Santa Monica’s branch of Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern disappeared during the pandemic restaurant closures, leaving a gaping hole at 1733 Ocean Ave. But a new contender is stepping forward to give the space a go. There’s a banner off to the side of the patio announcing the impending arrival of Sol-Agave. This will be the fourth location for the Mexican chain that started out as a food truck in in 2014 in San Juan Capistrano. According to their website, it appears that they are also planning on a location at 800 W Olympic #A130, near STAPLES Center. We wish them the best of luck.
Were you wondering what was going on in the tiny space at 321 Santa Monica Blvd? The location has been a number of different incarnations over the years from coffee shops to, most recently, a boba spot. Now it has transformed into something called the Pink Daisy Cafe. As it turns out, Pink Daisy is a sister restaurant to Santa Monica’s perennially favorite brunch eatery Blue Daisy. Now you know…
The Venice Whaler has been the go-to destination in Venice since 1944. Now they are bringing their beachy vibes and fish tacos to the Good People of Santa Monica. Ma’Kai, on the corner of Broadway. and Ocean Ave. in Downtown, closed up shop during the pandemic. A number of months ago plywood went up on the front, and eventually a help wanted notice hinted at what the new bar/eatery was going to be. But now it’s official: Recently installed signs declare that this will indeed be a new outpost of the legendary Beach party spot, The Santa Monica Whaler.
There’s a new ABC application up on the front of the diminutive space at 530 Wilshire Blvd., formerly home to any number of nondescript cafes, that should bring hope to all Santa Monicans. With three other locations across LA, self-described “Neighborhood Lobster Joint” Lobster And Beer is expanding to Downtown Santa Monica. What more do you need to know?
I’m sure you’ve noticed that Santa Monica Blvd. on the Westside has been undergoing a major gentrification of late. An indication of this is the new Starbucks that is coming to the corner of Purdue and SMB, at 11401 W Santa Monica Blvd. This would normally be unremarkable news, except that this will only be the third stand alone branch of the coffee chain on the Boulevard between the 405 and The Beach (the others being at 26th and Bundy), and that is a little remarkable for this neck of the woods.
I heard from a concerned reader (Thanks Justin!) who was lamenting the closure of Treats Frozen Yogurt at 1700 Ocean Park Blvd. in Santa Monica. The icy confection shop was a neighborhood gathering spot and much beloved by locals. A gracious hand-written note on the front door thanks “family and friends” for a “decade of fun”. Sad.
I’ve been out of town for a few days and returned home to a stuffed inbox with messages from perplexed and shocked locals lamenting the quick and unceremonious disappearance of Santa Monica’s branch of Asian-ish eatery and longtime corner of 4th and Wilshire anchor P.F. Chang’s. All signs have been ripped down, and as you can see, the front is boarded over. Disheartened die-hard fans are seeking answers, so if you have more information, let me know…
A big “coming soon” banner has recently gone up on the front of the former BurgerIM space at 1237 3rd St. Promenade in Santa Monica. And pasted to the front of that is a smaller banner announcing something called Chick It Out and promising hot chicken. Apparently this has been in the works for a while now, and What Now Los Angeles has a lot more on this story which you can read here.
You know the old saying; When the Lord closes an ice cream shop, somewhere he opens another. People were devastated by the recent closure of Santa Monica’s longstanding and beloved branch of popular icy treat brand Ben & Jerry’s. But from out of nowhere, a brand new location has opened at 253 S Beverly Dr. (formerly home to Creamistry). You’re welcome.
I’ve known for a little while that this was going down, but I wasn’t at liberty to tell you. Now I can officially announce that the space at 1008 Montana Ave., formerly home to a branch of Maria’s Italian Kitchen, will be the future Westside home to Woodland Hills’ Brothers Sushi. An ABC application appeared this week on the front of the location confirming the news. The Brothers Sushi is the much-lauded and wildly popular “high-end” sushi spot that offers seasonal “Omakase Chefs courses or Ala Carte options”. This is indeed exciting news for the burgeoning SaMo restaurant scene.
Before the pandemic, window displays went up on the space at 313 Wilshire Blvd. in Downtown Santa Monica announcing that Hollywood Burger would be moving in… and nothing happened. But that arrangement seems to have changed. There’s a new banner over the troubled location letting us know that Papi Tacos & Churros is on the way. Papi’s has a location on Jefferson Blvd. in LA that appears to be “temporarily closed”. I’m not sure if this is a second location or a total move, but in the mean time you can check out their current menu of “authentic Mexican street food” here.
The space at 235 Main St. in Venice has sat vacant ever since Komodo moved out. But that’s about to change… Window paper is covering the location announcing a new branch of Umami Burger. Umami caused quite a stir when it burst onto the scene at its flagship LA spot in 2009 and has since spread to San Francisco, Chicago, New York, The Bahamas, and Japan. And they are offering “free burger days” when they eventually open, so you may want to keep a look out.
Good people of Santa Monica, (more) carbs are heading your way! Main Street’s Sam’s Bagels has their sign up at 1305 Montana Ave. announcing the good news. Sam’s is replacing an earstwhile Gelato-Go at this location.
Readers have been asking me about Jonah’s Kitchen + Bar ever since I fist mentioned them back in September of last year. You may recall that Johah’s is replacing the short-lived LDH Kitchen The Robata at 2518 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica. Their website indicates that Jonah’s is still a part of the massive Japanese lifestyle brand LDH, otherwise there is little out there on the new eatery. The still-developing website gives clues: In a video, a bearded chef is preparing steaks with chimichurri over over a wood fire. We’ll find out more soon as paper over the front windows is now proudly announcing that the new restaurant will throw open their doors on Thursday June 24th.
About a year ago, I noticed an ABC application on the construction fencing at 930 Montana Ave. The application listed the new tenant as Bluestone Lane Coffee. Well, things seem to have changed. The application is gone, and window paper is announcing that Bluestone Lane is out and none other than creative coffee purveyors Go Get Em Tiger are moving in. This will be Santa Monica’s second branch.
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.
A few months ago, I heard from a lot of readers that breezy pizza spot Surfer Rose was washed up. But I never had any confirmation. Now, however, there’s a new ABC ownership change application on the door. No business name is listed on the door, or on the online info but there is an applicant: 2460 Wilshire Restaurant Group LLC (Surfer Rose’s address). Otherwise, the application doesn’t give much information. This link does mention the name of “hospitality traiblazer” Michael Greco of next door’s Fia. Other than that, I guess we’ll have to wait and see…
I’ve been hearing from surprised readers who noticed that Krispy Kreme has vanished from its corner location at Wilshirie and Euclid in Santa Monica. You may recall that KK was a sensation some years back, with people waiting in long lines to secure the pillowy treats. I’m not sure what the cause was, but donut competition in Santa Monica is fierce: Dunkin’ Donuts, Sidecar, and an upcoming Randy’s Donuts are all within blocks.
This post is for all those concerned readers who wrote me inquiring about their beloved Margo’s restaurant at 1534 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica. In the last wave of COVID shutdowns, Margo’s closed like every other restaurant… but it never reopened. For all intents and purposes it appeared that the popular eatery was throwing in the towel. Well… you can all breathe a collective sigh of relief: A banner hanging over the door is announcing to all that Margo’s is back.
While no one was looking, a delightful new coffee and pastry spot opened recently in Santa Monica. Readers have been letting me know how excited they are… once they find it. You probably didn’t notice the little charmer Paderia Bakehouse because it faces the parking lot behind the newly refurbished former bank building at 3032 Wilshire Blvd. (corner of Berkeley). It took me a while to find it as well, but once discovered, you’ll be rewarded with menu of coffees, teas, horchata, pudding, pastries, and cultishly popular Portuguese Egg Tarts. Paderia has locations in Irvine and Fountain Valley, but this is the Westside’s first.