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…

Buena Vida Tea Bar & Garden Opens On Montana Ave.

This was certainly a long time coming…  It was back in March of 2020 when I first noticed window paper on the front of the space at 726 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica announcing the arrival of Buena Vida Tea Bar & Garden.  Then nothing happened.  Well, they recently (finally) opened.  Expect a strong emphasis on the “experience”, “sensation”, and “journey” of tea, as well as sweet and savory baked goods with a “California Coastal” vibe.  We wish them the best of luck.

Prime Pizza Replacing Grey Block In Santa Monica

A sharp-eyed reader (Thanks Andrew!) spotted a note taped to the front door of of Grey Block Pizza at 1811 Pico Blvd.  The note simply says, “Grey Block Pizza closed Prime Pizza coming soon”.  You may recall that Prime Pizza recently opened a branch in West LA, as well as other locations, and promises “authentic NY style Pizza”.

SMiZE Cream Done Smiling In Santa Monica

That didn’t take long…  Back in February, I told you about the arrival of SMiZE Cream to the space formerly occupied by Ugo Cafe in Santa Monica Place.  You may recall that TV personality and model Tyra Banks was behind the premium ice cream project.  Sadly, it appears that they have cleared off from Downtown Santa Monica.  Their website says that they are switching to a delivery model.  

Kaido Closes In Westwood

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.

McCall’s Meat & Fish Co. Coming To Santa Monica

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…

Sprinkles Blessing Santa Monica With Cupcakes

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?

Kitchen United Mix Adding A Second Location In Santa Monica

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.

Pacific Dining Car Will Not Be Pivoting To A New Restaurant In Santa Monica

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 Coming To West Hollywood

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.

Kindred Spirit’s Grand Opening This Weekend In Santa Monica

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

Kitchen United MIX Replacing The Gallery In Santa Monica

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.