People were absolutely gutted when I reported that beloved Westside institution Bandera, which closed during the lockdowns, would not be reopening at 11704 Wilshire in Brentwood. Even now I still hear from gob-smacked fans wondering what will replace it. Now we know… A sharp-eyed reader (Thanks Durendal_et_joyeuse!) wrote to tell me that this location will soon be the home to a branch of Wood Ranch. Their website and a notice of nonresponsibility on the front door confirm the news. For those unfamiliar, Wood Ranch has locations throughout SoCal and specializes in wood-fired BBQ, oak-grilled steaks, seafood, burgers, and sandwiches.
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.
It wasn’t that long ago that an old-timey nursery sat at 1255 Coast Village Road in posh Montecito, a relic of the now-tony street’s utilitarian past that has disappeared to accommodate the patrons of estates worth millions just a stone’s throw away. The nursery was demolished to make space for a new development that will house a branch of LA-based Hillstone Restaurant Group (Houston’s, South Beverly Grill, Gulfstream, Bandera), according to the ABC application posted outside. This will be a prominent national chain presence in the sleepy seaside town known for its fiercely local and independent restaurant scene. And while I can confirm neither an opening date nor the exact branch of the HRG, rumor has it that the new venue will be an R+D Kitchen.