A solid year ago, I told you about a new French pastry shop moving into a corner space on Montana Ave. in Santa Monica that used to house French fragrance folks L’Occitane. I’m not sure what took so long, but Le Macaron is now open and offering sublime creative confections from their charming spot at 1301 Montana Ave. With locations throughout the US, this is the first LA area shop for the Florida based chain. Besides macarons, look for a selection of pastries, breads, chocolates, and coffees.
I’ve been watching the space that used to house Orchard Flats Juicery at 705 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica to see what would move in. Signs are now up confirming that branch of Burbank’s Rawkin Juice will be moving in. Rawkin Juice was recently purchased by Miami’s Hip Cuisine, which intends on expanding the mini chain. If you check out their Facebook page, you can see they’ve had designs on the Santa Monica location for a while. Popular with the studio/star set, look for a menu of raw/vegan/cold-pressed/organic/you get the picture…
Santa Monica’s popular purveyor of all things salad appears to be moving to a bigger location. There’s a sign up on the empty space at 912 Montana indicating that Greens Up! is vacating their old diminutive space near the corner of 7th and Montana and taking over the larger locale. And while the sign says “coming soon”, don’t expect the change to be overnight: I was told the move could take up to a year…
A while ago, cult shoe store Kicks LA closed down at 1603 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica. Wasting little time, it appears that the wildly popular Montana fixture Bardonna has expanded into the next door location. They’ve knocked out the wall between the two shops and installed a new dining room complete with a large communal table.
It was only back in September that I told you that clandestine celeb fave Vincenzo Ristorante Italiano at 714 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica was going to be taken over by a newcomer. I’d known for a while that hard-working restaurateur Vincenzo Nicoletta was looking to move on. Now it’s official: Osteria Bigoli has thrown open its doors and is now serving pasta to the good people of NoMa. Even though I’m hearing from readers who are lamenting the loss of their old favorite dishes from Vincenzo, check out what the new restaurant offers here.
Popular neighborhood restaurant Spumoni, at 713 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica, ran into a spot of trouble a little over a year ago when a car crashed into the next door Café de Paris and sparked a fire that shut the Italian eatery down. Rising from the ashes, Spumoni threw open its doors last night (Tuesday) for the first time since the fire. Having taken over the Café de Paris space, the plucky always-crowded café is now larger with an extensive remodel. The feel is still cozy and friendly, with a dining room bedecked in warm wood paneling. You’ll continue to find many of the classics on the menu, but if you haven’t thought about Spumoni as a destination in a while, it might be time to reconsider. They built a spiffy wood-fired pizza oven brought from Napoli and flew in a pizza expert, Pizzaiolo Massimo Caso to serve some the crispest (perhaps best) Neapolitan-style pies anywhere in this neck of the woods. We wish them the best of luck.
I’ve long heard whispers that a change was coming to secret celeb hideaway Vincenzo Ristorante Italiano, that has inhabited the small space at 714 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica. Apparently, hard-working and gregarious Chef Vincenzo Nicoletta has decided it’s time to move on. Recently plywood has covered the front, and a change of ownership ABC license application is letting us know that the name of the new restaurant will be Osteria Bigoli. Tortano LLC and the name on the application indicate that perhaps Osteria Bigoli will have some relationship with a restaurant in Covina called Osteria Pane e Vino. In the mean time, Vincenzo remains open. I’ll keep following this for more details.