I recently noticed paper covering the windows at 9632 S Santa Monica Blvd. You may recall that this space was most recently inhabited by a branch of Danish lifestyle brand Joe & The Juice. It looks like Joe has moved on and something called La Ong is moving in. I don’t have any information on La Ong, except that “Thai cuisine” will be on offer.
Long-standing Westside staple Mama Hong’s Vietnamese Kitchen is moving locations. A complany rep gave me the skinny on the new signage up at 12201 Santa Monica Blvd. in LA. This address used to be home to burger joint Quicksand which fell victim to the Pandemic. Mama Hong’s will be closing their Brentwood location in the under-renovation shopping complex at 11819 Wilshire Blvd. in about a week, and opening in the new space “soon”. They also have locations in Burbank and Orange as well.
It appears that a new healthy eatery is landing on a prominent corner in West Hollywood. There’s window paper up on the former optometry space at 8801 Santa Monica Blvd. announcing a new branch of Kale Me Crazy. Kale Me Crazy operates a number of outlets, mostly in The South but also another location in West Hollywood, and describes itself as a “super food cafe” offering “juices, smoothies, salads, and wraps in a sleek, upscale environment”.
The 400 block of Santa Monica Blvd. in Downtown Santa Monica was hit particularly hard during the melee a year ago. Businesses were destroyed and the north side of the street has sat largely unoccupied since. Long-standing sushi restaurant Sake House by Hikari was set on fire and will not be returning, as evidenced by the for lease sign in the window. But there is a sign of hope: Bay area third wave fave Blue Bottle Coffee will be moving into the space at 415 Santa Monica Blvd.
Good news, Westsiders! From out of nowhere, a tiny outpost of LA’s iconic Canter’s Deli has appeared in the strip mall on the corner of Santa Monica Blvd. and Bundy in Santa Monica (12109 Santa Monica Blvd. to be exact). This miraculous apparition is now up and running from 10:30AM to 9:00pm and is offering a takeaway menu of Canter’s classics, including their legendary soups, sandwiches, black and white cookies, salads, and breakfasts. You’re welcome.
Erratum: Thanks KJ, this is officially West LA.
Check out what they built in the middle of The Third Street Promenade, between Broadway and Santa Monica Blvd. There’s a new beer garden operated by popular local watering hole West 4th & Jane. And just to the north of that is a new oyster bar brought to you by nearby restaurant The Independence. What a great idea!
Santa Monica has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic: 40% of businesses in The Third St. Promenade are now permanently closed. And Montana Ave. and Main St. aren’t faring much better. With such a bleak outlook, I’m glad that I was able to post some good news this week. This is the third post in a row about new eateries moving into Downtown Santa Monica, surely an indication of hope… A new sign is proudly declaring that the space that used to be home for Le Pain Quotidien, at 316 Santa Monica Blvd., will be the future location for a branch of wildly popular and beloved Trejo’s Tacos. This is indeed exciting news for the area.
It looks like popular breakfast/lunch spot Jinky’s Cafe is expanding into the world of coffee and grab-and-go. You may recall that The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf on the corner of Second St. and Santa Monica Blvd. disappeared in last year’s mass extinction event that saw so many closures for the beloved SoCal chain. Now there’s a banner on the location, at 200 Santa Monica Blvd., announcing a new java joint: Jinky’s Coffee. We are promised a chai and coffee bar, bakery, sandwiches, wraps, and “empanads and samosas”.
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…