Good news People of Venice, honey lavender cakes are heading your way! Popular organic gluten-free bakery/cafe Breadblok is moving into the space at 512C Rose Ave. Ever since the French Provencal bakery moved from farmers’ markets to brick-and-mortar back in 2020, they’ve been slowly expanding with locations in Santa Monica, Silverlake, Studio City, and an upcoming location in Beverly Hills as well.
With one location in Beverly Hills, it appears that the “no regretti spaghetti” folks at Impasta are expanding their operation westward. There’s window paper up at 413 Santa Monica Blvd. announcing the impending arrival. You may recall that this particular block was nearly destroyed in May of 2020, but has been slowly reviving with the arrival of Blue Bottle, MIXT, and now Impasta. Impasta 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, cauliflower crusts”, and no red meat.
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.
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.
Don’t ever count out plucky Panini Kabob Grill. While the chain has lost some prominent locations during The Pandemic (Santa Monica, Beverly Hills), they continue to open new ones. A sharp-eyed reader (Thanks Jennifer!) spotted a nonresponsibility notice on the door of the empty storefront at 13455 Maxella #250, on the second floor of the Villa Marina Marketplace in Marina del Rey. The notice lets us know that there’s a new Panini Kabob Grill on the way. PKG prides itself on fresh Mediterranean fare produced daily in their “scratch kitchen”. You can peruse their menu here.
A while ago, I wondered at the papered-over windows of frozen-in-amber java joint Brighton Coffee Shop, that has stood on the corner of Brighton and Camden for over 90 years. Thankfully, I had a chance to talk with spokesperson who assured me that they will reopen the beloved coffee spot. It’s simply getting a modern upgrade with a fresh new look: Think French woven cafe chairs and bright cheery colors. The menu, I’m told, will stay pretty much the same. It looks like they’re close to reopening…
Beverly Hills lost its branch of international gelato brand Amorino during the Pandemic. Now it looks like another icy treat company is moving to the space at 9605 Santa Monica Blvd. The address was recently rented, but no signs have appeared. There is, however, a small legal notice taped to the front door. It lists the new tenant at Ample Hills Sub LLC, the company behind Ample Hills Creamery. Ample Hills make their ice cream from scratch in their Brooklyn “plant” where they actually pasteurize their own dairy and bake their own mix-ins. They have locations in New York, New Jersey, and in Long Beach CA.
Note: I do not yet have confirmation on this story.
For a while now, I’ve been watching the former home of Panini Kabob Grill at 9601 N Santa Monica Blvd. Construction has been fierce since the Mediterranean eatery closed its doors during the Pandemic, but there was no signage to indicate what was replacing it. Recently a now hiring banner went up on the front that lets us know that this will be a branch of the ever-popular chain Shake Shack, which as you know, began life around 22 years ago as a pet project of legendary New York restaurateur Danny Meyer and has ever since embarked on an inexorable march toward world domination fueled mostly by the cultish devotion of fans.
If you’ve ever been inside a branch of poineering Italian restaurant Il Fornaio, you probably walked past a marble slab etched with the names of their various locations. Prominently featured on that list is Santa Monica. There’s just one problem: There hasn’t been one in Santa Monica since it closed on the corner of Ocean Ave. and Colorado many years ago. But that’s about to change (ok, so its not an Il Fornaio itself, but it is related according to the website). I first told you about the triumphant return to Santa Monica back in 2019. After 2 1/2 years, Osteria Del Fornaio will throw open their doors to the good people of Santa Monica on April 26 at 401 Wilshire Blvd suite 150 according to a spokesperson. Expect a different menu than its closest sister restaurant in Beverly Hills. There will still be pasta and pizza, but there is an emphasis on smaller share plates served in a bright dining room with communal tables that look into a central kitchen. You’re welcome.
This is one of those stories that mystifies me. For some reason, a whole lot of you have been tracking this story since I first told you about it back in July of last year. To all those people needing answers, this news is for you: La Ong has opened their doors this week at 9632 S Santa Monica Blvd. Expect a solid Thai menu with such favorites as papaya salad, crab fried rice, and green curry all served in a sleek modern and airy space.
Normally sleepy Camden Dr., in The Golden Triangle, has recently become a hive of restaurant activity. Work is progressing on Beverly Bar. The earstwhile H.O.M.E. space appears to be leased. I’m not entirely sure what’s going on at the fossilized Brighton Coffee Shop (the windows are papered over). And now a new ABC application has appeared on the front of 420 N. Camden naming the business as Gion Beverly Hills. And what is that? I’ll leave the description to them… This from their Yelp page:
“Named after the famous geisha district, Gion in Kyoto, Japan. Gion Beverly Hills is the first and only traditional Japanese tea house that features actual geisha from Japan. We offer the rare opportunity to view a live geisha performance and have interactions with the artists. Along with the geisha show we also serve a delicious tasting menu inspired by Kyoto’s four seasons accompanied by a tea ceremony featuring wagashi (traditional tea ceremony dessert) that will serve as your dessert course.”
Beverly Hills lost both of their branches of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in the mass extinction event the chain experienced during the Pandemic closures. Their location at 445 N Beverly Dr. has sat empty ever since, but that’s about to change. A notice of intent for an open air dining permit posted on the front door spills the beans that an outpost of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is on the way. Founded by Jeni Britton Bauer and headquartered in Columbus Ohio, Jeni’s boasts a frozen treat with “a uniquely smooth texture and buttercream body, with bright flavor and clean finish” for which people go crazy, including President Joe Biden.
S. Santa Monica Blvd. is notorious for being a revolving door for restaurants, so it takes a brave contender to give it a go. One courageous eatery is about to try their luck. There’s window paper up on a former jewelry store space at 9529 S Santa Monica Blvd. announcing the arrival of something called Lorenzo California. According to the announcement, Lorenzo will be introducing a “Florence style schiacciata sandwhich” to The Golden Triangle. As near as I can tell, a schiacciata sandwich is a Tuscan sandwich composed of a specialty regional bread with various cuts of meats and cheeses. I don’t have much information on Lorenzo other that this, so if you know more, please send it along.
The space at 345 N Canon Dr. in Beverly Hills has been a number of different things, including a hair salon and whatever this was. There’s now an ABC application on the front, indicating that a plucky new contender is about the give the location a go. The name of the new eatery is listed as Cavcas Restaurant. Other than that, I can’t seem to find much information. If you know more, let me know…
Congratulations Good People of Beverly Hills, mojito mint coffee is heading your way… Beverly Hills lost its branches of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in the company’s mass extinction event that occurred over a year ago when multiple SoCal locations closed (there are still a smattering of branches around). But the chain’s previous address at 233 S Beverly Dr. is destined to be a java joint once more. According to window paper, the Bay Area’s third wave darling, Philz Coffee, will be replacing the second wave CBTL at this location.
A new tenant may have been found to fill the vacancy left by the closure of Yojisan Sushi at 260 N. Beverly Dr. in Beverly Hills. While there’s no sign up or even any indication of life, a “leased” sign has been slapped on the front. There is, however, a “notice of non-responsibility” taped to the front door. Careful inspection of that appears to spill the beans that the new shop will be nonother than a branch of popular organic and gluten-free bakery Breadblok. You may recall that the farmer’s market fave opened a brick-and-mortar about a year and a half ago in Santa Monica. So yes Beverly Hills, honey lavender cakes may indeed be heading your way…
There’s a new ABC application up on the old Sfixio Ristorante space at 9737 S. Santa Monica Blvd. in Beverly Hills. The application lists the name of the new business as Velverie Cafe and Tea House. There isn’t a great deal of information out there yet. The website is still under construction, but I’ll keep watching to see what develops.
You know the old saying; When the Lord closes an ice cream shop, somewhere he opens another. People were devastated by the recent closure of Santa Monica’s longstanding and beloved branch of popular icy treat brand Ben & Jerry’s. But from out of nowhere, a brand new location has opened at 253 S Beverly Dr. (formerly home to Creamistry). You’re welcome.
I recently noticed paper covering the windows at 9632 S Santa Monica Blvd. You may recall that this space was most recently inhabited by a branch of Danish lifestyle brand Joe & The Juice. It looks like Joe has moved on and something called La Ong is moving in. I don’t have any information on La Ong, except that “Thai cuisine” will be on offer.