Ever since I first told you about the Pandemic disappearance of popular watering hole Bru Haus, at 11831 Wilshire in Brentwood, people have been clamoring for news on its replacement. Construction has been ongoing for a number of months now, but little information was available. Recently a reader (Thanks John!) let me know there is now a name attached to the new project. A small paper on the front tells us that something called Morabeza is moving in. A cursory search reveals that “morabeza” might be a reference to a word for hospitality in the Cape Verde Islands (I do not have confirmation on this). I guess we’ll have to wait and see exactly what’s coming. In the mean time, you can track their progress on their FB page here, which incidentally lists the new business as a restaurant.
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.
Update: Wood Ranch opened on 04/22/2022
The C3 Restaurant Platform is having a moment… It was only last week when I told you about the arrival of Umami Burger to Venice. Now it seems Brentwood is getting lucky as well. Umami Burger is currently moving into the old Le Pain Quotidien space at 13050 San Vicente Blvd Ste 114 (corner of 26th), consequently the same shopping center that is the home to the new swanky bento box restaurant Imari. A company spokesperson contacted me to let me know that this location, as well as the new Venice location, will also host a ghost kitchen for Sam’s Crispy Chicken, Krispy Rice, Kumi.
Long-standing Westside staple Mama Hong’s Vietnamese Kitchen is moving locations. A complany rep gave me the skinny on the new signage up at 12201 Santa Monica Blvd. in LA. This address used to be home to burger joint Quicksand which fell victim to the Pandemic. Mama Hong’s will be closing their Brentwood location in the under-renovation shopping complex at 11819 Wilshire Blvd. in about a week, and opening in the new space “soon”. They also have locations in Burbank and Orange as well.
It was back in December of last year that I noticed that Maradentro would not be returning to the space at 1168 S Barrington Ave. in Brentwood. A new eatery appears to be moving into the prominent corner location. A sign on the corner is letting us know that Evan Steakhouse and Grill is coming soon. There’s not much out there yet, just a still-developing website. Let me know if you have any information.
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.
The hidden little space at 11740 San Vicente Blvd. Suite 104 has had a bumpy ride since its under-the-radar glam industry spot La Scala quit the location. For a while it was a short-lived French eatery called Meet In Paris, but mostly it has sat empty. That’s about to change. There’s an ABC application posted on the front announcing that this space will soon be a branch of Santa Monica’s perpetually popular Italian powerhouse Rosti Tuscan Kitchen. (They also have a branch in Calabases as well.) Brentwood sure does love its Italian restaurants…
Good people of Brentwood, carbs are heading your way! With one other pop-up store in Culver City, Pop’s Bagels is moving into the space that used to be home to Alfred Tea Room at 11928 San Vicente Blvd. And what makes Pop’s special? Their three flavors of bagels (plain, everything, and cinnamon raisin) are made in small batches throughout the day ensuring crispy, hot perfection. They also make their own cream cheeses and cultured butter from scratch. We wish them the best of luck.
I’ve been telling you how hard the COVID closures have been on bars. It looks like we have another casualty in Brentwood. While their other branches have opened outdoors, the location of wildly popular watering hole and hook-up joint Cabo Cantina at 11829 Wilshire didn’t have a lot of options. They have been shuttered for the duration, but I had no confirmation of a permanent closure. Now, sadly, a for lease sign has gone up on the front giving proof that they have indeed given up the ghost.
I recently noticed that something new appears to be coming to Brentwood. An eye-catching new paint job and signage lets us know that the space at 11906 Wilshire that used to be the home of Marsa Mediterranean Cuisine and Layali LA Hookah Cafe is in the process of converting into something called Westside Kitchens and Acqua on Wilshire. However, I am completely unable to find ANY information on these two businesses. If you have insider info send it my way and I’ll pass it along…
Of all businesses affected by COVID, bars have been some of the hardest hit. They were forced to close early in the pandemic, and most have remained dormant since. One wonders if the industry will survive. Sadly, it appears one bar didn’t. I’ve been keeping an eye on the plywood covering Brentwood’s popular pick-up spot Bruhaus, at 11831 Wilshire Blvd., for any signs of life. Recently a reader (Thanks Tara!) who’d been doing the same let me know that confirmation of Bruhaus‘ fate recently appeared on the front. A prominent for lease sign lets us know that Bruhaus won’t be reopening.
In other bar news, an ABC application recently appeared on the front of the normally crowded neighborhood dive JP’s Sports Bar & Grill, on the corner of 11th and Wilshire in Santa Monica. The application is a transfer to a new owner, so it appears JP’s may be returning. We wish them the best of luck.
It was back in 2015 when I first learned that the commodious corner space at Wilshire and Barrington was going to be Maradentro. Known for their stiff cocktails and excellent crab dip, Maradentro has largely sat idle since the first round of shutdowns. I’d been watching the restaurant to see signs of life since I had no confirmation of permanent closure. Until now… A reader informed me that there is now a for lease sign out front so I think it’s safe to say they don’t intend on reopening.
I heard from a number of devastated readers that beloved quiet neighborhood powerhouse Pizzicotto had permanently closed its doors at 11758 San Vicente in Brentwood, so I went by to have a look. Sure enough, the Italian bolthole has papered over their windows, and Yelp has pronounced them closed. They will be sorely missed by their legions of fans. I’ll keep my eye on the space to see what may develop.
On a tip from a reader, I went by the site of the erstwhile Brentwood Restaurant & Lounge at 148 S Barrington to see what was going on. Sure enough, the previously understated exterior has been transformed into a bright and sunny facade announcing the arrival of a new venture, Baja Norte. The website lets us know that this is a new project of chef Bruce Marder (West Beach Cafe, Rebecca’s, The Rooster, Capo). Apparently, Baja Norte was born out of an exploration of his “Mexican food roots” during quarantine. You can check out the menus and read more here.
Back in September of 2018 I told you about the opening of Alfred Tea Room at 11928 San Vicente Blvd. in Brentwood. Recently, I heard from a reader (Thanks Jill!) that there was a for lease sign hanging on the front so I went by to have a look. Sure enough, the sign is there indicating that Alfred is vacating the space. I’ll keep watching to see what may develop.
[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 appears that something mysterious is landing in the space that was once occupied by Wahoo’s Fish Taco, at 11911 Wilshire Blvd. in Brentwood. An ABC application posted on the front informs us that an “eating place” called Unknown Kitchen is moving in. There is not much information out there yet, except a nonfunctioning website and a mention on a window job notice of Puzzushi, so if you have any more information, let me know…
Brentwood’s neighborhood fave Italian hideaway for celebrities, Toscana, has temporarily closed as of January 1st at 11633 San Vicente Blvd. According to a notice on the front door, they will apparently be having the kitchen renovated. The notice also promises a March 1st reopening. In the mean time, Bar Toscana, right next door, will remain open for lunch and dinner.
Well THAT didn’t take long… It was only back in May when I told you that Culver City’s Meet In Paris was expanding into the old La Scala space at 11740 San Vicente Blvd. in Brentwood. (At the time, I was told the name was going to be Café Parisien) I’m not sure what happened, but readers have been letting me know that after only a few months, Meet In Paris has closed down. I’ll keep watching the space to see what develops.
Inhabiting a space on the second floor of the strip mall at 11701 Wilshire, old school red sauce joint Enzo & Angela has stood like a sentinel over the corner of Wilshire and Barrington in Brentwood for a really long time. A little over a month ago, a handwritten note appeared on the front door saying that they would be closed for a short period after which they promised to reopen. Sadly, it looks like that didn’t work out so well. They have vacated the space and it is currently being gutted. But it looks like a new restaurant is lined up to move in. An ABC application on the front lists the new venture as Mio Babbo. The name on the application is Umberto Ferri. While I don’t have any confirmation, I’m assuming this is the same truffle hunting restaurateur that is behind Casa Modena in Culver City.