I love good detective work… A reader (Thanks SK!) sent me a pdf of a recent Downtown Santa Monica Market Report, which, on face value isn’t that riveting. But if you scroll down to page 11, the document lists upcoming restaurants slated to open in Downtown. Many I’ve already reported, but here are the ones I didn’t know about: Halo Top Scoop Shop (304 Santa Monica Blvd.), La Colombe (604 Santa Monica Blvd.), Fresh Corn Grill (720 Wilshire), and Gyu-Kaku (231 Arizona Ave).
The diminutive space at 725 Broadway is hard pressed to keep a tenant. In the distant past it was Bowl of Heaven, followed by Enso Tea/Acai. But the acai craze is beginning to look a little tired lately, and Enso has vacated the location. I’ll keep watching the troubled spot to see what may develop.
It looks like Santa Monica kale and kabob expert Crimson Mediterranean Cookhouse is expanding westward. An ABC application pasted on the front of the erstwhile Inotheke space, at 606 Broadway suite 101, spills the beans. The name on the application, well-known restaurateur Eiman Shekarchi, confirms that this is an offshoot of the Crimson on Ocean Park. As for Inotheke, a gracious note on the door says that they plan on relocating.
A banner is up on the old Monsieur Marcel space at 1260 3rd St. Promenade announcing a branch of Taiwanese shaved snow dessert people iSno Café. For those who are unclear, Taiwanese shaved snow is a milk-based “snow” topped with various toppings. What makes iSno different is that, according to their website, instead of copious quantities of condensed milk and canned fruit, theirs is made from “organic lactose-free, low-fat milk infused with organic honey and sugarcane” and using “real fruit with puree and superfood with no condensed milk”. ISno currently has one other location in Irvine.
Remember back in 2014 when I first noticed that Caffe Primo was intending on moving into the corner space at Arizona and 7th? This sleepy section of Downtown Santa Monica had been revitalized by the arrival of popular Cassia and Esters across the street. But something went wrong, and not only did Caffe Primo pull out of the space at 702 Arizona, but they closed everywhere. Since then the space has sat vacant… until now. A new ABC application announces that Izakaya Osen is moving in. At the time of this writing, I’m unclear if this is the same eatery as Silverlake’s Osen Izakaya. More to come…
Update: It will be the second branch for Osen Izakaya. Eater has the details here.
When a promising and plucky new French restaurant burst onto the scene early last year, I was hopeful that Air Food would be a new neighborhood favorite. But Downtown Santa Monica can be a tricky neighborhood. By all appearances, it looks like they have abandoned their location at 109 Broadway. Yelp is reporting them as temporarily closed, but the place is nearly gutted and… we’ve seen this before.
This is a bit mysterious… What was formerly a short-lived Bobarrito at 1321 Third St. Promenade in Santa Monica has morphed into something called Pink Sushi. I’m not sure what’s going on here, but I’ll keep watching to see what develops.