About a year and a half ago, I told you about the appearance of Brique French Toastery on the ground floor of The Westfield Century City Shopping Center, directly underneath Del Frisco’s. They recently gave up that location, but all is not lost. They will be moving to a new location on the second floor, near Din Tai Fun. Until then, Brique has a temporary space in a kiosk near California Pizza Kitchen where you can still get your hands on their proprietary “Rock Toast” (thick cut brioche French toast topped with proprietary peanut butter coconut maple syrup, toasted coconut chips, and vanilla whipped cream).
Author Archives: toddrickallen
Banana Leaf Expanding To Brentwood
I told you two years ago when Brentwood’s fave watering hole/pickup joint Cabo Cantina, at 11829 Wilshire, fell victim to the Pandemic. The space has sat empty ever since. That’s about to change. A sharp-eyed reader (Thanks Matt!) spotted an ABC application on the front of the address that confirms that Banana Leaf is moving in. Bringing a much-needed and refreshing injection into the Brentwood food scene, Banana Leaf has five other LA locations and offers a menu they describe as a “balance between classics and progressive Indian cuisine”.
What’s Going On At Savida In Santa Monica?
A reader recently asked me what was going on at Savida, that opened only last year at 1303 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica. So, I went by the raw seafood bar that got a mention in the most recent Michelin Guide to have a look. Their parklet on Montana has been dismantled and the space appears lifeless with mail piling up inside. While I don’t have confirmation, for all intents and purposes it appears closed. Let me kniow if you have more information.
CAVA Coming To Century City
After the renovation of The Westfield Century City Shopping Center a few years ago, this second floor space (next to where Shake Shack is today) was home to international mozzarella specialist Okica. When they moved out, it was supposed to have been a branch of Matthew Kenney’s plant-based pasta joint Sestina. That never materialized. Now, plywood covering the tricky location is letting us know that this will be the future home of Greek/Mediterranean restaurant chain CAVA.
IXLB Dimsum Eats Coming To Westwood Village
One a tip from a reader, I went by 1151 Westwood Blvd, previously home to a branch of Ike’s Love and Sandwiches, to see what was going on. A banner on the front lets us know that IXLB Dimsum Eats is taking up housekeeping at this address. IXLB has a location in Hollywood, and offers a solid menu of dumplings, rice, and noodles.
O’Gusto Pizza & Pasta Lands in Century City
The capricious food court of the Westfield Century City Shopping Center has a new option. Almost overnight, plywood came down and O’Gusto Pizza & Pasta emerged. O’Gusto has a small but focused menu with pizza favorites such as pepperoni and chicken BBQ, and choice of pasta with sauces such as al pesto, al bolognese, and chicken alfredo.
MAINopoly: A Taste Of Main Street, Sunday May 27th In Santa Monica
This from my inbox: On Sunday, May 27th from 1pm-5pm is the 8th annual MAINopoly: A Taste of Main Street. This event is a pet-friendly, boardgame-themed culinary walking tour of Main Street’s fave neighborhood eateries, bars, and treat shops. Attendees will use “MAINopoly dollars” and are encouraged to dress in “Monopoly-inspired or patriotic Memorial Day attire”. There will be a “Go to Jail” beer garden, cocktails, DJ, and prizes. Some (but not all) of the restaurants that will be participating are: Ashland Hill, Pasjoli, Papille Gustative, JuneShine, Jameson’s Pub, and Holey Grail Donuts. The event takes place between Navy and Bay St. (Check in at The Victorian, 2640 Main St.) and benefits The Main St. Business Improvement Association. Read more and get your tickets here.
Bruxie Bringing Chicken & Waffles To El Segundo
Congratulations El Segundo! Exceptional chicken and waffles are heading your way… We know this because there’s a banner hanging over the space in the Apollo Landing development at 2171 Rosecrans Ave, previously home to Pier 76 Fish Grill, announcing a new branch of Bruxie. With a smattering of locations around LA and Orange County (and one in Georgia), Bruxie is known for breakfasts and sandwiches served between their signature waffles. But they also offer salads, frozen custard, and sweet waffle sandwiches.
Nick The Greek Coming To MDR, And Elsewhere
A sign above the space at 4254 Lincoln Blvd. in Marina del Rey is announcing that a branch of rapidly expanding Greek chain Nick The Greek is settling in. Nick The Greek operates a number of locations, mostly north of here. Look for a menu of, you guessed it, souvlaki and gyro, as well as falafel, burgers, salads, and soup. New locations in Huntington Beach and Long Beach are also in the works.
Juicy Ladies Expanding To Santa Monica
It wasn’t that long ago when I told you about the closure of 35 year institution Bud’s Deli at 2727 Ocean Park Blvd, in the Sunset Park area of Santa Monica. Wasting no time, the address is getting a new tenant. There’s a notice in the window that this will soon be home to a branch of local fave Juicy Ladies. Juicy Ladies is an “organic juice bar & cafe” with two other locations (Pacific Palisades and Woodland Hills) and a breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu with vegan, vegetarian, paleo, and keto options that emphasises healthy food, community, and the environment.
Blossom Drops Off Abbot Kinney
Sadly it appears that after about a year, local fave Blossom Vietnamese has quietly slipped out of the space at 1121 Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice. There’s no official statement, but the space is dark and gutted. A local was passing by and, noticing my interest, explained to me that this location is notoriously tricky for restaurants because it’s not easily seen from the street. Previously the space had been home to 3 Square Cafe. Whatever the reason, you can still visit Blossom’s Santa Monica location at 2821 Ocean Park Blvd. for their signature noodles.
Breadblok Abruptly Closes All Locations…
I’m hearing from startled readers that popular gluten-free organic bakery and lunch spot Breadblok has abruptly closed all its locations including their first brick-and-mortar on Montana Ave in Santa Monica. An announcement on Instagram explains that “the combination of the impact of COVID as well as the inflationary pressure on our costs” is the culprit behind the sad news. We wish them the best of luck for their next chapter. (Thanks Tara and others!)
Corner Bakery Caput In West LA
A reader wrote to tell me that the branch of Corner Bakery at 10759 W Pico Blvd (corner of Malcolm) in West Los Angeles has given up the ghost. I’m not sure what the reasons are, but the space is completely gutted. I’ll keep my eye on the address to see what may develop. (Thanks Stepen!)
Bludso’s BBQ Replacing Truxton’s In Santa Monica
It’s been a cool minute since Truxton’s pulled up stakes at 1329 Santa Monica Blvd. Since then, a ‘leased’ notice was splashed across the front, and readers have been demanding answers. Now we have them. An ABC application on the front door spills the beans that BBQ superstar and cookbook author Kevin Bludso is expanding his operation to Santa Monica with a location of Bludso’s Bar & Que. Looks like they’re shooting for a June opening, but in the meantime, check out their menu here and try to stop your mouth from watering.
El Merkat By Teleferic Barcelona Coming To Brentwood
It was me who broke the news that high-end Spanish tapas chain Teleferic Barcelona was replacing old school Italian fave Vincenti at 11930 San Vicente Blvd. in Brentwood. They have since opened to nightly adoring crowds. Now it looks like the brand is increasing its presence along the tony street. Right next door to Teleferic Barcelona, plywood is up on the space 11934 San Vicente announcing a branch of El Merkat by Teleferic Barcelona. On offer at El Merkat will be a selection of “authentic Spanish gourmet products” including cheeses, meats, wines, spices, and paella kits.
The Cellar Bar & Grill Quits Century City
Century City if full of little gems that us mere mortals know nothing about. Tucked in amongst the tall buildings are a number of rarified eateries and bars that cater to the finance and industry crowds that inhabit the offices. One such place that was completely off my radar has quietly closed up shop. A reader (Thanks Tony!) wrote to tell me that The Cellar Bar & Grill, at 1880 Century Park East # 102, is no more. A blunt notice on the front door proclaims them as permanently closed.
Handel’s Ice Cream Coming To Ocean Park
Congratulations Ocean Park! Top-rated icy treats are heading your way…. It was back in June of last year when I told you about quiet neighborhood spot Shaka Shack quitting its location at 1701 Ocean Park Blvd. Now it looks like this address is about to be the home of a new branch of Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream & Yogurt. Handel’s Ice Cream had its beginnings in Youngstown, Ohio when a woman named Alice Handel began serving it in 1945. They operate 90 locations in a number of states and offer over 100 flavors of ice cream and yogurt that are made fresh daily at each location.
Ingo’s Tasty Diner’s Triumphant Return To Santa Monica
Normally, I do my own investigating, but I’m hearing from so many people on this story that I’m simply passing on the information others have shared with me. With its buzzy bar and laid-back comfort food, the closure of local fave Ingo’s Tasty Diner, at 1215 Wilshire, was a real blow to neighborhood. Plywood went up on the front, and not much happened after that… until recently. Construction has been fast and furious, which prompted readers to check into what was going on. They’ve uncovered that Ingo’s will be reopening at this location (their website confirms a Summer opening) and that they are expanding into the old Vienna Bakery space next door, possibly meaning more baked goods on menu. Also there are whisperings of a beer garden in the back as well. Let me know if you have any more information. (Thanks to Kurt, Rob, and others)
Tapville Social Coming To El Segundo, Hawthorne
I’ve been telling you the story of how The Works shopping center, at 700 S Allied Way in El Segundo, has quietly been transforming into a food destination. Here’s more evidence. Fencing is up around one of the front spaces with banners that read “Tapville Social coming soon”. Tapville Social has a handful of locations across the US and appears to be making inroads into SoCal. It is known for rotating selections of craft beer, wine and hand-crafted cocktails and a menu of “American classics” ordered on tablets. They are also opening a location 12520 Crenshaw in Hawthorne, near SpaceX.
JP’s Bar & Grill Returning To Santa Monica
A little over a year ago, I told you about some activity at 925 Wilshire Blvd.# C in Santa Monica. At the time, all I could discern wat the new establishment was associated with JP’s Bar and Grill, a fave neighborhood watering hole at Wilshire and 11th that had shuttered during the Pandemic. I even reached out to the people behind JP’s, but at the time, they didn’t wish to share any details, so I only referred to the location as “a new JP’s project”. Now a liquor license has gone up on the space, (perhaps) putting an end to the mystery. The business name is clearly listed as JP’s Bar & Grill.