Flower Child Uprooted In Downtown Santa Monica

I’m hearing from many of you who are really not that surprised that Santa Monica’s branch of Fox Restaurant ConceptsFlower Child appears caput at 1332 Second Street in Downtown Santa Monica.  You may recall, Flower Child started spreading their good vibes back in 2016 with a sunny menu aimed at the health conscious.  I’m not sure what may have gone wrong, but I’ll keep my eye on the space to see what will develop.

Bud’s Deli Disappears From Santa Monica

A sharp-eyed reader (Thanks John!) noticed that beloved local institution Bud’s Deli has closed up shop at 2727 Ocean Park Blvd.  The hole-in-the-wall breakfast and sandwich shop had been on the go for 35 years.  The unassuming space is currently being gutted and there is a hand-written sign in the window thanking fans for years of patronage and blaming “issues with the lease” for the closure.  I’ll watch the location to see what may develop.

Sabra Beirut Mix Closed In El Segundo

A popular Mediterranean dining option has vacated its location in the shopping center at 400 N Sepulveda Blvd in El Segundo.  Sabra Beirut Mix has closed, and the space is currently being gutted.  Not sure what happened, but as you know, El Segundo is an important lunch dining scene for the local aerospace and military workers so I’ll keep my eye on the address to see what may develop,

Vincenti Bids Arrivederci To Brentwood; Being Replaced By Telefèric Barcelona

I’ve been hearing from shocked readers that after 25 years, under-the-radar Brentwood powerhouse Vincenti Restorante has closed up shop at 11930 San Vicente Blvd.  Vincenti dazzled The Westside for 25 years with its combination of inventive Italian food created by Chef Nicolo Mastronardi and its sophisticated setting.  The hard-working woman behind Vincenti, Maureen Vincenti, would greet you with a hug at the door and inquire about your life as she led you into the elegantly appointed dining room studded with old-school Hollywood A-listers and industry execs.  And while the luster may have dulled a tad recently, it’s easy to forget that Maureen’s late husband, Muaro Vincenti, along with Piero Salvaggio and others, revolutionized the way Los Angeles and America experienced Italian food.  Its closure feels like the end of an era of classic Italian fine dining.  Read Maureen’s and Chef Mastronardi’s parting message here.

Wasting no time whatsoever, it appears that Telefèric Barcelona will be throwing their hat into the ring of the recent tapas craze by taking over the space.  Telefèric Barcelona hails from Spain and has a smattering of locations in NoCal.  They offer a “truly authentic Spanish Tapas concept and experience”.  Check out their menu here.

Erratum:  This story was originally published with the misspelling of Vicenti instead of the correct Vincenti.  My apologies.

Pudu Pudu Done Pushing Pudding In Century City And Everywhere Else In LA…

I must confess, I never entirely understood the concept of Pudu Pudu, the pudding specialists brought to you by German megabrand Dr. Oetker.  Apparently, I wasn’t alone.  After opening only in February of this year, they have thrown in the towel at their second-floor location inside the Westfield Century City Shopping Center.  And that’s not all.  They have closed all of their LA locations, as indicated by this sad good-bye notice on their website.

Fresh Corn Grill To Leave Santa Monica

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.

(Thanks Jonny!)

Kreation Quits Brentwood

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!)

Subway Disappears From Montana Ave.

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.  

Chipotle Disappears From The Golden Triangle

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. 

Chin Chin Bids Ciao To Beverly Hills

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.  

Izzy’s Is No More…

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…

Bok Bok Mediterranean Flies The Coop In Century City

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.

Bread & Porridge Disappears From Santa Monica

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.

Sushi Sho Decamps From Montana Ave.

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…

 

Wienerschnitzel Bites The Dust In Santa Monica

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.

Islands Sank In MDR

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.

Prime Pizza Replacing Grey Block In Santa Monica

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”.

SMiZE Cream Done Smiling In Santa Monica

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.  

Dun Huang Done In Westwood?

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…