Winston Pies Finds A New Location In Santa Monica

Winston Pies unceremoniously quit the unlucky space at 1705 Ocean Ave., but the plucky pastry purveyor is not done with Santa Monica quite yet.  There’s window paper up on the front of the old Milo SRO space at 826 Pico Blvd. announcing the arrival of the expanding popular bake shop.  Winston produces pies that are handmade from scratch using natural ingredients and baked in the tradition of founder Brianna Abrams’ childhood home of Winston-Salem, NC.  Thanks to PHW for spotting the notices.

Flapjax Replacing Bread & Porridge In Santa Monica

It was only a little over a month ago that I told you about the catastrophic loss of Santa Monica’s neighborhood fave Bread & Porridge.  Thank you to all the readers who wrote to tell me about what would be replacing the beloved breakfast eatery.  The windows are still papered over, but a notice on the front lets us know that something called Flapjax is quickly moving into the space at 2315 Wilshire.  A cursory search reveals one familiar name associated with the new restaurant: Ebru Fidan Caplan.  Caplan is the force behind another popular breakfast spot, Bru’s Wiffle.

Vamos Vamos Replacing The Drift Kitchen In Santa Monica

A reader (Thanks Andrew!) wrote to tell me that he had noticed an ABC application in the window of the erstwhile location of The Drift Kitchen at 2917 Main St. in Santa Monica.  The application lists the name of the new restaurant as Vamos Vamos.  I can’t find any definitive information on this new eatery, so if you have any, let me know.  As for The Drift Kitchen, their website says they are searching for a new location, but in the meantime, they have a pop-up at their sister restaurant Rocketship Coffee on Melrose.

Trader Joe’s Now Open Under Downtown Santa Monica

We all know that Downtown Santa Monica has seen a flurry of construction in recent years.  I try to keep my eye on all the new developments, but this caught me totally by surprise.  Did you know that there is now a subterranean Trader Joe’s hidden in the block on 5th St between Colorado and Broadway?  I sure didn’t.  Nevertheless, Trader Joe’s has opened their newest location at 500 Broadway about a week ago.

Osteria Del Fornaio Opens In Santa Monica On…

If you’ve ever been inside a branch of poineering Italian restaurant Il Fornaio, you probably walked past a marble slab etched with the names of their various locations.  Prominently featured on that list is Santa Monica.  There’s just one problem: There hasn’t been one in Santa Monica since it closed on the corner of Ocean Ave. and Colorado many years ago.  But that’s about to change (ok, so its not an Il Fornaio itself, but it is related according to the website).  I first told you about the triumphant return to Santa Monica back in 2019.  After 2 1/2 years, Osteria Del Fornaio will throw open their doors to the good people of Santa Monica on April 26 at 401 Wilshire Blvd suite 150 according to a spokesperson.   Expect a different menu than its closest sister restaurant in Beverly Hills.  There will still be pasta and pizza, but there is an emphasis on smaller share plates served in a bright dining room with communal tables that look into a central kitchen.  You’re welcome.

Nostalgia Bar & Lounge’s Grand Opening This Thursday In Santa Monica

I heard from the good people over at Santa Monica’s brand new Nostalgia Bar & Lounge who asked me to pass on this information:  Nostalgia Bar & Lounge, which is described as a “New American eatery and watering hole”, will host its public Grand Opening this Thursday, April 7th at 8pm (reservations are required).  Nostalgia is the first brick and mortar concept from The Herbal Chef™ founder Chris Sayegh, who has experience in Melisse and Providence.  Expect a nostalgic Americana menu with such things as Kobe toast, oysters two ways, and lobster rolls.  Drinks are made using “naturally derived cannabis terpenes” and take their cues from “Otter Pops, PB&J’s, and Yoo-Hoos”.  Throughout the month of April, show proof of Santa Monica residency and receive a complimentary push-pop with purchase.  Nostalgic Bar & Lounge is located at 1326 Pico Blvd (formerly The Speakeasy).  We wish them the best of luck.

Savida Raw Seafood Bar Replacing Sushi Sho On Montana Ave.

I’ve been carefully tracking the developments at the former location of Sushi Sho at 1303 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica.  Last week I pointed out a nonresponsibility notice that named Best Bite LLC as the new tenant.  Window paper just went up announcing the name of the new establishment as Savida Raw Seafood Bar.  I can’t find much information on this business, but I think the name lets us know what to expect…

Update:  Savida’s website is up and running.  Check out more and get a look at the menu here.  

Lotus Dim Sum Dumpling House Replacing P.F. Chang’s In Santa Monica

Ever since I told you about the startling disappearance of Santa Monica’s branch of Asian-ish chain P.F. Chang’s, people have been demanding answers about what may replace it.  The commodious space on the corner of Wilshire and 4th was leased a few months ago, and construction on the interior had begun, but there was no indication of what the new restaurant would be.  Just this week and small sandwich board has appeared that lets us know that the new establishment is going to be Lotus Dim Sum Dumpling House.

Sushi Sho’s Replacement in Santa Monica…

Many of you are following this story carefully so I’ll pass info on as it becomes available… Here’s the latest on the replacement for NOMA’s beloved Japanese take-away joint Sushi Sho:   As I told you, construction is fast and furious ever since the sushi restaurant moved out of 1303 Montana Ave.  A sharp eyed reader (Thanks Kurt!) spotted the nonresponsibility notice taped to the front that lists the lessee of the property as Best Bite LLC.  I can’t seem to confirm much more than this right now.  Keep watching this space…  

Bread & Porridge Disappears From Santa Monica

I heard from a reader (Thanks Debbie!) that Santa Monica’s perennially popular under-the-radar neighborhood breakfast joint Bread & Porridge had abandoned their longtime location at 2315 Wilshire.  I had been watching the space, which has been idle for a few weeks, to see what was going on.  Last month a notice in the window explained that they were taking a temporary “break from operations”.  Since then, a for lease notice has appeared in the window so I assume there is no hope for reopening at this location. They will be sorely missed by their legions of fans who have made this humble restaurant an A.M. fave since 1994.

Sushi Sho Decamps From Montana Ave.

Modest Sushi Sho has been quietly dishing fish to the good people of NoMa from its humble storefront at 1303 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica for a very long time.  Sadly, almost overnight it has completely pulled up stakes.  But something appears to be quickly moving in.  As soon as I find out what that is I’ll let you know…

 

Wienerschnitzel Bites The Dust In Santa Monica

The A-frame of Santa Monica’s fossilized outpost of tube steak chain Wienerschnitzel has been a fixture along Pico Blvd. for as long as anyone can remember.  But alas, no longer.  A reader (Thanks John!) wrote to tell me of its closure at 3010 Pico.  Sure enough, all signs have been pulled down, the place is gutted, and a hastily-written note proclaims it permanently closed.  Wienerschnitzel was founded in Wilmington CA in 1961 and was a marvel of midcentury fast food chains.  Truly the end of an era.

Urban Skillet Opens In Santa Monica On…

It appears a new burger joint is close to opening in Santa Monica.  Almost overnight, signs went up at 2307 Main St. announcing that a branch of Urban Skillet is moving in.  Urban Skillet hails from Minnesota with a location in The Valley as well, and is known for their Halal burgers, as well as chicken burgers, wings, fries, and hand-blended shakes.  They will be throwing open their doors on Friday, March 11th at 12pm.  For their Grand Opening, they are offering a free burger when you buy a burger with this coupon.

Blossom And Friends Coming To Santa Monica

Vietnamese noodle shop Blossom appears to be broadening their horizons.  On a tip (Thanks CG!) I went by the space that used to be home to Uplifter’s Kitchen at 2819 Ocean Park Blvd.  New signs and an ABC application in the window are announcing a new project from Blossom, which incidentally sits right next door at 2821 Ocean Park.  I’m told by a spokesperson that the new project, Blossom and Friends, will be a departure from Vietnamese.  While the menu is still in development, it appears Italian will be on offer.  I’m also told that they are looking to open by the end of March.  We wish them the best of luck…

A New “JP’s” Project In Santa Monica…

A sharp-eyed reader (Thanks RB!) let me know that there was a pending conditional use notice in the window of the space at 925 Wilshire Blvd Ste C (corner of 10th), former home to Classic Tile.  (I’ve long thought this would be a great location for a restaurant)  The notice doesn’t give a business name, but lists the proposed project as, “ABC license 47 bar and restaurant for the onsite service and consumption of food and alcohol”.  The applicant is named as Bonus Eventus LLC.  A little digging reveals that Bonus Eventus is the parent company of JP’s Bar and Grill, everyone’s favorite neighborhood sports bar at Wilshire and 11th that shuttered since the Pandemic closures and remains so to this day.  I’ve reached out to the man behind JP’s and I’ll pass on more information as it becomes available.

Here Are Your Kitchen United MIX Downtown Santa Monica Choices…

Ghost kitchen chain Kitchen United Mix is exploding across our region bringing a myriad of delivery choices.  They describe themselves as, “the nation’s first ‘Multi-Restaurant Ordering’ to-go experience”.  Back in October of last year, I told you about a branch moving into the old Gallery space at 1325 Third St. Promenade.  That branch recently opened and here are your choices: Camile Thai, Continental Empanadas, Fuku (chicken sando and fingers), and Wow Bao.  I’m told more are on the way…

Holey Grail Donuts Bringing Hawaiian Treats To Santa Monica

There’s window paper up on the space that used to be home of Ben & Jerry’s, at 2441 Main St. in Santa Monica, announcing a new fried confectionary shop is on the way.  Holey Grail Donuts has locations in Hawaii as well as a pop-up in Culver City and specializes in donuts made with “Hawaiian grown taro root [that] has been pounded and fermented to create a dough base” which is then fried in coconut oil and sold individually or in weekly “tasting boxes”.  Coffee, matcha, and chai are also on the menu.

McCall’s Meat & Fish Co. Opens Today On Montana…

McCall’s Meat & Fish Co. has certainly generated a buzz in Santa Monica.  Ever since I first posted about the expansion of Los Feliz’ beloved “gourmet neighborhood market” to 1426 Montana Ave (Ste 7) late last year, people been demanding answers as to an opening date.  After much anticipation, McCall’s Meat & Fish Co. will officially throw open their doors today (Wed. 26 January) at 10:00am (or possibly 10:30am, the website and notice on the door don’t agree).  Expect the “highest quality meats, fish, produce, pastries, and retail accompaniments”.  You’re welcome…

Tu Madre Coming To Downtown Santa Monica

Obica ended its LA run back in 2020.  The Downtown Santa Monica location of the Italian mozzarella chain, at 606 Broadway Ste 100, has sat empty since at least January of that year.  But that’s about to change.  An ABC application has recently gone up on the space informing us that this will soon be a branch of Tu MadreTacos Tu Madre has four other locations across LA and specializes in creative Mexican food in bright, colorful surroundings.

Hurry Curry of Tokyo Rises From The Ashes In Santa Monica

Ever since I told you about the heartbreaking closure of Hurry Curry of Tokyo in Sawtelle Japantown, many readers reached out to me to express their shock and sadness.  Well, you can take a breath.  A reader (Thanks JC!) let me know they have found a new location in a small space at 2901 Ocean Park Blvd #125, formerly home to Ocean Park Ramen House.   Looks like they’re shooting for an early 2022 opening.  You’re welcome…