I recently noticed plywood covering the front of one of the spaces in The Village part of Westfield Topanga & The Village in Canoga Park. Large graphics reveal that Pickles & Swiss is moving in. P&S is a premium sandwich shop with two locations in the Santa Barbara area. They feature a menu of hot and cold sandwiches, build-your-own sandwiches, panini, wraps, soup, and intriguingly, something called “pickled popcorn”.
For those of you who take your staycations in Montecito comes this news: A popular name in Santa Barbara Italian fare is opening a branch in the Coast Village Plaza at 1187 Coast Village Road. Ca’Dario Trattoria & Pizzeria will be battling stiff competition along the already red sauce laden strip. We wish them the best of luck…
Recently, a reader pointed out to me that Santa Monica’s outlet of David Lentz’s seafood joint, The Hungry Cat appeared to be closed. When I went by to inspect last week, a note in the window stated that they were closed for renovations (frequently restaurant code for permanently closed). However, in the past week, a prominent sign announcing restaurant space available went up that lets us know that they have indeed closed. Any mention of the Santa Monica branch has been scrubbed from the website and Yelp lists it as closed. But that’s not all: The website also declares that the Santa Barbara branch will also be shutting down. They list a number of reasons including; declining business, the current economic climate, and an offer they couldn’t refuse. They will be open until Christmas. The Hollywood branch will apparently remain open.
Every now and again, I like to get out of the Westside and explore farther afield. One of the places that I occasionally check in on is the ambitious Santa Barbara Public Market. Recently things have gone the route of The Market in Santa Monica Place, with many of the original vendors closing down. Now only a smattering of shops remain open. But one courageous newcomer is attempting to buck that trend. Signs have gone up announcing that a new restaurant The Garden will be trying their luck in the old Forager’s Pantry space. According to the signs, we can expect “casual bar fare”, a large selection of craft beers, and many television screens airing global sports events.
And while we’re on the subject of Santa Barbara… One of the locations of Rori’s Artisanal Creamery is in the Santa Barbara Public Market. You may remember that the anticipatory buzz was very high when SBPM first opened only last year. Well, recently I had a chance to check out its progress. Sadly, it appears that the market, often compared to San Francisco’s Ferry Building, may be having some of the difficulties that have plagued its predecessor The Market at Santa Monica Place, which is currently under redevelopment. Three of the original stores have now closed; Belcampo Meat Co., The Pasta Shoppe, and Crazy Good Bread. We’ll just have to wait and see how it all plays out.
With locations in Santa Barbara, it appears that popular ice cream shop Rori’s Artisanal Creamery is expanding south. Signs recently went up in the windows indicating that the LA area’s first Rori’s will be located at 910 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica. No word on when the organic icy treats will be first available, and it looks like they’ve still got a way to go, but I’ll keep watching…