What’s Going On At Obica In Santa Monica?

I’ve been carefully watching the branch of international Italian brand Obica at 606 Broadway in Downtown Santa Monica.  Recently, the restaurant went silent, and the shades have been pulled down.  A sign on the door promises a renovation, new management, and a new concept…  all by February 10th.  But things look a bit dodgy:  While I was checking for progress, a self-identified former employee approached me and told me that the staff were unceremoniously sacked with no promise of rehire.  His assumption is that Obica Mozzarella Bar is permanently gone.  A cursory glance inside the front door reveals that nothing has been touched and no work has commenced. I’ll keep watching but we’ve seen this kind of thing before…

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Plan Check, Le Pain Quotidien Exit Santa Monica, More!

Yikes!  It appears that an exodus of eateries has occurred in Downtown Santa Monica after the Holidays.  Plan Check has checked out of 1401 Ocean Ave.  Le Pain Quotidien has said adieu to 316 Santa Monica Blvd.  (A note in the window blames an expiring lease agreement.)  And, after a valiant effort, Creams & Dreams has closed their nitrogen ice cream outpost at 219 Arizona after four years.  Sad…

(Thanks SG!)

Z Pastabar Now Closed In Santa Monica Place

Back in June of 2017, I applauded Z Pastabar’s courageous decision to brave the sputtering food scene in Santa Monica Place.  At the time, Z Pastabar had high hopes of a big expansion across the LA area.  Sadly, it appears that things did not go as planned:  Following their other SoCal locations, Santa Monica Place‘s branch of Z Pastabar is now closed.

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Spitfire Grill Closing After Almost 30 Years In Santa Monica: New Restaurant Expected

A reader (Thanks Charlie!) sent me this article in the SMDP about the end of Santa Monica’s beloved hidden airport restaurant Spitfire Grill.  According to the article, current owner John Clarizio has sold the restaurant citing that he needs a break.  The new owner is Irish restaurateur Sean Martin, who has had successes in London.  The eatery is to be called The Cloverfield and will feature Italian food in an atmosphere that is reminiscent of a “London Bistro with Southern California elements”.  Spitfire will stay open for a while during the finalization of the sale.

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Breaking News: Citrin Opens On…

Many of you have been asking for answers about what is happening behind the construction at LA’s legendary fine dining space Melisse.  This just landed in my inbox:  Josiah Citrin’s highly anticipated new restaurant is named Citrin and will open on December 12th at the Melisse location (1104 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica).  The food is being described as “modern Californian” and the space a “fun, welcoming, and approachable room” with a large bar and an a la carte menu.  Reservations are now being accepted here.  And we’re being told to expect a new “Melisse experience” soon.   I’ll keep you posted…

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Cowabunga Republic Wipes Out In Santa Monica

It appears that casual outdoor burger spot Cowabunga Republic has closed up shop at 2912 Main St. in Santa Monica.  The giant for lease sign on the front confirms the sad news.  Cowabunga Republic burst on the scene earlier this year with a lot of initial attention from locals.  I’m not sure what happened, but I’ll keep watching the unusual space to see what new venture may take a chance.