Despite this difficult time, a charming new eatery has descended to earth to spread a little love. Meet Papille Gustative (“taste bud” in French), which recently opened its bright and sunny storefront at 2823 Main St. in Santa Monica. The menu was described to me as modern farm-to-table healthy California cuisine using regionally-sourced ingredients. Currently, they are only open for breakfast and lunch, but plans are underway for dinner and a liquor license as well. And with the repurposing of Main St. to accomidate outdoor dining, there are also tables for al fresco eating. Check out that menu, and read more here. We wish them the best of luck.
I’ve been watching the mass extinction of The Westside’s beloved Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. It appears yet another one may have bitten the dust. The popular CBTL at 2901 Main St. in Santa Monica appears to be closed. While it doesn’t have the poster announcing the closure as the other ones have had, the windows are papered over and the equipment has been removed. What is going on?
I’m not exactly sure when it happened, but a new noodle joint has quietly slipped into the location that once housed the self-described “King of Poke”, PoKing at 2307 Main St. in Santa Monica. An awning has appeared that lets us know Ensoku Ramen now resides at that address. What’s on offer? Rolls and ramen with “authentic broth, fresh ingredients”, and a “wide variety”. And they’re open for take away.
It appears that something new is taking over the Rick’s Tavern on Main space at 2907 Main St. in Santa Monica. An ABC application posted on the front lists the business name as Station 26. Station 26 just happens to be the closest lifeguard station on the beach. I couldn’t find much information on this new eatery, so if you have any details let me know.
Three years ago, I first told you about a Josiah Citrin (Melisse, Charcoal) project moving into the old Santa Monica Electric Co. at 2428 Main St. Since then, furtive signs of work have continued on and off for Dave’s Doghouse, which led me to believe that the restaurant was still in progress. I know that many of you have been checking for updates on this project, but it appears it may have been abandonned. The review signs and ABC application have been taken down, and the space was being inhabited by a pop-up shop selling goods for an elephant charity prior to the shutdown. If you have any information, let me know…
The recent turnover in the food court of the Century City Shopping Center is breathing new life to into the dining scene there. Plywood is up on the space that used to house Bibigo Kitchen (which has moved locations in the mall) announcing the impending arrival of Bok Bok Mediterranean. And that’s not all: According to their website, they will be opening a location at 235 Main St. in Venice as well. Look for a menu of panini, pitas, and plates of shawerma, falafel, rotisserie chicken, with other Mediterranean specialties.
It appears that casual outdoor burger spot Cowabunga Republic has closed up shop at 2912 Main St. in Santa Monica. The giant for lease sign on the front confirms the sad news. Cowabunga Republic burst on the scene earlier this year with a lot of initial attention from locals. I’m not sure what happened, but I’ll keep watching the unusual space to see what new venture may take a chance.
Having opened in 2013, Kippy’s! Non-Dairy Ice Cream Shop had high hopes when they moved their location from Lincoln Blvd. to 245 Main St. in Venice. Last week, however, a sad note was taped to the front door pronouncing Kippy’s! as closed. A more detailed notice on their website graciously thanks their customers and promises a comeback. We wish them the best of luck.
I’d been hearing whispers (Thanks T!) that Montana Avenue’s perennially-busy fave Italian joint Forma was expanding into the cavernous hole left by the abrupt closure of Chaya Venice at the corner of Navy and Main St, but I had no evidence. Now there’s proof. An ABC application recently went up in the window confirming that the good people of Venice will soon be getting a Forma of their very own.
Back in October of 2017 I first noticed that a bowl joint was taking over the erstwhile Knuckle & Claw space at 2715 Main St. in Santa Monica. But there hasn’t been any definitive proof about the impending eatery until now. A sign recently went up in the window letting us know that this will be a branch of PokeCeviche. PokeCeviche has four other locations (Santa Barbara, Oxnard, and Pomona), but this will be their first foray into The Westside. Look for a menu of signature and custom bowls, nachos, poke tacos, ceviche tostadas, and Japanese soups.
Bareburger quietly slipped out of its space at 2732 Main St. in Santa Monica last month. Wasting no time, it looks like a new contender is ready to give the capricious Main St. food scene a try. A new ABC application has already gone up in the window. The applicant is listed as Jolie LLC and the business name is oddly marked “_._._._ Jolie“. No idea what this means, and there’s no information out there that I can find, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see…
Comfort food expert Fork-In Aussie Pie Kitchen is closing its beach adjacent location at 2510 Main St. Suite B in Santa Monica. But no need to feel sorry for them. They are actually closing this location so they can focus on expanding the brand, including into retail according to a spokesperson. And what’s next for the prime space? I was informed by the Aussie Pie folks that a new French restaurant is moving in. An ABC application is posted, but no business name is listed. The applicant, Maison Thouvard LLC, has ties to Santa Barbara.
Earlier this month, I told you about the teaser banner on the front of the space that used to house Pot & Pan Thai restaurant at 2315 Santa Monica Blvd. Thai Vegan II recently opened as is now dishing all manner of veganized Thai specialties. This is the sister restaurant of Main Street’s popular Thai Vegan, although my understanding is that the menus aren’t exactly the same.
It appears that something new is coming the space that used to house the second incarnation of Books and Cookies at 2309 Main St. in Santa Monica, at least according to a recently posted ABC application. The application lists the applicant as 4 Jems Restaurants LLC, but omits an actual business name. An online search yields links to buzzy Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken in LA. So, I guess we’ll have to wait and see what develops. Let me know if you have any information…
Bay Area cult coffee third wave fave Blue Bottle continues to make inroads into SoCal. I’m sure they’ll feel right at home in their new digs at 2439 Main St. in Santa Monica, formerly the home of troubled Peet’s Coffee. Not sure when they’re opening, but I’ll keep watching…
I recently noticed that Three Twins Ice Cream has vacated its space at 2726 Main St. in Santa Monica. The windows are papered over and the website is reporting it closed as of March 4th. It looks like they recently closed their San Francisco branch as well. Could this indicate trouble for the brand?
The windows on the space at 2715 Main St. in Santa Monica, formerly the home of the erstwhile lobster specialists Knuckle & Claw, is preparing to have a new tenant. A small notice taped to the front door references something called Fresh Bowls. An online search reveals that there are a number of unrelated restaurants across the US and a small chain in Canada utilizing that name, so I don’t have any conclusive evidence as to what exactly will be moving in, or even if that will be the name of the new restaurant. As always, I’ll keep watching…
I’d thought we’d seen a slow down in the poke phenomena that has descended upon us in recent years, but apparently not. Another contender is vying for our attention in Santa Monica. Signs are up on the space that once was occupied by Rita’s Frozen Custard, at 2307 Main St., announcing that self-described “King of Poke” PoKing will soon be moving in.
A bit ago, I told you about the for lease sign pasted on the front of A Real Treat Candy Boutique at 2724 Main in Santa Monica portending doom for the natural confectionary. Wasting no time, it appears that Simples has moved in. And what precisely is Simples? “A line of hand prepared, plant based tonics” that you can read more about here.
Recently, I saw that there was a notice of pending design review taped to the inside of the window of the erstwhile Santa Monica Electric Co. at 2428 Main St. in Santa Monica. Immediately, long-time LA restaurateur Josiah Citrin’s (Melisse, Charcoal) name stood out. Upon closer inspection, the notice’s artist’s rendering lets us know that this humble building will soon be the home of a branch of hotdog specialists Dave’s Doghouse. The ABC application confirms it.