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 first told you about frozen treat expert Gelato-Go‘s arrival to 1305 Montana Ave. back in October of 2017. Sadly, it appears that things have turned icy for the gelato chain: Gelato-Go is now closed in Santa Monica. You can still sample their gelato at other SoCal locations, or in Florida.
Sadly, it appears that Korean bowl specialist Bibigo has disappeared from its location at 2210 Sawtelle Blvd. in LA. The space is completely gutted, ending any hope of a return. I’m not sure what happened, but I’ll keep watching to see what may take a chance in what is one of the Westside’s most competative food scenes, Sawtelle Japantown.
Back in June of 2017, I applauded Z Pastabar’s courageous decision to brave the sputtering food scene in Santa Monica Place. At the time, Z Pastabar had high hopes of a big expansion across the LA area. Sadly, it appears that things did not go as planned: Following their other SoCal locations, Santa Monica Place‘s branch of Z Pastabar is now closed.
Brentwood’s neighborhood fave Italian hideaway for celebrities, Toscana, has temporarily closed as of January 1st at 11633 San Vicente Blvd. According to a notice on the front door, they will apparently be having the kitchen renovated. The notice also promises a March 1st reopening. In the mean time, Bar Toscana, right next door, will remain open for lunch and dinner.
A reader (Thanks Charlie!) sent me this article in the SMDP about the end of Santa Monica’s beloved hidden airport restaurant Spitfire Grill. According to the article, current owner John Clarizio has sold the restaurant citing that he needs a break. The new owner is Irish restaurateur Sean Martin, who has had successes in London. The eatery is to be called The Cloverfield and will feature Italian food in an atmosphere that is reminiscent of a “London Bistro with Southern California elements”. Spitfire will stay open for a while during the finalization of the sale.