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

Oakberry Slinging Acai In Venice Soon

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.  Oakberry prides 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.

Breadblok Coming To Venice

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.

See’s Candies Now Open In Downtown Santa Monica

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.

Jennifer Pennifer Bakes Moving To Pico Blvd.

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!)

Prime Pizza Coming To El Segundo

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 PizzaPrime 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”.

Bud’s Deli Disappears From Santa Monica

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.

Sawtelle Sake Coming To Sawtelle Japantown

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.

Santa Monica Brew Works Expanding To Downtown Santa Monica?

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…

Alfred Coffee Coming To MDR

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…

True Food Kitchen Increasing Longevity In Century City Soon

It appears that the Westfield Century City Shopping Center is getting a healthy new dining option.  True Food Kitchen is moving into the ground floor space at the back of the mall and most recently occupied by The Crack Shack.  With locations across the US, TFK offers a healthy menu based on the principles of natural health guru Dr. Andrew Weil and designed to increase longevity.

Sabra Beirut Mix Closed In El Segundo

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,

Commissary Expands In LA

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.