Kissaten Coffee / Wine Cafe Coming To Santa Monica…

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.

Jamba Juice Remains In Santa Monica

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.

Izzy’s Deli In Santa Monica…

People have been wondering what was going on with beloved institution Izzy’s Deli, at 1433 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica.  A while ago, plywood covered the entire front, they appeared to be closed, and there was no explanation.  (At the time, it wasn’t unusual for businesses in the area to be boarded up.)  Some were concerned that the 24-hour eatery was permanently gone.  Well, you can all breathe a collective sigh of relief.  Recently a large banner went up informing us that they are in the midst of a “mandatory earthquake retrofit”.  So, starting in February when they plan on reopening, not only will you be able to get their classic egg salad again, you’ll be safer as well.

Bar News…

Of all businesses affected by COVID, bars have been some of the hardest hit.  They were forced to close early in the pandemic, and most have remained dormant since.  One wonders if the industry will survive.  Sadly, it appears one bar didn’t.  I’ve been keeping an eye on the plywood covering Brentwood’s popular pick-up spot Bruhaus, at 11831 Wilshire Blvd., for any signs of life.  Recently a reader (Thanks Tara!) who’d been doing the same let me know that confirmation of Bruhaus‘ fate recently appeared on the front.  A prominent for lease sign lets us know that Bruhaus won’t be reopening.

In other bar news, an ABC application recently appeared on the front of the normally crowded neighborhood dive JP’s Sports Bar & Grill, on the corner of 11th and Wilshire in Santa Monica.  The application is a transfer to a new owner, so it appears JP’s may be returning.  We wish them the best of luck.

Panini Kabob Grill Disappears From Downtown Santa Monica

Another sad restaurant loss…  Like its counterpart in Beverly Hills before it, Panini Kabob Grill appears to have permanently pulled the plug on its location at 312 Wilshire Blvd. in Downtown Santa Monica.  The space is gutted and signs have been pulled down, and a for lease sign hangs on the front.  I’ll keep my eyes on the location to see if any brave eateries will give it a go, but I won’t hold my breath.

Sunnin Lebanese Cafe Exits Santa Monica

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.

Alfalfa Opening LA’s First Branch In Santa Monica

I noticed new window covering on the diminutive space that used to house short-lived Astro Donghnuts & Fried Chicken at 2309 Main St. in Santa Monica.  Upon closer inspection, the covering reveals that something called Alfalfa is moving in.  And what is Alfalfa?  As it turns out, the only other branch is in Hoboken, New Jersey, so this will be their first LA area branch.  Look for a menu of salads, soups, breakfast burritos, and doughnuts served in a “warm atmosphere”.  While it looks like they’re still developing the Santa Monica menu, you can check out the menu of their Hoboken location here.  We wish them the best of luck.

Order For Me Deli Replaces The OP Cafe In Santa Monica

On a tip from a reader (Thanks Michael!), I went by the location of longtime neighborhood fave breakfast spot The OP Cafe a 3117 Ocean Park Blvd. to see what was going on.  A banner hung on the front announces a new tenant, Order For Me Deli.  OFMD describe themselves as a “restaurant tech company” where the concept is that diners order and pay on their phones (timely, no?).  The menu is designed by Chef Greg Daniels of The Golden Bull (The OP Cafe‘s sister restaurant) and includes all-day breakfasts, salads, bowls, and something called beef on weck, which is sliced beef that is roasted overnight and served on a Kimmelweck roll.  They are open from 7am to 8 pm (9pm Friday and Saturday) and have patio seating as well as take-out.  We wish them the best of luck.

Malbec Argentinean Cuisine Closed In Santa Monica

On a tip from a reader (Thanks SG!) I went by cavernous Argentinean steakhouse Malbec to see what was going on.  The signs have been pulled down and their location at 2628 Wilshire Blvd. has been gutted.  The for lease sign in the window confirms that they have indeed permanently closed.  It appears that their other locations are still open.

Luna Grill Gone From Santa Monica?

About two years ago, Luna Grill started slinging its signature Mediterranean food from its newest location at 3001 Wilshire Blvd.  While their website still lists this location as temporarily closed, last week a reader (Thanks Stephen!) questioned whether that was true.  So I went by to have a look.  Sure enough, the windows are papered over and a note on the front is announcing that they are closed, so it looks like they’ve no intention of reopening.

Go Get Em Tiger Pounces On Santa Monica

Recently, I’d been keeping my eye on the space at 2645 Main St. in Santa Monica, a space previously occupied by Amelia’s Espresso & Panini.  Readers were noticing that something was going on, but I couldn’t get any confirmation.  Then one reader (Thanks Joe!) let me know that the new java joint was none other that innovative coffee purveyors Go Get Em Tiger.  They wasted no time and threw open their doors two days ago (10/06/2020), pretty remarkable at a time like this.  We wish them the best of luck.

Le Petit Chez Mimi Opens In Santa Monica…

Ever since I first told you about the impending arrival of the latest incarnation of beloved French restaurant Chez Mimi back in February, thousands of you have been checking for updates and demanding answers.  Here you go:  Le Petit Chez Mimi opened a delightful outdoor dining room on Friday (10/07/2020)).  Le Petit Chez Mimi is helmed by local legend Chef Mimi.  Read more about her newest eatery in my original piece here.  De rien

Update:  While I don’t normally endorse restaurants, I’ve been overwhelmed with requests for contact information…  Le Petit Chez Mimi’s website is now up and running.  Check it out here.  Or call (310) 264-4464 to make a reservation.  Encore de rien

Jyan Isaac Bread Coming To Santa Monica

It appears a new bread shop is landing in the space 1622 Ocean Park Blvd. in Santa Monica.  An ABC application on the front doesn’t list a business name.  But a note scrawled on a paper bag on the front door directs us to Jyan Isaac Bread.  What is Jyan Isaac Bread?  The website explains that the baker, Jayan Isaac Horwitz, is passionate about bread and trained under Travis Lett at Gjusta Bakery in Venice.  According to this story in The LA Times, when he found himself out of work due to COVID, he started his own business.  And while he’s already running a delivery service, this location looks like it will be a storefront with food, beer, and wine.  We wish him the best of luck.

Burger Lounge Launching A New Plant-Based Menu

What’s going on over at Burger Lounge in Santa Monica (and presumeably other locations as well?). The windows are papered over at their 213 Arizona location with promises of an evolution coming this fall. A visit to the website explains that a new plant-based menu is on the way. This from their website: “Everything from our burgers, fries and even shakes are going to have a plant-based option that will trick your tastebuds and please your “thought-buds.”  And yes, the “thoughtfully sourced” meats will still be on the menu as well.

Jonah’s Kitchen + Bar Coming To Santa Monica

The troubled space at 2518 Wilshire Blvd. has sat idle ever since LDH Kitchen The Robata closed up shop early last year. You may remember that before that, the space was given an extensive remodel to accomidate the then-buzzy restaurant Cadet. Recently I noticed some activity behind the papered-over windows. Finally, a new sign is hanging over the door announcing that the new tenant will be Jonah’s Kitchen + Bar. While I don’t know for sure what will be on offer, a still-developing website shows images of tacos, tortilla chips, peppers, and salsa, so I think we’re heading in that direction.  Apparently they were shooting for a summer opening, so it looks like they’re a bit behind.  We wish them the best of luck. 

Ugo Cafe Gone From Santa Monica Place

Sadly, I fear many businesses, and restaurants in particular, will not outlast the current COVID crisis. I’ve been reporting on multiple closures across The Westside. Yet another appears to be the beloved Italian coffee bar Ugo Cafe, set on the first floor of Santa Monica Place. If you’re missing their proprietary coffee or pastries, they still have two other locations.

Edobox Coming Soon To Santa Monica

Late last year I told you about the exit of popular burger joint Cowabunga Republic from it’s tiny spot at 2912 Main St. in Santa Monica. Now it looks like a new eatery is willing to give the space a go. A banner on the front is announcing that something called Edobox is on the way.  I’ve attempted to reach them but have so far been unsuccessful, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see what will be on offer.

Update:  I heard from a number of readers on this restaurant who had sharper eyes than mine.  Here’s what it says on their FB page, “Design your own Bento Box at chef Makoto Okuwa’s fresh new fast-casual restaurant on Main Street in Santa Monica with breezy outdoor dining.”  Thanks to all who reached out to tell me…

Viva Vegan Now Closed In Santa Monica

The below-the-radar bolthole Viva Vegan appears to be no more.  While there’s still a note on the front door saying that they are temporarily closed, as you can see there are two prominent for lease signs across the front of their location at 1028 Wilshire.  This will be a sad loss for the devoted followers of their signature plant-based food.

Sur La Table Set To Close In Santa Monica

The emporium of all things culinary, Sur La Table looks like it is set to close at 301 Wilshire Blvd.  There’s a giant banner across the front announcing the sad news.  This particular branch has long been the go-to for local cooks needing just the right size springform pan or imported dijon and will be sadly missed.