I went by to check out what was going on at 12222 Venice Blvd. after I got a tip from a reader (Thanks Ivy!). Sure enough, Top Chef Brooke Willliamson’s artisanal ice cream shop Small Batch has closed up shop. You can still get their proprietary icy treats at Playa Provisions in Playa del Rey.
Well this came as a bit of a shock… After what seems like, well… forever (in reality, 26 years), it appears that Santa Monica’s branch of retro diner Swingers has thrown in the towel at its 802 Broadway location. So what happened to the neighborhood’s fave late night hang out joint? A note affixed to the front door cites rising labor and food costs, and operating expenses as the culprits.
While it can take months (or even years… Hello Honeymee?) for some shops to open in the Westfield Century Shopping Center, some arrive almost overnight. One that snuck in while no one was looking is a branch of Taiwanese chain Wushiland Boba, which is now open on the second floor near Petros. Expect a menu of various teas and sweet or savory waffles. Oh, and that flying fish with a cup on its back logo? Eater reported a few years ago that his name is Larry.
I can’t take credit for this uncovering this, but people have been curious about the old Native space on the corner of 7th and Santa Monica Blvd. in Downtown Santa Monica ever since celebrity chef Nyesha Arrington pulled the plug, so I’m passing this information on… Just this week, the Santa Monica Daily Press reported that longtime neighborhood fave pasta joint Fritto Misto will be moving into the aforementioned erstwhile Native location. Apparently, their old cozy corner spot at 601 Colorado will be demolished to make way for a new eight story apartment building. That means that their neighbor, sushi restaurant Ninjin, will also be moving out. If you don’t know about Fritto Misto, it is an under-the-radar Italian cafe with a fiercely loyal fanbase and a second location in Hermosa Beach. We wish them the best of luck.
The recent closure of Blockheads Shavery left a hole in the busy shopping center on the corner of Sawtelle and Mississippi in West LA, the same one that houses superstar Tsujita. But that’s about to change… Window covering is promising that Somi Somi will soon be arriving to the space at 11311 Mississippi Ave. Somi Somi apparently is known for ah-boong (a fish-shaped bun filled with various sweet fillings, “Korean-inspired” soft service ice cream, and toppings), and taiyaki (Japanese pancake filled with various sweet and savory fillings). With locations throughout SoCal and one in Texas, their website is promising a massive expansion soon. No word on an opening date…
It looks like poultry purveyor Chick-fil-A is continuing its relentless conquest of LA. A massive space is being cleared for the new restaurant at 740 N Sepulveda in El Segundo. According to the Daily Breeze, the planning documents reveal that the new “single-story 4,996 square-foot restaurant will seat up to 118 people and include an outdoor patio”. The article also reports a new Chick-fil-A location in Redondo Beach as well…
Westwood has been a whirlwind of openings and closings recently… but mostly closings. Paper is now covering the windows of two more eateries: Westwood’s branch of Ike’s Love and Sandwiches has unceremoniously darkened 1151 Westwood Blvd. Yelp is reporting them closed, but they’re describing themselves as “temporarily closed”. And paper is covering the windows of House of Meatballs at 1076 Gayley. A note posted on the front door says they are “freshening up”. A reader (Thanks Mark!) pointed out to me that they don’t answer the phone, and they haven’t posted anything in social media for months. We’ve seen this before. All too often, “temporarily closed” means “permanently closed”. We wish them the best of luck.