Il Fornaio Triumphantly Returning To Santa Monica…

You may recall that a branch of Il Fornaio used to anchor the corner of Ocean Ave. and Colorado (where Del Frisco’s Grill now resides) until its closure many years ago.  But now it appears that the beloved Italian bakery/restaurant is about to make its return to Santa Monica.  The space at 401 Wilshire Blvd, suite 150, has just completed a major renovation, turning it into a bright and airy storefront with a large deck and a mid-century feel.  Recently an ABC application was affixed to the front informing us that this will be the location of Osteria Del Fornaio, a slightly different business name, but the applicant is listed as the Il Fornaio America Corporation, parent company of Il Fornaio and Canaletto Ristorante Veneto.  Right now, the space is completely gutted, so we may have to wait a while to find out more…

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Café De Mundo Bringing World-Inspired Coffee To Santa Monica

Santa Monica is white hot for new eateries right now…  Now it looks like they’re about to get a new neighborhood caffeine joint.  Construction appears to be nearing completion on Café de Mundo at 1502 Broadway.  Crafted coffee drinks “inspired by how the world drinks it” and Farmshop pastries and sandwiches will be on offer.  They’re shooting for a Fall opening.

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Tartine’s Santa Monica Location Will Be…

We first got tipped off about Tartine’s expansion into Santa Monica by Eater, but no location was given.  Then an excited reader recently spotted this, which seems to imply that Tartine will be landing in a new development on the corner of 20th and Arizona (1925 Arizona to be exact), site of the former Gates, Kingsley & Gates Moeller Murphy Funeral Directors building!  So I went by to check things out.  The funeral parlor closed a while ago, and the lot was sold.  The expansive corner space is currently under construction, and an application posted out front indicates that a five story building will eventually stand on the corner.  There’s no indication from the permits that Tartine will be part of the new development.  So I reached out to a rep for Tartine, who confirmed that yes, they will be opening at this location.  The medical/residential neighborhood at first seems an odd choice for San Francisco’s darling of rustic bread and pastries.  But remember that Susan Feniger’s and Mary Sue Milliken’s upcoming project Socalo is only a block away, and sleek The Rooster is two blocks away, so it appears the area is turning into a something of a food destination.

Kameo Shave Ice Joins Social Eats In The Gallery, Santa Monica

What was in distant memory once a dusty old Third Street Promenade tourist pit stop, The Gallery Food Hall, has been systematically transforming into a remarkable food destination over the past few years.  Joining such lofty names as STRFSH, Paperboy, Dialogue, and the fascinating Social Eats concept, there’s now another name to add to the list.  Kameo Shave Ice has opened in the old Everytable space on the ground floor.  But you’d better hurry, the website promises a “limited time” only.

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Pita House Sets Up Housekeeping In Santa Monica

About two years ago, the strip mall popular with SaMoHi students on the corner of Lincoln and Pico in Santa Monica underwent a major remodel.  Some of the storefronts mysteriously remain vacant, but it appears that is changing.  Work is fast and furious on a new restaurant moving into the corner location.  A new sign promises us that Pita House will soon be bringing us “Mediterranean cuisine”.

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ELA Greek Eats Landing In Venice

Construction is fast and furious on a new Greek restaurant landing in the strip mall on the corner of Rose and Lincoln in Venice.  A new sign lets us know that ELA Greek Eats is well underway.  ELA is a project from the man behind the erstwhile Waterloo & City in Culver City and Inotheke in Santa Monica, Carolos Tomazos.  We wish him the best of luck.

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Tara’s Himalayan Cuisine Now Open In Santa Monica/Brentwood

It was back in November that I told you about the impending arrival of Tara’s Himalayan Cuisine to the tricky location that was previously occupied by Kayndaves, at 262 26th St. in Santa Monica, across from the Brentwood Country Mart.  To those of you who have been following this story for updates, I have good news:  Tara’s Himalayan Cuisine has officially thrown open its doors for business.  This is their third location.  Look for an extensive menu featuring Nepali, Tibetan, and Indian food.  No liquor license yet, but they’ll let you bring in wine with no corkage.  We wish them every success…

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