You know the old saying; When the Lord closes an ice cream shop, somewhere he opens another. People were devastated by the recent closure of Santa Monica’s longstanding and beloved branch of popular icy treat brand Ben & Jerry’s. But from out of nowhere, a brand new location has opened at 253 S Beverly Dr. (formerly home to Creamistry). You’re welcome.
The space at 235 Main St. in Venice has sat vacant ever since Komodo moved out. But that’s about to change… Window paper is covering the location announcing a new branch of Umami Burger. Umami caused quite a stir when it burst onto the scene at its flagship LA spot in 2009 and has since spread to San Francisco, Chicago, New York, The Bahamas, and Japan. And they are offering “free burger days” when they eventually open, so you may want to keep a look out.
I noticed new window covering on the diminutive space that used to house short-lived Astro Donghnuts & Fried Chicken at 2309 Main St. in Santa Monica. Upon closer inspection, the covering reveals that something called Alfalfa is moving in. And what is Alfalfa? As it turns out, the only other branch is in Hoboken, New Jersey, so this will be their first LA area branch. Look for a menu of salads, soups, breakfast burritos, and doughnuts served in a “warm atmosphere”. While it looks like they’re still developing the Santa Monica menu, you can check out the menu of their Hoboken location here. We wish them the best of luck.
Recently, I’d been keeping my eye on the space at 2645 Main St. in Santa Monica, a space previously occupied by Amelia’s Espresso & Panini. Readers were noticing that something was going on, but I couldn’t get any confirmation. Then one reader (Thanks Joe!) let me know that the new java joint was none other that innovative coffee purveyors Go Get Em Tiger. They wasted no time and threw open their doors two days ago (10/06/2020), pretty remarkable at a time like this. We wish them the best of luck.
Late last year I told you about the exit of popular burger joint Cowabunga Republic from it’s tiny spot at 2912 Main St. in Santa Monica. Now it looks like a new eatery is willing to give the space a go. A banner on the front is announcing that something called Edobox is on the way. I’ve attempted to reach them but have so far been unsuccessful, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see what will be on offer.
Update: I heard from a number of readers on this restaurant who had sharper eyes than mine. Here’s what it says on their FB page, “Design your own Bento Box at chef Makoto Okuwa’s fresh new fast-casual restaurant on Main Street in Santa Monica with breezy outdoor dining.” Thanks to all who reached out to tell me…
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…