As you might know, sourcing quality Thai and Asian ingredients can be really difficult on The Westside. The preeminant destination for groceries and culinary advice has been the delightful Ma’am’s International Foods. If you don’t know about Ma’am’s, it is your one-stop shop for a carefully curated selection of Asian groceries, cooking school, deli and take-away, and encyclopedic culinary wisdom freely displensed by an affable Ma’am herself. So I was in shock recently when I went by their location near the corner of Pico and 23rd and noticed that they had cleared out. But we can all breathe a sigh of relief. Ma’am’s has only just moved and is open at their new address at 306 Pico Blvd in Santa Monica.
It appears that folks in the new Google building on Pico will have a sweet choice for lunch. Jennifer Pinnifer Bakes is moving from their old location on National to 10839 W Pico Blvd, directly across from the complex. Jennifer Pennifer Bakes, known for their handcrafted gourmet cheesecakes, also boasts a menu organic sandwiches, salads and other treats. It looks like they’re planning on opening in the new location on 11/22, or at least that’s what the chalkboard in the window says. (Thanks Brad!)
Winston Pies unceremoniously quit the unlucky space at 1705 Ocean Ave., but the plucky pastry purveyor is not done with Santa Monica quite yet. There’s window paper up on the front of the old Milo SRO space at 826 Pico Blvd. announcing the arrival of the expanding popular bake shop. Winston produces pies that are handmade from scratch using natural ingredients and baked in the tradition of founder Brianna Abrams’ childhood home of Winston-Salem, NC. Thanks to PHW for spotting the notices.
I heard from the good people over at Santa Monica’s brand new Nostalgia Bar & Lounge who asked me to pass on this information: Nostalgia Bar & Lounge, which is described as a “New American eatery and watering hole”, will host its public Grand Opening this Thursday, April 7th at 8pm (reservations are required). Nostalgia is the first brick and mortar concept from The Herbal Chef™ founder Chris Sayegh, who has experience in Melisse and Providence. Expect a nostalgic Americana menu with such things as Kobe toast, oysters two ways, and lobster rolls. Drinks are made using “naturally derived cannabis terpenes” and take their cues from “Otter Pops, PB&J’s, and Yoo-Hoos”. Throughout the month of April, show proof of Santa Monica residency and receive a complimentary push-pop with purchase. Nostalgic Bar & Lounge is located at 1326 Pico Blvd (formerly The Speakeasy). We wish them the best of luck.
The A-frame of Santa Monica’s fossilized outpost of tube steak chain Wienerschnitzel has been a fixture along Pico Blvd. for as long as anyone can remember. But alas, no longer. A reader (Thanks John!) wrote to tell me of its closure at 3010 Pico. Sure enough, all signs have been pulled down, the place is gutted, and a hastily-written note proclaims it permanently closed. Wienerschnitzel was founded in Wilmington CA in 1961 and was a marvel of midcentury fast food chains. Truly the end of an era.
A sharp-eyed reader (Thanks Andrew!) spotted a note taped to the front door of of Grey Block Pizza at 1811 Pico Blvd. The note simply says, “Grey Block Pizza closed Prime Pizza coming soon”. You may recall that Prime Pizza recently opened a branch in West LA, as well as other locations, and promises “authentic NY style Pizza”.
Schwartz’s has been a stalwart presence in Pico-Robertson for a long time. They opened in 1954, when they became the first kosher bakery in LA. They have since increased to five retail locations, two of which are on Pico. Now they’re expanding just a few doors down from their location at 8856 W Pico. A spokesperson confirmed that the banner hanging over the front of 8820 W Pico is announcing the impending arrival of Schwartz’s Deli & BBQ.
There’s window paper up on the space at 1640 Sawtelle Blvd., at the North end of Sawtelle Japantown, announcing the arrival of Tuk Tuk Thai. Known for their excellent Pad Thai, I got a chance to speak with a rep from Tuk Tuk who informed me that this is a relocation from their current space at 8875 W Pico, and not a second location. According to them, this will be Sawtelle Japantown’s first Thai street food restaurant. They are shooting for a December 1st opening at this address. Until then, check out their menu here.
It looks like West LA’s adorable purveyor of all things cheese, Lady & Larder, is coming to Santa Monica. A sharp-eyed reader (Thanks Robert!) spotted the ABC application on the space next to Milo SRO at 828 Pico Blvd. #2, clearly indicating that the Simms Sisters are intent on bringing gorgeous cheese boards to the good people of Santa Monica. At the time of this writing I couldn’t confirm if this will be a second location or if they’re moving operations, but as soon as I find out I’ll let you know.
An adorable new coffeeshop opens in West LA on Monday Jan 4th at 7am (according to their FB page). Federal Coffee will inhabit the charming retro-look bolthole and walk-up window at 11600 W Pico. Look for menu of all things java: espresso, latte, cold brew, and drip, as well as hot chocolate, matcha, and tea. And check out their Instagrammable “mug shot” wall. Check out their new website here. We wish them the best of luck.
A sad day for movie goers on the Westside… Popular local institution Westside Tavern, at 10850 W Pico Blvd., has decided to pull the plug. Today (10/31/2020) is their last day of service. For over 10 years, their no-reservation policy ensured stampedes of people running from the theater above to be the first in line for their inventive, playful food and stiff cocktails. “Continuing challenges from the pandemic” are to blame. They will be missed. Read their gracious goodbye letter here.
Sadly, it appears that plant-based food folks Cultured Creamery have decided to throw in the towel. Notices are up in the window of their location at 828 Pico announcing their closing sale this weekend. We certainly wish them the best of luck.
A new ABC application recently went up on the front of the currently closed-for-renovation Viceroy Hotel on the corner of Pico and Ocean in Santa Monica. While it doesn’t give us the name of the restaurant, it does promise that an eatery will be coming to the iconic property. You may recall that The Viceroy’s previous restaurant was called Whist and subsequently Cast, and in the past has been helmed at different turns by Tim Goodell and Tony DiSalvo. The website says the name of the new restaurant is Sugar Palm Ocean Avenue, and you can catch a glimpse of it through the front door. I’ll keep watching to see what develops.
It was back in 2015 when I first told you about the buzzy arrival of Swedish pizza to the Santa Monica food scene. Reds Pizza has made a valiant four-year run of it at 707 Pico Blvd., but sadly it appears that they have thrown in the towel. I’m not quite sure when it happened, but the storefront is boarded over. There’s no clear indication of what may take over the space, but I’ll keep watching.
It looks like a small vegan café with a previous footprint in the neighborhood is moving into the diminutive space at 306 Pico Blvd. in Santa Monica that once housed Lifefood Organic. A reader pointed out a note taped to the front door indicates this will be the future home of vegan eatery Avo Café. It looks like they’re not too far from opening, but in the mean time check out their menu of breakfasts, bowls, Panini, and pizza here.