Dan Modern Chinese Replacing Ippudo In Santa Monica

A few years ago when it opened, Ippudo caused quite a stir with its tonkotsu ramen that was a huge hit in New York.  But things have changed.  Ippudo is no more.  And what’s next for the space at 1403 2nd St.?  Why none other than expanding dumpling and noodle chain Dan Modern Chinese.  According to their website, they’ll also be opening in Playa Vista and Manhatten Beach soon as well. Dan1.jpgDan2

Developments At The Viceroy Santa Monica…

A new ABC application recently went up on the front of the currently closed-for-renovation Viceroy Hotel on the corner of Pico and Ocean in Santa Monica.  While it doesn’t give us the name of the restaurant, it does promise that an eatery will be coming to the iconic property.  You may recall that The Viceroy’s previous restaurant was called Whist and subsequently Cast, and in the past has been helmed at different turns by Tim Goodell and Tony DiSalvo. The website says the name of the new restaurant is Sugar Palm Ocean Avenue, and you can catch a glimpse of it through the front door.  I’ll keep watching to see what develops.

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Yet Another CBTL Gone…

The story that has garnered the most interest on this blog recently has been the disappearance of neighborhood coffee shops, and in particular, the mass extinction of SoCal’s beloved The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.  Thank you to all the readers who sent me news that the CBTL at 9th and Wilshire in Santa Monica has now also succumbed.  There is still one extant Coffee Bean in the Third St. Promenade, and I went in today to have a look.  The lack of customers, and low inventory of food left me wondering what its future may be…  What’s going on?  I’m not certain, but perhaps there’s a clue here.

Even More CBTL Losses!

Yikes!  Ever since I first started telling you about the mass extinction of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf from the Westside, I’ve been hearing from horrified fans mourning the loss of even more neighborhood CBTLs.  The Coffee Bean on the corner of Second and Santa Monica Blvd. is now gone.  The CBTL on the corner of Wilshire and Federal has disappeared.  And, while I haven’t checked it out personally, readers are telling me that The Coffee Bean on the corner of Lincoln and Manchester is now caput.  Lots of you have been sending me theories on why this is happening, but if you have definite information, please let us know…CBTL1.jpgCBTL2

Wahoo’s Fish Taco Quits Santa Monica…

SoCal native Wahoo’s Fish Taco appears to be quiting their longtime address at 418 Wilshire Blvd. in Downtown Santa Monica.  A sharp-eyed reader (Thanks Trent!) spotted the for lease sign hanging on the front.  Since their Brentwood location closed last year, there are currently no Westside location except in LAX.  Not sure what happened, but I’ll keep watching to see what develops.

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Fresh Corn Grill Confirmed For Santa Monica

I’ve been watching the space that was the home of erstwhile Baja Fresh at 720 Wilshire Blvd. (corner of Lincoln).  The space has been undergoing a remodel for a while now.  An ABC application recently went up on the front confirming that Westwood’s Fresh Corn Grill is on the way.  Expect a menu of healthy pizza, pasta, salad, tacos, and enchiladas.  We wish them the best of luck.

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King & Queen Cantina Coming To Downtown Santa Monica

Back in January, I told you about the disappearance of Plan Check from its space at 1401 Ocean Ave suite 104.  Now a new restaurant is intending to make the space their home.  Posters are up in the windows announcing the impending arrival of King & Queen Cantina.  Originally hailing from San Diego, the chain has a smattering of locations and sister restaurants.  Expect “Latin flavors” with Dia de los Muertos decor that is meant to feel like a “party, out of the box, but more casual”.  Of course everything us up in the air right now, but we wish them the best of luck.

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Los Tarascos Bringing Taco Tuesday To Downtown Santa Monica Soon

The diminutive space at 725 Broadway in Santa Monica has seen its share of tenants, the most recent being an açaí bowl spot that closed over a year ago.  Window covering is informing us that a new venture called Los Tarascos is moving in.  The windows promise taco tuesdays and daily hand made tortillas.

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New Houston Brothers Bar In Santa Monica?

A new ABC application has popped up on the front of the old Tinga/Renee‘s space at 522 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica.  No business name is listed, but there is an applicant name: Ploenpidh Pola Houston.  While this name is associated with a Koreatown bar, the Monte Carlo, after a bit of digging, I found that Ms. Pola is the mother of entrepreneurial brothers Jonnie and Mark Houston, who preside over an empire of themed nightclubs in Hollywood.  I don’t have confirmation that this will be their newest project, so if you have any information please let me know.  You can read more about the brothers in this LA Weekly story.

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Shake Shack Santa Monica’s Sleek Look…

About a year ago, I told you about mega-popular Shake Shack‘s intention to build an outpost at 501 Wilshire Blvd, formerly the site of Panera and Polly’s Pies before that.  Recently, an artist’s rendering of what the new building will look like was pasted on the front.  It seems like they’ve a way to go since no construction has begun yet, and these are uncertain times…

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The New Face Of Santa Monica

We’re living with madness right now, and shops and restaurants are really feeling it.  If you haven’t been out much, you may not have seen that stores have begun boarding over their windows.  Sur La Table at Wilshire and Third is covered, and Williams Sonoma on Montana Ave. is also boarded.  What they’re anticipating is anyone’s guess…

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Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop Heading To Downtown Santa Monica

After sitting idle for a while, the restaurant at 331 Wilshire Blvd., that used to be the home of short-lived The Gables, is finding a new tenant.  A banner is hanging over the entrance announcing that a branch of the salad, sandwich, and bowl chain Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop is moving in.  However, the banner is delcaring that this branch will be called Greenleaf Kitchen & Cocktails.  An ABC application in the window confirms the cocktails part.  No word on an opening date, and I would expect big delays right now…

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Somi Somi Bringing Some Cheer To Downtown Santa Monica…

Back in October of last year, I told you about the disappearance of Pinkberry from 1456 Third Street Promenade in Downtown Santa Monica.  Wasting no time whatsoever, expanding chain Somi Somi has opened in the space and is now serving their signature brand of “Korean-inspired” soft service ice cream.  And, at the time of this writing, while other places have currently closed (or are offering take away), they are still open, giving us all a little needed cheer right now.

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100% Ice Cream & Coffee Coming To Santa Monica Place

As you know, mall food courts have been hit hard with closures.  The third floor of Santa Monica Place is no exception.  But one plucky contender is going to give it a try.  Plywood is up on the space just to the left of the food court announcing that something named 100% Ice Cream & Coffee is moving in.  I don’t have much information on this place, but the sign says that organic grass fed ice cream will be on offer.

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What’s Going On At Yogiyo And Seasalt In Santa Monica?

On a tip from a reader (Thanks Adrian!), I went by to check on the suspect state of affairs at 508 and 510 Santa Monica Blvd. in Downtown Santa Monica.  The reader had told me that next door neighbors Seasalt Fish Grill and Yogiyo Korean BBQ had closed down.  Sure enough, both are locked tight.  However, both also have exactly the same sign in the window saying that they will be “re-opening soon”.  I don’t want to pronounce them permanently closed, but we’ve seen this before…

What’s Going On At Obica In Santa Monica?

I’ve been carefully watching the branch of international Italian brand Obica at 606 Broadway in Downtown Santa Monica.  Recently, the restaurant went silent, and the shades have been pulled down.  A sign on the door promises a renovation, new management, and a new concept…  all by February 10th.  But things look a bit dodgy:  While I was checking for progress, a self-identified former employee approached me and told me that the staff were unceremoniously sacked with no promise of rehire.  His assumption is that Obica Mozzarella Bar is permanently gone.  A cursory glance inside the front door reveals that nothing has been touched and no work has commenced. I’ll keep watching but we’ve seen this kind of thing before…

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Plan Check, Le Pain Quotidien Exit Santa Monica, More!

Yikes!  It appears that an exodus of eateries has occurred in Downtown Santa Monica after the Holidays.  Plan Check has checked out of 1401 Ocean Ave.  Le Pain Quotidien has said adieu to 316 Santa Monica Blvd.  (A note in the window blames an expiring lease agreement.)  And, after a valiant effort, Creams & Dreams has closed their nitrogen ice cream outpost at 219 Arizona after four years.  Sad…

(Thanks SG!)

Z Pastabar Now Closed In Santa Monica Place

Back in June of 2017, I applauded Z Pastabar’s courageous decision to brave the sputtering food scene in Santa Monica Place.  At the time, Z Pastabar had high hopes of a big expansion across the LA area.  Sadly, it appears that things did not go as planned:  Following their other SoCal locations, Santa Monica Place‘s branch of Z Pastabar is now closed.

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Pinkberry Disappears From Downtown Santa Monica…

Once a darling with posing celebrities, Pinkberry lead the pack in the frozen yogurt explosion a number of years back.  Could this be an indication that times and tastes have moved on?  I was surprised to see that Pinkberry has vanished from its prime location at 1456 Third Street Promenade.  I’ll keep watching to see what may take over the space.

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