shades have been pulled down. A sign on the door promises a renovation, new management, and a new concept… all by February 10th. But things look a bit dodgy: While I was checking for progress, a self-identified former employee approached me and told me that the staff were unceremoniously sacked with no promise of rehire. His assumption is that Obica Mozzarella Bar is permanently gone. A cursory glance inside the front door reveals that nothing has been touched and no work has commenced. I’ll keep watching but we’ve seen this kind of thing before…
Yikes! It appears that an exodus of eateries has occurred in Downtown Santa Monica after the Holidays. Plan Check has checked out of 1401 Ocean Ave. Le Pain Quotidien has said adieu to 316 Santa Monica Blvd. (A note in the window blames an expiring lease agreement.) And, after a valiant effort, Creams & Dreams has closed their nitrogen ice cream outpost at 219 Arizona after four years. Sad…
I recently noticed plywood covering the front of one of the spaces in The Village part of Westfield Topanga & The Village in Canoga Park. Large graphics reveal that Pickles & Swiss is moving in. P&S is a premium sandwich shop with two locations in the Santa Barbara area. They feature a menu of hot and cold sandwiches, build-your-own sandwiches, panini, wraps, soup, and intriguingly, something called “pickled popcorn”.
Not that long ago, Playa Vista’s branch of popular Mediterranean restaurant Gaby’s Express vacated its longtime space at 12219 Jefferson Blvd. Now a new eatery is hoping to lure in the area’s hungry tech crowd. A large banner on the front informs us that Baja Catch & Grill is moving in. I can’t find much information on Baja Catch & Grill, but I’m willing to take a wild guess and say that fish tacos will be on offer.
Unless you looked very closely, you might not have noticed that Fala Bar quietly transformed into something now called Beleaf Café in the food court of the Westfield Century City Shopping Center. While I’m told there is no relationship between the former and the latter, the look of the eatery and the menu are very similar. Beleaf Café has one other location in the Westfield Topanga Mall, and features a 100% plant-based menu of burgers, sandwiches, falafel, and salads.