It wasn’t that long ago that I told you about the intention of Korean food chain Bibibop to take over erstwhile locations of Southeast Asian eatery ShopHouse. The Santa Monica branch of Bibibop Asian Grill, at 1401 Third St. Promenade, is now officially up and running. The concept is similar to ShopHouse‘s, where you build your bowl out of rice, noodles, or greens and then add a choice of protein, sauce, and various hot and cold toppings.
The last remaining tenant of the failed Market at Santa Monica Place is pulling out. Culinary educators The Gourmandise School are moving to a new third floor location in the mall, just to the right of the recently moved The Curious Palate. What’s next for The Market? I’ve heard whispers that it will be turned into a multi-use space, but I cannot confirm that, so we’ll just have to wait and see…
I noticed recent activity at the in-store restaurant on the third floor of Santa Monica Place’s outpost of Nordstrom. It appears that what was formerly Blue Stove is transforming into a “casually sophisticated” bistro, Bazille. It looks like they’re not too far from opening, but until then, you can compare menus here.
The other day I noticed an interesting sign recently installed on the upstairs space in The Gallery at 1315 3rd Street Promenade where Subway used to reside. Still covered with plastic, the sign resembles a license plate and bears an inscrutable jumble of consonants that appear to say “starfish”. It also bears a very famous name, Voltaggio. After much online searching, I was able to uncover only one single clue: On page 35 of the Downtown Santa Monica Annual Report (you’re welcome for searching this document, it’s written on the very last page.), you’ll see this single sentence, “Two new and exciting chef-driven concepts will follow, James Beard Award winner Dave Beran’s Dialogue and STRFSH by the Voltaggio Brothers.” And that’s as much as I can find…
Update: Eater has more details here.
Well that took a long time… Well over a year ago, I first noticed that food truck folks Bobaritto were finally putting down roots at 1321 Third Street Promenade in Downtown Santa Monica. I’m not sure what the hold up was, but they have recently thrown open their doors and are dispensing sushi burritos, poke, and boba tea to the good people of Santa Monica.
Could the stumbling food scene in Santa Monica Place be recovering? Z Pastabar recently opened, The Curious Palate jumped locations but not the ship, and The Cheesecake Factory appears constantly busy. Yet there are still four cavernous restaurant spaces that remain idle. But soon you can make that three. Signs are up on the front of the space that used to house Pizza Antica informing us that Torrance’s craft beer specialists The Dudes’ Brewing Company will soon be moving in. We wish them the best of luck.
It was almost three years ago that I first noticed that a branch of Caffe Primo was intending on moving into the corner space at 7th and Arizona in Downtown Santa Monica, across the street from wildly popular Cassia. But all that appears to have changed. Recently, all the window announcements were pulled down, and a for lease sign has gone up on the vacant space. It looks like the West Hollywood location is gone as well. I’m not sure what happened, but I’ll keep watching to see what develops.