A popular sushi and sports bar has quietly disappeared from Santa Monica. Kimuya was a neighborhood fave go-to spot, known by locals for its happy hour. Sadly, a for lease sign has appeared on the front of their location at 2830 Wilshire. I’ll keep watching to see what may develop…
Kaido Japanese Cuisine has had a difficult time of it. They were forced to relocate to 1049 Gayley in Westwood when their original location in a strip mall in Santa Monica was cleared to make room for another big development. And now, sadly, it appears they are done at their current location. There’s a large “available” sign on the front announcing the news.
It appears that Santa Monica is getting its very own branch of a popular high-end “gourmet neighborhood market”. There’s a notice in the papered-over windows of the former home of Earthbar at 1426 Montana Ave. letting us all know that this will be the future home of a branch of Los Feliz’s much-lauded McCall’s Meat & Fish Co. McCall’s prides itself on delivering the “highest quality meats, fish, produce, pastries” all while “keeping in mind the health and nature of the animals”. Interesting…
Lovers of cultish confectionary empire Sprinkles will soon be able to get their fix in Santa Monica. Just outside the sluggish and half-closed food court of Santa Monica Place a brightly painted storefront has appeared almost overnight. I looks like this outlet will only be a home to one of their signature ATM’s, but when you’re desperate for cupcakes, does it matter?
When NY-style coal-fired pizza joint Grimaldi’s closed in El Segundo, it was reported that they were moving to a Santa Monica takeaway operation in the office complex at 2501 Colorado. What wasn’t reported was that the new location will be inside yet another outpost of rapidly expanding ghost kitchen/food hall Kitchen United Mix, making this Santa Monica’s second branch. Currently at address there is an erstwhile Daily Grill and, more suitably, a cafeteria called Colorado Kitchen. Both Santa Monica locations of Kitchen United were shooting for an October opening, but as it stands, little work has been done at either. Nearby Westwood is also getting a branch as well.
Devoted fans were crushed last year when their favorite Westside dark bar for martinis and nostalgia, Pacific Dining Car, permanently closed during the Pandemic. But the door had been left open for a possible conversion of the iconic location into a new restaurant. Recently, a new “leased” sign appeared on the front and a renewed hope inspired my readers to pepper me with questions regarding the new establishment. Sadly, it appears that it will not be a new eatery. A notice posted on the front announces a hearing to to “allow a 24-hour emergency veterinary services to the existing building”. And sorry, I still don’t have any information on what may replace another Wilshire institution that fell victim to the Pandemic: Casa Escobar.
King & Queen Cantina appears to be on a mission to spread their signature brand of bawdy fun to Westside. It was last year when I told you that they were bringing a branch of the San Diego party chain to Santa Monica (it has since opened). Now they have their sites on West Hollywood. Signs are already up on the former Tortilla Republic space at 616 N Robertson announcing their impending arrival. Expect a “party, out of the box” with “Latin flavors” set in Dia de los Muertos decor.
I first told you about Kindred Spirit back in June, when I noticed help wanted flyers on the former ISno Cafe and Monsieur Marcel space at 1260 Third Street Promenade. KS opened back in August, but is hosting a Grand Opening event this weekend. The good folks at Kindred Spirit reached out to me and asked me to pass this along to you:
“Kindred Spirit – a new project from the Demitasse coffee geeks featuring an all day menu of alcohol free cocktails, lunch and brunch plates, and a rotating seasonal menu of classic patisserie inspired by the Santa Monica farmers market in a plant filled open air space on the Promenade is now open and will be having a grand opening event this weekend.
Kindred Spirit has been soft open since August but will be celebrating an official grand opening the weekend of October 23rd with a “Sober October” event from 12-4p featuring the launch of of their fall menu, an adult and family friendly mocktail and craft session with Makers Mess (dried floral wreaths like these), and complimentary sampling from the Free Spirits alcohol free spirit brand who are featured in a number of Kindred Spirit’s elixirs. Makers Mess craft session complimentary with food and beverage purchase.
Following that Kindred Spirit has a number of on site alcohol free brand pop-ups planned through the holidays and into Dry January.”
KS Lox of things Bagel /Photo: Carolina Korman
The Gallery, at 1325 Third St. Promenade, managed to survive the Pandemic lock downs but mysteriously closed a while ago, prompting readers to pepper me with questions about its status. The Gallery had gone through a major redo not that long ago and was home to such eateries as Voltaggio STRFSH, Paperboy Pizza, Dialoque, and others. Then it went dark. But now we know what’s coming… There’s a notice up on the front that names the new eating hall as Kitchen United MIX. And what is that? It appears to be a chain of food halls that describes itself as, “the nation’s first ‘Multi-Restaurant Ordering’ to-go experience” that “allows foodie fans who love variety to order meals from 10+ restaurants, all on the same bill.” Kitchen United MIX has a few locations across the US and are planning on a major expansion. There are upcoming locations on the books for Westwood and Torrance as well. This location is aiming for an October opening.
I’ve been keeping my eye on what has been happening at the former home of longtime iconic Indian standard Dhaba at 2104 Main St. The location has been a hive of activity recently with construction and upgrades… And now we know what’s going on. A new sign has gone up announcing the arrival of Cobi’s at Dhaba, which soft-opened last night and is opening to the public on Thursday. Cobi’s used to operate a restaurant at 8422 W 3rd St. that closed earlier this year. This is a fresh start for the Southeast Asian eatery that is being described to me as “a new creation with ‘partial honors’ to the old Dhabba”. Check out their menu here. Reservations can now be found on Resy. We wish them the best of luck.
It was in late August when I told you about the devastating closure of local hang-out spot Treats Frozen Yogurt at 1700 Ocean Park Blvd. in Santa Monica. But thankfully, the neighborhood is getting a new frozen treat shop. A banner is up on the front of Treats‘ former location announcing a branch of Yoga-urt. Yoga-urt has two other locations (Glendale and Echo Park) and offers a menu of plant-based soft serve, smoothies, and shakes “made from scratch, starting with hand squeezed almond milk with all organic and dairy free ingredients and added probiotics”.
Don’t count out plucky Everytable… The nobly inspired concept chain aimed to bring fresh, nutritious, made-from-scratch meals to a fast food world at price points based on what a community could afford. Then they ran into a spot of trouble a while ago and closed various outlets. But hope springs eternal. There’s window paper covering the prominent space at 11049 Santa Monica Blvd Suite A in West LA (former site of a CBTL) announcing that they are opening a new branch at this location… and just about everywhere else as well. Check out this impressive list of upcoming Everytables, including Long Beach, Van Nuys, and Torrance. This branch is planning on a November 5th opening.
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…