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.
The hidden little space at 11740 San Vicente Blvd. Suite 104 has had a bumpy ride since its under-the-radar glam industry spot La Scala quit the location. For a while it was a short-lived French eatery called Meet In Paris, but mostly it has sat empty. That’s about to change. There’s an ABC application posted on the front announcing that this space will soon be a branch of Santa Monica’s perpetually popular Italian powerhouse Rosti Tuscan Kitchen. (They also have a branch in Calabases as well.) Brentwood sure does love its Italian restaurants…
A new Latin American restaurant plans on opening April 23 in the old Estate space at 1519 Wilshire Blvd. La Condesa is the latest project of Misael Guerrero. Guerrero, who originally hails from Sinaloa, is the man behind the rapidly expanding chain Culichitown and Mama Por Dios. He is known for his Mexican sushi and lively atmospheres. We wish him the best of luck.
Good news, Westsiders! From out of nowhere, a tiny outpost of LA’s iconic Canter’s Deli has appeared in the strip mall on the corner of Santa Monica Blvd. and Bundy in Santa Monica (12109 Santa Monica Blvd. to be exact). This miraculous apparition is now up and running from 10:30AM to 9:00pm and is offering a takeaway menu of Canter’s classics, including their legendary soups, sandwiches, black and white cookies, salads, and breakfasts. You’re welcome.
Erratum: Thanks KJ, this is officially West LA.
Check out what they built in the middle of The Third Street Promenade, between Broadway and Santa Monica Blvd. There’s a new beer garden operated by popular local watering hole West 4th & Jane. And just to the north of that is a new oyster bar brought to you by nearby restaurant The Independence. What a great idea!
While I’ve been watching the transformation of the former Starbucks at 1426 Montana Ave Ste. 4 (corner of 15th), it was a reader (Thanks again, Kurt!) who sleuthed out the next tenant. While no signs are up yet, I had a chance to speak with someone inside who confirmed what Kurt had discovered: This is to be California’s first branch of Texas’ La La Land Kind Cafe. And what is that? La La Land is a “socially conscious” cafe on a mission to “normalize kindness” by hiring foster youth who, when they turn 18, are often aged out of the system with few supports. I don’t have any confirmation that this will be the model here, but La La Land provides real opportunity and apparently some really good coffee. They offer an extensive menu of coffee and tea, signature drinks, and toasts. We sincerely wish the the best of luck.
I’d been keeping an eye on the location that used to house popular tourist restaurant Trastevere at 1360 Third St. Promenade to see what would develop. Recently, an ABC application went up on the front naming the new business. With locations in Woodland Hills and Huntington Beach, HQ Gastropub appears to be moving in. Expect a menu of “Global cuisine”, high quality beer, wine and spirits, and decor with a “motif of musical artists, fashionable design, and classic vintage guitars”.
I’m quietly optimistic about Downtown Santa Monica. During the Pandemic, many of the big chain stores and restaurants disappeared overnight. But there has been a recent uptick in activity, at least as far as restaurants are concerned. Many new projects are in the works: Trejo’s Tacos, Nick the Greek, Ugo Cafe, SMiZE Cream, Jinky’s Coffee, Winston are all moving in. And you can add one more name to that list: Practically overnight, a new charming coffee joint set up shop in the former location of Cafe Crepe at 1460 Third St. Promenade. Cult promises “food.coffee.cocktails” and is on a “mission is to pay homage to the city of Los Angeles, its chefs, dishes, drinks and trends”. Check out their menu here. We wish them the best of luck.
Don’t underestimate Ugo Café! When I told you about the closure of their Santa Monica Place location (which is now in the process of turning into Tyra Banks’ SMiZE Cream), I thought that was the end of their footprint in Santa Monica. But the plucky Italian coffee and food purveyor hasn’t given up just yet… A banner has recently gone up at 1400 Third St. Promenade (formerly home to Caffe Bella) announcing their impending triumphant return.