I heard from a reader (Thanks Stephanie!) that Santa Monica’s popular pick-up bar and restaurant Estate was now caput. So I went by their location at 1519 Wilshire to have a look. Sure enough, the large for lease signs on the front announce the sad news. I’ll keep my eye on the space to see if there will be any takers…
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
And finally, this last bit of news about the coming attractions to the new development in Marina Del Rey… It almost appears that Downtown Santa Monica is cloning itself in the Marina: The latest to join the list of new eateries is none other that Jonathon Gold’s fave Italian restaurant Uovo, which is opening a location at 4635 Admiraly Way Suite 105. You may recall that the diminutive Santa Monica bolthole has a cult-like following due to their expertly sauced pasta that is flown in daily from Bologna. Along with Kazu Nori and HiHo Cheeseburger, the dining scene in The Marina is about to get a whole lot more interesting.
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.
It appears that Santa Monica’s branch of Steak ‘N Shake has abandonned any hope of returning to pre-COVID life as usual. While their website still lists them as temporarily closed, their location at 1455 Third St. Promenade is gutted and a large for lease sign in the window says they’ve no plans to reopen. Their departure leaves a cavernous hole in the Downtown Santa Monica food scene. I’ll keep my eye on the space to see if there will be any takers…
While I’m not quite sure when it happened, it appears that something has moved into the former home of Beaming at 1426 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica. The location now sports a sign that declares Discovery Bar by Earthbar as the new resident. Expect a “healthy holistic supply” of vitamins, lattes, bowls, juices, smoothies, and grab-and-go meals.
I love a good teaser campaign… We can tell that a new cafe and bakery is on the way to 2024 Broadway in Santa Monica because of the prominent banner and window display. They just neglected to tell us the name of the new spot, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see what it will be called. Apparently we can expect breakfast, lunch, European pastries and cakes.
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…
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.
The story that has garnered the most interest on this blog recently has been the disappearance of neighborhood coffee shops, and in particular, the mass extinction of SoCal’s beloved The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Thank you to all the readers who sent me news that the CBTL at 9th and Wilshire in Santa Monica has now also succumbed. There is still one extant Coffee Bean in the Third St. Promenade, and I went in today to have a look. The lack of customers, and low inventory of food left me wondering what its future may be… What’s going on? I’m not certain, but perhaps there’s a clue here.