It’s good to see so many new restaurants in the works… There’s a new sign up at 8570 W 3rd St. in LA/West Hollywood, previously home to Nonna’s Empanadas, announcing a new pie joint. Proper Pizza & Pasta operates one other location outside of Downtown LA and promises a “great New York style pizza”, as well as pasta, salads, wings, strombolis, and calzones.
Erratum: I stand corrected: A sharp reader quickly let me know that this location is squarely in Beverly Grove, City of Los Angeles.
Santa Monica has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic: 40% of businesses in The Third St. Promenade are now permanently closed. And Montana Ave. and Main St. aren’t faring much better. With such a bleak outlook, I’m glad that I was able to post some good news this week. This is the third post in a row about new eateries moving into Downtown Santa Monica, surely an indication of hope… A new sign is proudly declaring that the space that used to be home for Le Pain Quotidien, at 316 Santa Monica Blvd., will be the future location for a branch of wildly popular and beloved Trejo’s Tacos. This is indeed exciting news for the area.
It looks like popular breakfast/lunch spot Jinky’s Cafe is expanding into the world of coffee and grab-and-go. You may recall that The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf on the corner of Second St. and Santa Monica Blvd. disappeared in last year’s mass extinction event that saw so many closures for the beloved SoCal chain. Now there’s a banner on the location, at 200 Santa Monica Blvd., announcing a new java joint: Jinky’s Coffee. We are promised a chai and coffee bar, bakery, sandwiches, wraps, and “empanads and samosas”.
At least one restaurant has been expanding during COVID… After opening a new location in Westwood in November, Nick The Greek Souvlaki & Gyro House is moving into the location at 219 Arizona (Third St. Promenade) in Santa Monica, most recently oppcupied by Creams & Dreams. Nick The Greek has a number of locations in Northern California, and is slowly moving into SoCal. They offer a menu of souvlaki and gyro, as well as falafel, burgers, salads, and soup.
It looks like LA/West Hollywood is getting a new Mexican joint. A banner on the front of 8722 W 3rd St. (previously home to The District by Hannah An) and some brightly painted fiberglass cows are announcing the impending arrival of Mama Por Dios. MPD operates one other location in Rancho Cucamonga and promises us “Mexican gourmet” served with a side of live Mariachi music or DJs.
It looks like Beverly Hills is about to get a fresh new noodle shop. A sign is up on the space at 255 S Beverly Dr., formerly home to The Coral Tree Cafe, announcing that Strings Ramen is moving in. While I don’t have confirmation, I believe this is the same Strings Ramen that has been voted Chicago’s best ramen and is famous for their “Monster Hell Ramen Challenge“, or a challenge to empty their level 5 hell ramen bowl in 20 minutes to recieve a $50 gift certificate and a t-shirt. There’s an ABC application on the front as well, so beer and wine will be on offer. Check out this concept video to get a glimpse of what’s coming…
After having sat vacant for ages, the space at 1705 Ocean Ave. in Santa Monica, previously inhabited by H B Daisy and a dubious branch of Joan’s on Third before that, is about to get a new tenant. Window dressing has gone up on the commodious corner shop informing us that this will soon be the home of a branch of popular pastry perfectionist Winston Pies. This will be their third location, we wish them the best of luck.
In the very center of Santa Monica Place is a small, unassuming kiosk that, until last September, used to be the home of Santa Monica’s branch of Ugo Cafe. Now window covering is informing us that something called SMiZE Cream is moving in. And what exactly is SMiZE Cream? Apparently, it is a “Super premium ice cream w/ a hidden, yummy SMiZE Surprize” launched by none other than TV personality and model Tyra Banks. (SMiZE = “smile with your eyes”) Definately an interesting development for Downtown Santa Monica…
This landed in my inbox: The Other Door Bar, at 10437 Burbank Blvd. in North Hollywood, is hosting its 11th annual Mardi Gras Crawfish Boil on Tue, Feb 16. They are flying in hundreds of pounds of the live little critters from Louisiana for the occasion. I’m told there will be “bottled Hurricanes and other cocktails, and a brass band in some form appropriate to the pandemic lockdown.” Check out their link for the event here. Don’t we all need a little bit of New Orleans right about now?
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?
It looks like West LA’s adorable purveyor of all things cheese, Lady & Larder, is coming to Santa Monica. A sharp-eyed reader (Thanks Robert!) spotted the ABC application on the space next to Milo SRO at 828 Pico Blvd. #2, clearly indicating that the Simms Sisters are intent on bringing gorgeous cheese boards to the good people of Santa Monica. At the time of this writing I couldn’t confirm if this will be a second location or if they’re moving operations, but as soon as I find out I’ll let you know.
Ever since I first told you that breezy French charmer Zinqué was moving into the second floor space of the Westfield Century City Shopping Center that was previously occupied by Petros, I’ve been peppered with questions asking when it would open. So, for all the people eagerly following this story comes this happy news… Zinqué opened yesterday (01/29) for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with patio dining and take-away or delivery. You’re welcome.
I’m a sucker for Ladurée. I love the dainty food, elegant pastries, and those macarons! (which they take credit for creating) C’est tellement Francais. Now, you may not have to drive as far for a taste of Paris. While I’m a little late in the game here (It opened about a month ago.), I’m happy to let you know that there’s a Ladurée pop-up in Palisades Village, in Pacific Palisades. De Rien!
A reader with super human powers (no mere mortal would be able to spot this, Thanks Tony!) let me know about some activity at the former home of fossilized diner, Roxbury Cafe at 459 Roxbury Dr. in Beverly Hills. An open air dining permit request on the boarded-up front door lists the name of the new business as Impasta. I have no confirmation that this is the same restaurant, but there is an Impasta with one other location in LA that offers a menu designed for low-carb and gluten-free diets with items such as “classic pasta and pizza recipes made with zero to low carb noodle options, [and] cauliflower crusts”. Also, there’s no red meat is on the menu. We wish them the best of luck.
Update: Jennifer W was kind enough to let us know that in their Instagram feed, Impasta has said that they are relocating to Beverly Hills. So this will not be a second location.
It looks like West LA is getting yet one more pizza joint to grace its strip malls… A reader (Thanks Jennifer!) let me know that there’s a banner up on the space at 12219 Santa Monica Blvd., previously home to Pizza Hut, announcing that Prime Pizza is moving in. Prime Pizza has three other locations across LA and promises “authentic NY style Pizza”.
Few eateries inspire such devotion as the ever-popular quintessential SoCal diner Norms Restaurant. It looks like the iconic marquis that inspired Ed Ruscha has risen in Encino. And it looks like they’re close to being finished in their new build-out at 16573 Ventura Blvd.
Originally, I had reported that something called Kohi Cafe was coming to the space in the new multi-use complex at 3008 Santa Monica Blvd. in Santa Monica. But plans seem to have changed. A new sign just went up letting us all know that Kissaten Coffee / Wine Cafe is moving in. I don’t know exactly what to expect. A “kissaten” is a type of old-school Japanese lounge/coffee shop… I think. Please feel free to educate me if you know more.
It appears LA’s premier and exclusive destination for pricey deep-fried nibbles is about to change hands. There’s an ABC application on the front of Tempura Endo, at 9777 S Santa Monica Blvd. in Beverly Hills, indicating that the Japanese restaurant that caused quite a stir when it first opened is changing owners. While it remains COVID-closed, at least we can rest assured that a restaurant will be reopening at the location. I guess we’ll have wait and see what it will look like… (The new owner, Peace Dining, appears to be a big player in sushi.)
I recently noticed a large banner on a space in the strip mall on the corner of Sawtelle and Santa Monica Blvd. in West LA (11281 Santa Monica Blvd.). The banner is promising a new pie joint, Piara Pizza Fresh and Ready. Piara Pizza is an expanding, mostly West Coast chain, with two other locations in LA, and a whole lot more planned. No word on an opening date, but they look close.
It looks like Westwood is about to get a branch of a beloved Hollywood institution. Banners are up on the corner location at 1898 Westwood Blvd. announcing an impending arrival of Mashti Malone’s Ice Cream. Mashti Malone’s has long been the temple for devotees of Persian-style ice cream and other treats.