Estate Folds In Santa Monica

I heard from a reader (Thanks Stephanie!) that Santa Monica’s popular pick-up bar and restaurant Estate was now caput.  So I went by their location at 1519 Wilshire to have a look.  Sure enough, the large for lease signs on the front announce the sad news.  I’ll keep my eye on the space to see if there will be any takers…

Malbec Argentinean Cuisine Closed In Santa Monica

On a tip from a reader (Thanks SG!) I went by cavernous Argentinean steakhouse Malbec to see what was going on.  The signs have been pulled down and their location at 2628 Wilshire Blvd. has been gutted.  The for lease sign in the window confirms that they have indeed permanently closed.  It appears that their other locations are still open.

Luna Grill Gone From Santa Monica?

About two years ago, Luna Grill started slinging its signature Mediterranean food from its newest location at 3001 Wilshire Blvd.  While their website still lists this location as temporarily closed, last week a reader (Thanks Stephen!) questioned whether that was true.  So I went by to have a look.  Sure enough, the windows are papered over and a note on the front is announcing that they are closed, so it looks like they’ve no intention of reopening.

Ugo Cafe Gone From Santa Monica Place

Sadly, I fear many businesses, and restaurants in particular, will not outlast the current COVID crisis. I’ve been reporting on multiple closures across The Westside. Yet another appears to be the beloved Italian coffee bar Ugo Cafe, set on the first floor of Santa Monica Place. If you’re missing their proprietary coffee or pastries, they still have two other locations.

Sur La Table Set To Close In Santa Monica

The emporium of all things culinary, Sur La Table looks like it is set to close at 301 Wilshire Blvd.  There’s a giant banner across the front announcing the sad news.  This particular branch has long been the go-to for local cooks needing just the right size springform pan or imported dijon and will be sadly missed.

Panini Grill Gone From Beverly Hills

The Golden Triangle in general, and S. Santa Monica Blvd. in particular, have long been tricky locations for restaurants, but the current COVID crisis appears to be accelerating the departures.  Panini Kabob Grill stood like a sentinel on the corner of Camden and  S. Santa Monica, and was a popular lunch destination.  But sadly, a large for lease sign now indicates that they have indeed permanently thrown in the towel at this location.

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Steak ‘n Shake Quits The Third St. Promenade

It appears that Santa Monica’s branch of Steak ‘N Shake has abandonned any hope of returning to pre-COVID life as usual.  While their website still lists them as temporarily closed, their location at 1455 Third St. Promenade is gutted and a large for lease sign in the window says they’ve no plans to reopen.  Their departure leaves a cavernous hole in the Downtown Santa Monica food scene.  I’ll keep my eye on the space to see if there will be any takers…

Amorino Gelato Melts Down In Beverly Hills

Amorino Gelato brought a certain frisson to The Golden Triangle when it opened late in 2014 at 9605 S. Santa Monica Blvd.  Sadly, it appears the Parisian superstar of icy treats has vacated the cavernous location.  A large for lease sign confirms the news that is sure to be a blow to its devoted fans.  I’ll keep my eye on the space to see what develops.

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Taste Disappears From Pacific Palisades

On a tip from a reader (Thanks Rhonda!), I went by the shopping mall on the corner of Palisades Dr. and Sunset in Pacific Palisades to see what was going on.  Sadly, it appears that popular neighborhood eatery Taste has completely disappeared from its location at 538 Palisades Dr.  I’m not certain about the other location on Melrose in West Hollywood.  If you have any more information, let me know…

Update:  See comment below for info on the Melrose Taste.

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Balconi Coffee Quits Sawtelle Japantown

I heard from a deeply saddened reader (Sorry RK…) that innovative java shop  Balconi Coffee Company had permanently closed its doors at 11301 W Olympic Blvd. #124.  Sure enough, the space is gutted and there’s a gracious note affixed to the front (that you can also read here) explaining their reasoning.  Apparently, Balconi was a pioneer in the use of the siphon method for making coffee.  All is not lost though, the note promises that they are looking for a “safe time and location to reopen” and in the mean time they will be doing pop-ups and event collaborations.  We wish them the best of luck…

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Kopan Ramen Closed In Westwood

It was a little over two years ago that I told you about the arrival of “Japanese izakaya” restaurant Kopan Ramen to the space at 1091 Broxton in Westwood.  Sadly, it appears that they have given up the ghost.  All signs are down and plywood still covers the front.  I’ll keep watching to see what may develop.

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Yet Another CBTL Gone…

The story that has garnered the most interest on this blog recently has been the disappearance of neighborhood coffee shops, and in particular, the mass extinction of SoCal’s beloved The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.  Thank you to all the readers who sent me news that the CBTL at 9th and Wilshire in Santa Monica has now also succumbed.  There is still one extant Coffee Bean in the Third St. Promenade, and I went in today to have a look.  The lack of customers, and low inventory of food left me wondering what its future may be…  What’s going on?  I’m not certain, but perhaps there’s a clue here.

Bluestone Lane Checking Out Of Beverly Hills

As you know if you read this blog, coffee shops are getting hammered right now.  PeetsThe Coffee Bean, and even Starbucks have all been closing locations recently.  And now it looks like the newish Bluestone Lane is leaving its location at 9523 S. Santa Monica, in the Golden Triangle.  The large for lease sign in the window appears to confirm it.

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Oh No! Ono Hawaii BBQ Runs Into A Spot Of Trouble

It appears that West LA’s branch of Ono Hawaii BBQ has gotten into a bit of hot water at 12115 Santa Monica Blvd.  There’s a closure notice affixed to the front door from the Department of Public Health citing “live cockroaches”.  Not sure what their path forward will be, but we wish them the best of luck.

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Even More CBTL Losses!

Yikes!  Ever since I first started telling you about the mass extinction of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf from the Westside, I’ve been hearing from horrified fans mourning the loss of even more neighborhood CBTLs.  The Coffee Bean on the corner of Second and Santa Monica Blvd. is now gone.  The CBTL on the corner of Wilshire and Federal has disappeared.  And, while I haven’t checked it out personally, readers are telling me that The Coffee Bean on the corner of Lincoln and Manchester is now caput.  Lots of you have been sending me theories on why this is happening, but if you have definite information, please let us know…CBTL1.jpgCBTL2