“Temporary” Closures In Westwood?

Westwood has been a whirlwind of openings and closings recently… but mostly closings.  Paper is now covering the windows of two more eateries: Westwood’s branch of Ike’s Love and Sandwiches has unceremoniously darkened 1151 Westwood Blvd.  Yelp is reporting them closed, but they’re describing themselves as “temporarily closed”.  And paper is covering the windows of House of Meatballs at 1076 Gayley.  A note posted on the front door says they are “freshening up”.  A reader (Thanks Mark!) pointed out to me that they don’t answer the phone, and they haven’t posted anything in social media for months.  We’ve seen this before. All too often, “temporarily closed” means “permanently closed”.  We wish them the best of luck.

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Organica Juice Bar Squeezed Out Of Beverly Hills

The space at 9465 S Santa Monica Blvd., set squarely in a notoriously tricky stretch of The Golden Triangle for restaurants, has seen its share of eateries come and go.  The latest to go?  It was back December of last year that I told you about the new pressed juice joint, Organica, that had recently opened.  Unfortunately, they didn’t make it a year.  A reader was quick to point out that they have now vacated the address.  I’ll keep watching to see what other brave contenders may attempt the space…

Il Fornaio Triumphantly Returning To Santa Monica…

You may recall that a branch of Il Fornaio used to anchor the corner of Ocean Ave. and Colorado (where Del Frisco’s Grill now resides) until its closure many years ago.  But now it appears that the beloved Italian bakery/restaurant is about to make its return to Santa Monica.  The space at 401 Wilshire Blvd, suite 150, has just completed a major renovation, turning it into a bright and airy storefront with a large deck and a mid-century feel.  Recently an ABC application was affixed to the front informing us that this will be the location of Osteria Del Fornaio, a slightly different business name, but the applicant is listed as the Il Fornaio America Corporation, parent company of Il Fornaio and Canaletto Ristorante Veneto.  Right now, the space is completely gutted, so we may have to wait a while to find out more…

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Falafel King Dethroned… Westwood Weeps

Well this was a shocker…  After having anchored the Westwood Village food scene since, well… forever, Falafel King has closed up shop at 1010 Broxton Ave.  I’m not sure what took out the neighborhood institution, but a gracious handwritten note on the door thanks their loyal supporters for “50 wonderful years” and suggests that they are looking for a new location.

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Café De Mundo Bringing World-Inspired Coffee To Santa Monica

Santa Monica is white hot for new eateries right now…  Now it looks like they’re about to get a new neighborhood caffeine joint.  Construction appears to be nearing completion on Café de Mundo at 1502 Broadway.  Crafted coffee drinks “inspired by how the world drinks it” and Farmshop pastries and sandwiches will be on offer.  They’re shooting for a Fall opening.

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Tartine’s Santa Monica Location Will Be…

We first got tipped off about Tartine’s expansion into Santa Monica by Eater, but no location was given.  Then an excited reader recently spotted this, which seems to imply that Tartine will be landing in a new development on the corner of 20th and Arizona (1925 Arizona to be exact), site of the former Gates, Kingsley & Gates Moeller Murphy Funeral Directors building!  So I went by to check things out.  The funeral parlor closed a while ago, and the lot was sold.  The expansive corner space is currently under construction, and an application posted out front indicates that a five story building will eventually stand on the corner.  There’s no indication from the permits that Tartine will be part of the new development.  So I reached out to a rep for Tartine, who confirmed that yes, they will be opening at this location.  The medical/residential neighborhood at first seems an odd choice for San Francisco’s darling of rustic bread and pastries.  But remember that Susan Feniger’s and Mary Sue Milliken’s upcoming project Socalo is only a block away, and sleek The Rooster is two blocks away, so it appears the area is turning into a something of a food destination.