So… this may come as a bit of a shock to you so you may want to fix yourself a Manhattan, lower the lights, put on some Bill Evans, and sit down. One of the questions I most frequently get asked is if Bandera would be reopening. As you probably know, Bandera has remained shuttered, probably due to the fact that the majority of the space was a bar. Known for their mood lighting, stiff cocktails, jazz trios, and excellent Dover sole, Brentwood’s beloved branch of The Hillstone Restaurant Group was a popular nightlife spot for many years at 11700 Wilshire Blvd. I now have it on good authority that Bandera will not be reopening at this location. Better make that Manhattan a double.
I’ve been telling you how hard the COVID closures have been on bars. It looks like we have another casualty in Brentwood. While their other branches have opened outdoors, the location of wildly popular watering hole and hook-up joint Cabo Cantina at 11829 Wilshire didn’t have a lot of options. They have been shuttered for the duration, but I had no confirmation of a permanent closure. Now, sadly, a for lease sign has gone up on the front giving proof that they have indeed given up the ghost.
It appears that cafe/pub St. Marc has departed its location on the first floor of the Westfield Century City Shopping Center. I’m not sure what happened as there’s no message on their website, but all the signage has been pulled down. Seizing the opportunity, long-time Century City Italian restaurant Toscanova is appropriating their outdoor dining space.
I’ve been hearing from devastated readers mourning the loss of a favorite Westside eatery. After 33 years, Hurry Curry of Tokyo has cleared out of their location at 2131 Sawtelle Blvd. at the end of February. Hurry Curry of Tokyo was an institution and was instrumental in the transformation of Sawtelle Japantown into the dining powerhouse it currently is. According to the gracious notice on their website, they lost their lease. All may not be lost however, they are hinting at a relocation, and they still have locations in Seattle.
I first noticed banners declaring the intended arrival of “shaved snow creation” shop iSno Cafe in January of 2019. It took them a year, but they opened in January of 2020. And now in less than a year, sadly, they have closed their doors at 1260 Third St. Promenade. COVID to blame?
On a tip from a reader (Thanks Ely!) I went by 1777 Westwood Blvd. to see what was going on with beloved Indonesian institution Ramayani. It looks like they won’t be reopening at this location. There’s a for lease sign hanging on the front. Truly a sad day for West LA’s dining scene. Their website does promise a resurrection in the San Fernando Valley “soon”. We wish them luck.
Of all businesses affected by COVID, bars have been some of the hardest hit. They were forced to close early in the pandemic, and most have remained dormant since. One wonders if the industry will survive. Sadly, it appears one bar didn’t. I’ve been keeping an eye on the plywood covering Brentwood’s popular pick-up spot Bruhaus, at 11831 Wilshire Blvd., for any signs of life. Recently a reader (Thanks Tara!) who’d been doing the same let me know that confirmation of Bruhaus‘ fate recently appeared on the front. A prominent for lease sign lets us know that Bruhaus won’t be reopening.
In other bar news, an ABC application recently appeared on the front of the normally crowded neighborhood dive JP’s Sports Bar & Grill, on the corner of 11th and Wilshire in Santa Monica. The application is a transfer to a new owner, so it appears JP’s may be returning. We wish them the best of luck.
Well this is sad news indeed. Look at this photo in the window of Beverly Hills’ bright, beautiful Williams-Sonoma. Yes, it’s true: this location at 339 N Beverly Dr., known for having the best selection in the area, will be permanently closing its doors. They will remain open through the end of January. Their locations in Santa Monica, Manhattan Beach, and Pasadena will stay open, for now…
It was back in 2015 when I first learned that the commodious corner space at Wilshire and Barrington was going to be Maradentro. Known for their stiff cocktails and excellent crab dip, Maradentro has largely sat idle since the first round of shutdowns. I’d been watching the restaurant to see signs of life since I had no confirmation of permanent closure. Until now… A reader informed me that there is now a for lease sign out front so I think it’s safe to say they don’t intend on reopening.
Another sad restaurant loss… Like its counterpart in Beverly Hills before it, Panini Kabob Grill appears to have permanently pulled the plug on its location at 312 Wilshire Blvd. in Downtown Santa Monica. The space is gutted and signs have been pulled down, and a for lease sign hangs on the front. I’ll keep my eyes on the location to see if any brave eateries will give it a go, but I won’t hold my breath.
It was back in 2016 when I first noticed that caterer and restaurateur Lisa Erikson was bringing a branch of her brick and mortar eatery Lisa’s Cafe & Bakery to a space in the Elevon multi-use complex at 741 N. Douglas St. in El Segundo. Sadly, it appears she has decided to close this branch. But you can still pick up her signature breakfasts, salads, and sandwiches at her Torrance location…
Sadly, I just noticed that Soom Soom Fresh Mediterranean has vacated its location in The Works development, at 700A S. Allied Way in El Segundo. It was only back in February of last year when I first told you about Soom Soom‘s expansion into area’s rapidly changing dining scene. This particular address hasn’t had much luck keeping tenants: This is the third restaurant that has called it quits.
It appears that after a solid run in the Westfield Century City Shopping Center, Italian cheese specialist Obicà Mozzarella Bar Pizza e Cucina has vacated its second floor location. Windows are papered over and signs are pulled down. I bellieve that means that only two locations in New York are the last U.S. vestiges of the international chain, known for flying in fresh Mozzarella di Bufala weekly.
I heard from a number of devastated readers that beloved quiet neighborhood powerhouse Pizzicotto had permanently closed its doors at 11758 San Vicente in Brentwood, so I went by to have a look. Sure enough, the Italian bolthole has papered over their windows, and Yelp has pronounced them closed. They will be sorely missed by their legions of fans. I’ll keep my eye on the space to see what may develop.
An eagle-eyed reader (Thanks Jennifer!) noticed that something was missing from the strip mall on the corner of Sepulveda and Olympic, so I went by to check it out. Sure enough, longtime resident and local go-to for Korean, Kalbis Grill has disappeared from their space at 11102 W Olympic. A sign of the times: the space has been quickly converted into a COVID-19 test center.
Update: Thanks J for keeping me straight, Kalbis turned into Poke Republic, Subway turned into the COVID testing center.
A sad day for movie goers on the Westside… Popular local institution Westside Tavern, at 10850 W Pico Blvd., has decided to pull the plug. Today (10/31/2020) is their last day of service. For over 10 years, their no-reservation policy ensured stampedes of people running from the theater above to be the first in line for their inventive, playful food and stiff cocktails. “Continuing challenges from the pandemic” are to blame. They will be missed. Read their gracious goodbye letter here.
And while we’re on the subject of The Point... It appears that Umi by Hamasaku has given up the ghost at thier location at 8050 S Sepulveda in El Segundo. Umi caused quite a stir when it expanded to this neck of the woods from West LA, bringing Hamasaku chef Yoya Takahashi’s signature sushi and izakaya dishes.
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…
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.
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.