It looks like West LA is getting yet one more pizza joint to grace its strip malls… A reader (Thanks Jennifer!) let me know that there’s a banner up on the space at 12219 Santa Monica Blvd., previously home to Pizza Hut, announcing that Prime Pizza is moving in. Prime Pizza has three other locations across LA and promises “authentic NY style Pizza”.
Originally, I had reported that something called Kohi Cafe was coming to the space in the new multi-use complex at 3008 Santa Monica Blvd. in Santa Monica. But plans seem to have changed. A new sign just went up letting us all know that Kissaten Coffee / Wine Cafe is moving in. I don’t know exactly what to expect. A “kissaten” is a type of old-school Japanese lounge/coffee shop… I think. Please feel free to educate me if you know more.
I recently noticed a large banner on a space in the strip mall on the corner of Sawtelle and Santa Monica Blvd. in West LA (11281 Santa Monica Blvd.). The banner is promising a new pie joint, Piara Pizza Fresh and Ready. Piara Pizza is an expanding, mostly West Coast chain, with two other locations in LA, and a whole lot more planned. No word on an opening date, but they look close.
Good people of Santa Monica, your juice is back! Ever since the 4th and Santa Monica Blvd. branch closed after a troubled few months, die-hard fans of Jamba Juice have been forced to drive to get their favorite drinks. But no more… A sharp-eyed reader (Thanks SB!) spotted a new branch at 2461 Santa Monica Blvd.
I first told you about the expansion of Sunnin Lebanese Cafe into Downtown Santa Monica back in 2015. Sadly, it appears that the times have gotten the better of them. All signage has been pulled down and the windows are papered over, a sure indication that they have vacated their location at 525 Santa Monica Blvd. Suite 120.
The marquis with the mustachioed chef announced Iranian restaurant Javan for many years at 11500 Santa Monica Blvd. Then Javan transformed into another Persian eatery Safir, which closed last fall. But apparently all is not lost for the plucky purveyor of Persian food. Notices are taped to the windows triumphantly declaring that “Javan is back”. What that looks like exactly, I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
On a tip from a reader (Thanks Michael!) I went by to see what was going on in the new commercial development at 3008 Santa Monica Blvd. in Santa Monica. It took me a while to spot the sign, but it appears that something called Kohi Cafe is coming to the corner spot on Stanford. Can’t find much information on the new restaurant, but I’ll keep watching…
It appears that West LA’s branch of Ono Hawaii BBQ has gotten into a bit of hot water at 12115 Santa Monica Blvd. There’s a closure notice affixed to the front door from the Department of Public Health citing “live cockroaches”. Not sure what their path forward will be, but we wish them the best of luck.
Yikes! Ever since I first started telling you about the mass extinction of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf from the Westside, I’ve been hearing from horrified fans mourning the loss of even more neighborhood CBTLs. The Coffee Bean on the corner of Second and Santa Monica Blvd. is now gone. The CBTL on the corner of Wilshire and Federal has disappeared. And, while I haven’t checked it out personally, readers are telling me that The Coffee Bean on the corner of Lincoln and Manchester is now caput. Lots of you have been sending me theories on why this is happening, but if you have definite information, please let us know…
Earlier this week, I told you about the permanent closure of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf on S Beverly Dr. in Beverly Hills. I reader was quick to point out that the CBTL that anchors the corner of Santa Monica Blvd. and S Beverly Glen Blvd. was also closing as of Sunday, May 17th. I went by the coffee shop and checked it out: A notice in the window confirms that this branch is now permanently closed. What’s going on with CBTL?
On a tip from a reader (Thanks Adrian!), I went by to check on the suspect state of affairs at 508 and 510 Santa Monica Blvd. in Downtown Santa Monica. The reader had told me that next door neighbors Seasalt Fish Grill and Yogiyo Korean BBQ had closed down. Sure enough, both are locked tight. However, both also have exactly the same sign in the window saying that they will be “re-opening soon”. I don’t want to pronounce them permanently closed, but we’ve seen this before…
Yikes! It appears that an exodus of eateries has occurred in Downtown Santa Monica after the Holidays. Plan Check has checked out of 1401 Ocean Ave. Le Pain Quotidien has said adieu to 316 Santa Monica Blvd. (A note in the window blames an expiring lease agreement.) And, after a valiant effort, Creams & Dreams has closed their nitrogen ice cream outpost at 219 Arizona after four years. Sad…
I can’t take credit for this uncovering this, but people have been curious about the old Native space on the corner of 7th and Santa Monica Blvd. in Downtown Santa Monica ever since celebrity chef Nyesha Arrington pulled the plug, so I’m passing this information on… Just this week, the Santa Monica Daily Press reported that longtime neighborhood fave pasta joint Fritto Misto will be moving into the aforementioned erstwhile Native location. Apparently, their old cozy corner spot at 601 Colorado will be demolished to make way for a new eight story apartment building. That means that their neighbor, sushi restaurant Ninjin, will also be moving out. If you don’t know about Fritto Misto, it is an under-the-radar Italian cafe with a fiercely loyal fanbase and a second location in Hermosa Beach. We wish them the best of luck.
Having long occupied the commodious space at 11500 Santa Monica Blvd, popular Mediterranean restaurant Safir Santa Monica has closed its doors for good. Large for lease signs plastered across the front confirm the sad news. I’m not sure what happened, but I’ll keep my eye on the space to see what may move in…
Every once in while, one of my posts attracts a great deal of interest for reasons I can’t completely understand. That appears to be the case when I first told you about the closure of the Carl’s Jr. on the corner of Harvard and Santa Monica Blvd. in Santa Monica. Ever since then, a great many of you have been checking for updates, and even though they completed their remodel a bit ago, a lot of you are still asking me questions. So here ya go… Carl’s Jr. is now open and dishing burgers and fried zucchini to the fast-food starved people of Santa Monica.
It looks like a new meal delivery shop is settling into the space at 2311 Santa Monica Blvd. in Santa Monica. Window displays are announcing the impending arrival of À La Couch to the diminutive spot. They describe themselves as a delivery restaurant group with “chef driven food concepts” which, if I understand, are separate restaurants with whom they partner such as MAC’D (a build-your-own macaroni and cheese restaurant with locations in San Francisco and Oregon), Holy Cluck (a specialty wing restaurant), and a bowl restaurant and a Keto Restaurant as well. Sounds interesting…
Perhaps we’re not done with the pressed juice craze just yet… Back in December of last year I told you about the demise of Basanti Tea Bar at 9465 S. Santa Monica Blvd. in Beverly Hills. And now it looks like a new contender is moving in. Window signage indicates that Organica Juice Bar will soon be the new occupant. According to the window, you can expect a menu of cold-pressed juices, superfoods, smoothies, bowls, and, well… you get the picture.
I’ve been carefully watching the space at 9527 S Santa Monica Blvd. in Beverly Hills that used to house ill-fated B H Poke. I knew something was moving in, but I couldn’t confirm what. The new tenants left cryptic messages here and there, and had a daisy painted on the front at one point. But a note taped to the window finally lets the cat out of the bag. It appears that this location will be the future home of The Kind Ones. While there’s not a ton of information out there, this article in Fitt LA explains that The Kind Ones has its roots in Kuwait, and specializes in breakfast sandwiches and bowls, the former being served in open-top boxes on proprietary brioche buns that purportedly require the baker to sign a “non-disclosure agreement “. Their Yelp page lists the opening as November 2nd.
There’s a big banner up on the side of the erstwhile Flavor Of India corner space at 9045 Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood. It reveals that a new pizza joint, Crustica, will soon be moving in. There isn’t a great deal out there yet on Crustica, but a developing website promises the “best pizza you’ve never tasted, and the best you ever will”.
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.