On a tip from a reader, I went by to check out what was going on at Santa Monica’s branch of healthy California-cuisine minichain Fresh Corn Grill. It was over two years ago when I first told you about their arrival to the space at 720 Wilshire, formerly home to a branch of Baja Fresh. Sadly, this location is ceasing operations after today (Friday 09//23). It was explained to me that the company is being restructured by the owners. The other two locations (Westwood, West Hollywood) are to remain open.
It appears that juice and cleanse experts Kreation Organic has cleared out of its location at 11754 San Vicente Blvd. in Brentwood. That leaves another gaping hole in a block that used to contain many eateries. I’ll keep my eye on the location to see what may develop. And yes, I’m still watching the former Pizzicotto space which appears to have been leased. (Thanks Eric!)
While no one was looking, the tiny branch of massive sandwich chain Subway quietly slipped out of its long-time location at 625D Montana Ave. And why does this matter? While this may be welcome news to some, this particular branch served as one of the very last quick and inexpensive lifelines for employees on a street that has been completely taken over by expensive restaurants, high-end delis, and fourth-wave coffee joints. I’ll keep my eye on the space to see what may move in.
I’ve been hearing from shocked readers that everyone’s favorite grab-and-go burrito joint has abruptly pulled up stakes at 475 N Beverly Dr. A notice on the front door informs us that Chipotle has unceremoniously quit the space that was previously the longtime home of a Baja Fresh. Wasting no time, something has already leased the location so I’ll keep watch to see what may be taking over.
I’m a little late in reporting this, but I’ve been hearing from shocked readers that Chin Chin has closed its doors at 206 S Beverly Dr. in Beverly Hills. I’m not entirely sure what happened, but the Asian-ish eatery has been a staple of the Beverly Hills dining scene for 25 years. One reader (Thanks Steve!) claimed it was due to leasing issues, and noted that the nearby branch in Brentwood is getting a much-needed scrub-up so don’t count Chin Chin out yet. It appears that the space is already leased, and as always, I’ll keep an eye out to see what may develop.
Update: While I have not confirmed this, a reader (Thanks Robin!) reports that this will be a branch of San Diego’s own Parakeet Cafe.
There’s one question that I literally get asked daily: “When will Izzy’s Deli reopen?” You may recall that Santa Monica’s storied Izzy’s, at 1433 Wilshire, closed back in 2020 for what I reported at the time was an earthquake retrofit. Soon afterwards, a cheery “We’ll be back” was painted on the windows and Santa Monicans let out a collective sigh of relief. Well… you may want to sit down for this: Those cheery signs have been taken down and replaced with for lease signs. So even though their website still promises a June return, The Santa Monica Observer has confirmed the sad news that after almost 50 years, Izzy’s Deli is permanently closed. My condolences…
The Westfield Century City Shopping Center continues to hemorrhage eateries. A reader (Thanks Jerry!) reached out to let me know that Bok Bok Mediterranean has disappeared from the food court. Bok Bok only opened back in 2020. This leaves another conspicuous hole in the sputtering food court.
I heard from a reader (Thanks Debbie!) that Santa Monica’s perennially popular under-the-radar neighborhood breakfast joint Bread & Porridge had abandoned their longtime location at 2315 Wilshire. I had been watching the space, which has been idle for a few weeks, to see what was going on. Last month a notice in the window explained that they were taking a temporary “break from operations”. Since then, a for lease notice has appeared in the window so I assume there is no hope for reopening at this location. They will be sorely missed by their legions of fans who have made this humble restaurant an A.M. fave since 1994.
Modest Sushi Sho has been quietly dishing fish to the good people of NoMa from its humble storefront at 1303 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica for a very long time. Sadly, almost overnight it has completely pulled up stakes. But something appears to be quickly moving in. As soon as I find out what that is I’ll let you know…
The A-frame of Santa Monica’s fossilized outpost of tube steak chain Wienerschnitzel has been a fixture along Pico Blvd. for as long as anyone can remember. But alas, no longer. A reader (Thanks John!) wrote to tell me of its closure at 3010 Pico. Sure enough, all signs have been pulled down, the place is gutted, and a hastily-written note proclaims it permanently closed. Wienerschnitzel was founded in Wilmington CA in 1961 and was a marvel of midcentury fast food chains. Truly the end of an era.
I’ve been hearing from surprised readers that one of The Westside’s last remaining outposts of Islands Fine Burgers & Drinks has disappeared overnight from its longstanding home at 404 Washington Blvd. in Marina Del Rey. As you can see, all signage has been pulled down and the place looks deserted. The Santa Monica Mirror confirmed the sad news yesterday, and lets us know that the next closest branch is in Westchester.
A sharp-eyed reader (Thanks Andrew!) spotted a note taped to the front door of of Grey Block Pizza at 1811 Pico Blvd. The note simply says, “Grey Block Pizza closed Prime Pizza coming soon”. You may recall that Prime Pizza recently opened a branch in West LA, as well as other locations, and promises “authentic NY style Pizza”.
That didn’t take long… Back in February, I told you about the arrival of SMiZE Cream to the space formerly occupied by Ugo Cafe in Santa Monica Place. You may recall that TV personality and model Tyra Banks was behind the premium ice cream project. Sadly, it appears that they have cleared off from Downtown Santa Monica. Their website says that they are switching to a delivery model.
A popular sushi and sports bar has quietly disappeared from Santa Monica. Kimuya was a neighborhood fave go-to spot, known by locals for its happy hour. Sadly, a for lease sign has appeared on the front of their location at 2830 Wilshire. I’ll keep watching to see what may develop…
It caused quite a stir when I reported that LA was to get a branch of New York’s Dun Huang at 1081 Gayley in Westwood. Dun Huang specializes in Northwest Chinese food and was known for their impressive noodles. But now there’s a ‘spaces available’ sign hanging on the front and a look through he paper on the front door reveals that interior is gutted and hasn’t been touched in a long time. Does this mean after all that effort, they are done? I’ll keep watching…
I was shocked to discover on a recent trip to Santa Barbara that perennial favorite Cava Restaurant & Bar has closed up shop after 25 years. The elegant Mexican eatery had been an iconic presence on Coast Village Rd. in Montecito and was known for brunch and margaritas. SantaBarbara.com has the owner, Carlos López-Hollis‘ gracious goodbye and explanation, in which he cites the Thomas Fire and Pandemic as reasons. Sad…
Sadly, it appears that Allora Pizza has quit its location at 829 N. Douglas St. in El Seguno after less than a year. Allora took over the space from short-lived Il Romanista, which made a splash claiming to be LA’s first Roman-style pizza al taglio. Allora was the third pizza joint in a row to inhabit the unlucky address.
I heard from a concerned reader (Thanks Justin!) who was lamenting the closure of Treats Frozen Yogurt at 1700 Ocean Park Blvd. in Santa Monica. The icy confection shop was a neighborhood gathering spot and much beloved by locals. A gracious hand-written note on the front door thanks “family and friends” for a “decade of fun”. Sad.
I’ve been out of town for a few days and returned home to a stuffed inbox with messages from perplexed and shocked locals lamenting the quick and unceremonious disappearance of Santa Monica’s branch of Asian-ish eatery and longtime corner of 4th and Wilshire anchor P.F. Chang’s. All signs have been ripped down, and as you can see, the front is boarded over. Disheartened die-hard fans are seeking answers, so if you have more information, let me know…
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.