[Breaking News] I have it on good authority that New York’s famed Via Quadronno is opening a West Coast outpost in the old Chez Mimi space at 246 26th St. (across from Brentwood Country Mart). And from what I’m hearing, the space, already charming, will be upgraded by well-known architect firm Marmol Radziner. Via Quadronno is the Upper East Side’s purveyor of “unforgettable cappuccinos and paninis” (as well as a full dining menu) that is a fave with celebrities and has appeared in such shows as Sex and the City and Gossip Girl. This is a developing story, but way too delicious and exciting not to pass on…
It started out as a teaser, with the word breadblok scrawled on the plywood covering the renovation of the old Spazio Caffe at 1511A Montana Ave. in Santa Monica. Eventually, window notices went up, and I reported back in March of last year that local farmer’s market staple Breadblok was indeed moving in. Breadblok opened last week, offering the good people of Santa Monica a menu of Provence-inspired artisan breads, pastries, and tartines that are “organic, gluten-free, wheat-free, soy-free, gum-free, [and] refined sugar-free”.
Mall food courts are being hit hard this year. More evidence? Pinches Tacos has vacated its prominent spot in Santa Monica Place. That leaves three empty eateries in the sputtering court.
With all the bad news about restaurant closures in the Westfield Century City Shopping Center, it’s refreshing to see that a new venture is taking a chance. Plywood is up on the food court spot that used to house Everytable declaring that West Hollywood’s “simple European-style nook” La Créme Café is planning on a Spring opening. Look for a menu of organic coffee & smoothies, waffles, crêpes, and panini.
After being peppered with questions from curious readers who noticed activity at the erstwhile location of local bolthole Le Petit Café at 2842 Colorado Ave., I went by to have a look. Sure enough, a brand new awning declares the new restaurant to be Le Petit Chez Mimi. Fortunately, I was able to have a chat with the delightful proprietor, Micheline Hébert (nicknamed Mimi), the beloved and irrepressible force behind the Chez Mimi empire. (Chez Mimi closed at 26th and San Vicente almost 10 years ago.) She explained that she is excited by this new project: They have retained the chef from Le Petit Café and the menu will be similar as well… as in, thoroughly French. Think sole meunière, truite amandine, and boeuf bourguignon. They are planning on a March opening. In the mean time, check out the photo Ms. Hébert provided to get a glimpse inside this new French charmer.
Yikes! Still more closures… Westfield Century City Shopping Center food court is starting to look like a ghost town. Spice Affair is now boarded up. And longtime resident Ajisen Ramen has closed its doors as well.
And while we’re on the subject of sad closings… I have it on a solid inside tip that Santa Monica’s chic palace of all things kitchen-related, Williams Sonoma is set to close its doors. It is currently still open, and I do not have a time line, but I believe the intel is trustworthy. Williams Sonoma has been a sparkling anchor on the east end of Montana, and its demise will leave a cavernous hole in the upscale shopping district. By the way, I’m also hearing that the Starbucks on the corner of 15th and Montana is set to close as well due to high rents.