News has been slowly dripping out on the latest batch of contenders in the saga of the Kitchen United MIX (formerly The Gallery Food Hall) at 1315 Third St Promenade in Downtown Santa Monica. I’ve already told you about Duck Donuts and Santa Monica Brew Works, but now we have more news because of a sign that recently went up on the front. Here’s the impressive lineup: Lolo’s Tacos, Calico Fish House, 101 Burger, Mad Scientist Ice Cream, Go Go Ya, Ms. Cluck’s Deluxe Chicken & Dumplings, Farmesa, and breakfast experts Blu Jam Xpress.
Remember a few weeks ago when I told you about a new restaurant landing in the old Red Ruby space at 109 Santa Monica Blvd? At the time, I had little information about Bar Monette except that it would be a pizza and wine bar. Since then, the good people over at Bar Monette were kind enough to reach out to me with more information. Bar Monette is described as a “Neapolitan pizza concept” with Chef Sean MacDonald at the helm. This is his first US restaurant. Chef MacDonald was previously chef/owner of Biga Pies and ēst Restaurant in Toronto, which recently made Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants List. (Incidentally, Bar Monette is named after MacDonald’s wife Monette.) Expect a “refined tapas” and wine bar menu with Spanish/Italian influences. I’ll let them describe the menu themselves:
“The menu will be split into five categories; Pizza (eg Pesto Dungeness Crab, Pine Nut, Basil, Aged Cheese), Piccoli Piatti (small plates designed to pair with the pizza eg. Butterleaf with Basil, Pine Nut and Passionfruit), Sugo (a selection of sauces and dips for the crusts (eg Burnt Romanesco and Jalapeño Tonnato) and a small selection of Addizionale (eg Shaved Truffle and Caviar). Desserts will be changed daily depending on seasonality and chef preference (eg Black Cacao, Reishi Mushroom and Mint). The menu will change seasonally and offer vegan and vegetarian options. The drinks menu will offer unique selection of natural wines and beers alongside a water menu highlighting a choice of carbonation level and mineral content.”
They are planning on opening any day now, pending liquor license approval. Bar Monette will be open for walk-ins only from Noon to Midnight, closed Sundays, and will be cashless. We wish them the best of luck.
I’m hearing from many of you who are really not that surprised that Santa Monica’s branch of Fox Restaurant Concepts‘ Flower Child appears caput at 1332 Second Street in Downtown Santa Monica. You may recall, Flower Child started spreading their good vibes back in 2016 with a sunny menu aimed at the health conscious. I’m not sure what may have gone wrong, but I’ll keep my eye on the space to see what will develop.
I haven’t quite figured out the revolving door situation at Kitchen United MIX (formerly The Gallery Food Hall) at 1315 Third St Promenade in Downtown Santa Monica. Restaurants seem to come and go with alarming rapidity. But at least two new eateries are giving the location a go. Recently, I told you about a branch of Santa Monica Brew Works that is settling in. And it now appears that Duck Donuts will be occupying the front space. Duck Donuts has locations across America and offers customizable made-to-order donuts with choices for coatings, toppings, and drizzle.
The commodious space at 1705 Ocean Ave. In Downtown Santa Monica has hosted a number of different restaurants including (maybe) a Joan’s on Third, H B Daisy, and Winston Pies. The location has been vacant for a cool minute, but that’s about to change. Self-described “laid-back and unpretentious neighborhood restaurant, coffeehouse and meeting place” Sweet Maple is moving into the address. Their website confirms it. This will be the first SoCal location for the San Francisco-based restaurant famous for their Millionaire’s Bacon, which is “extra-thick, sweet and spicy bacon” that is “slow-cooked for hours with brown sugar and spicy peppers to a chewy perfection”. Check out the menu of their original branch for an idea of what may be coming.
It was back in 2017 when I told you about the exciting arrival of KC Chocolatier to Downtown Santa Monica. Impressive chocolates, ice cream, and hot chocolate flown in from Belgium put KC squarely on the map for chocolate lovers. Sadly, fan adoration didn’t appear to be enough. KC Chocolatier appears to have closed up shop at 1431B 2nd St. All is not lost though… You can still order online.
Holiday pro tip… There’s one yearly tradition that many of us don’t relish: Standing in a long line at a local See’s Candies to buy essential gifts for hosts, coworkers, out-of-town relatives, and service folks. But this year, to ease the burden on Santa Monicans, See’s has opened a full size pop-up that practically no one know about yet. It’s on the ground floor of Santa Monica Place, near Nordstrom, and it promises to save you a lot of time. You’re welcome.
The space at 1315 Third St Promenade in Downtown Santa Monica has had a turbulent history. A while ago, it was The Gallery Food Hall. That cleared off to make room for mega ghost kitchen Kitchen United MIX, which as recently as July was promising new food options. I’m not sure what’s going on, but while the Kitchen United signs are still up, the place is closed and gutted with construction underway. And last week, a new ABC application went up on the front announcing that Santa Monica’s very own Santa Monica Brew Works is moving in. As you know, Santa Monica Brew Works is that crazy-busy complex on the corner of 20th and Colorado with proprietary brews and famous square pizza. I don’t have more info than this at this time, but I’ll keep digging…
It looks like something new is coming to 109 Santa Monica Blvd. in Downtown Santa Monica, formerly home to Little Ruby. Construction is underway, and there is a small piece of paper taped to a front window that exposes the new eatery as Bar Monette. There’s not much information out there on Bar Monette, just an under-construction website that lists the new establishment as a pizzeria & wine bar. The website says they are aiming for a January 2023 opening.
I’ve been hearing from startled readers who have noticed that one of the last local branches of former pizza darling 800° Woodfired Kitchen has been taken off life support at 120 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica. Signs have been pulled down and the cavernous space has been gutted. 800° burst onto the scene a few years back wowing people with their innovative design-your-own assembly line approach using quality ingredients that produced a charred-crust pie that seemed like a revelation at the time. I’ll keep my eye on the tricky address to see what may move in.
While no one was looking, a new Japanese restaurant quietly slipped into the space most recently occupied by innovative noodle shop Rakkan Ramen. Sushi Gozen is now open at the hidden location at 1705 Ocean Ave. #111. Sushi Gozen is the sister restaurant to West Hollywood’s Gozen Japanese Sake Bistro and promises a “laid-back seaside vibe” with fresh seafood, sushi pizza, chicken, and other offerings.
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.
On a tip from a reader, I went by to check out what was going on at Santa Monica’s branch of healthy California-cuisine minichain Fresh Corn Grill. It was over two years ago when I first told you about their arrival to the space at 720 Wilshire, formerly home to a branch of Baja Fresh. Sadly, this location is ceasing operations after today (Friday 09//23). It was explained to me that the company is being restructured by the owners. The other two locations (Westwood, West Hollywood) are to remain open.
Congratulations, Good People of Santa Monica, exceptional plant-based burgers are heading your way! There’s a small hiring notice on the front of the erstwhile home of Thai Dishes on Broadway at 123 Broadway. It lets us know that popular plant-based Monty’s Good Burger is moving in. Monty’s has locations across LA and specializes in hand-breaded plant-based chicken sandwiches, fries, tots, shakes, and an artisanal vegan burger that is so good, it landed them a spot on Eater’s list of Essential Los Angeles Burgers.
You may recall the corner spot at Fourth and Santa Monica Blvd. from the nightly news after an arsonist torched the place in May of 2020. Back then, it was the home to Sake House by Hikari which decided not to return to the location at 401 Santa Monica Blvd. The space had been undergoing renovation since then, and now window paper lets us know the new occupant: MIXT. MIXT has locations throughout California and in Scottsdale and Dallas. They offer a menu of chef-crafted salads, market plates, sandwiches, and bowls, as well as a “design your own” concept featuring “whole, honest, pure foods”.
Santa Barbara’s finest, McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams, is opening a location in Downtown Santa Monica. There’s a now hiring notice posted in the window of of the diminutive space at 1456 Third Street Promenade, most recently home to ice cream shop Somi Somi, and Pinkberry before that. For over 70 years, McConnell’s has been producing what some call the “best ice cream in the world” using simple, straight-forward ingredients. It looks like they’re close to opening…
The space at 1237 3rd St. Promenade in Santa Monica has seen a number of eateries come and go. Years ago it was a Greek restaurant, then a BurgerIM, and most recently, a hot chicken place was slated to move in. But apparenty that fell through… Italian specialists Ugo Cafe has long had a relationship with Downtown Santa Monica. Originally, they had a shop in Santa Monica Place. Then they moved to 1400 Third Street Promenade. And now, they are opening a new location at 1237 3rd St. As you can see, the sign displays the new business as Ugo An Italian Trattoria. A spokesperson assured me that this will be their second location in Santa Monica (and third in total), and whereas their current Promenade location is more of a “grab and go” concept, the new location will be more of a “fancy” sit-down restaurant.
It was back in March of this year that I told you about what was going to fill the cavernous hole left by the shocking disappearance of P.F. Chang’s on the corner of Wilshire and 4th in Santa Monica. Wasting no time whatsoever, Lotus Dim Sum Dumpling House has fully moved into the location and is throwing open their doors today, July 27th at 12:00pm. Along with recently-opened popular Osteria Del Fornaio on the opposite corner, Lotus is bringing a much-needed injection to a struggling Downtown Santa Monica dining scene that was hit hard by pandemic closures. We wish them the best of luck. You can check out Lotus’ menu here.
A reader (Thanks Tom!) noticed new options coming to Downtown Santa Monica’s outpost of the rapidly expanding ghost kitchen enterprise Kitchen United Mix at 1315 Third St Promenade. This location (formerly The Gallery Food Hall) has had a troubled past, and has seen many eateries come and go. According to a banner on the front, we can soon expect take-away food from popular chains than previously were not easily accessed by the beach community: Chili’s To-Go, Maggiano’s, and It’s Just Wings. Chili’s To-Go‘s website says that they will open on August 9th.
Some excellent sleuthing on the part of one of my readers (Thanks Helen!) uncovered the mystery of what has leased the former Swingers space at 802 Broadway (corner of Lincoln) in Santa Monica. She was able to discover a municipal application that reveals the name of the new business. Apparently, it is none other than a Sawtelle’s white-hot Mexican destination Hermanito. And this guy’s company is doing the design and consulting. Interesting…