With one location in Beverly Hills, it appears that the “no regretti spaghetti” folks at Impasta are expanding their operation westward. There’s window paper up at 413 Santa Monica Blvd. announcing the impending arrival. You may recall that this particular block was nearly destroyed in May of 2020, but has been slowly reviving with the arrival of Blue Bottle, MIXT, and now Impasta. Impasta offers a menu designed for low-carb and gluten-free diets with items such as “classic pasta and pizza recipes made with zero to low carb noodle options, cauliflower crusts”, and no red meat.
A sharp-eyed reader (Thanks Robert!) spotted widow paper up on the space at 1614 Ocean Park Blvd. announcing the impending arrival of Layla Bagels & Coffee. Bagels are a bold move considering they can also be procured two doors down at crazy popular Jayan Isaac Bread. I can’t seem to find out much more information on this business so if you have any details, pass them along…
On a tip from a reader, I went by to check out what was going on at Santa Monica’s branch of healthy California-cuisine minichain Fresh Corn Grill. It was over two years ago when I first told you about their arrival to the space at 720 Wilshire, formerly home to a branch of Baja Fresh. Sadly, this location is ceasing operations after today (Friday 09//23). It was explained to me that the company is being restructured by the owners. The other two locations (Westwood, West Hollywood) are to remain open.
A new java joint is landing on a neglected stretch of Centinela Ave. Santa Monica’s dog-friendly neighborhood coffee spot Love Coffee Bar is expanding to Mar Vista. There’s window paper up on the space at 3519 S Centinela (crossroad Palms Blvd.) announcing that they will be opening at this location as soon as they can.
I’ve been hearing from startled readers that Truxton’s American Bistro has unceremoniously disappeared from the corner spot at 14th and Santa Monica Blvd in Santa Monica. Truxton’s opened this location in 2013, and was a solid neighborhood lifeline on an otherwise desolate stretch of Santa Monica Blvd. It was able to survive The Pandemic with take-away and outdoor seating, so it’s a bit shocking that it pulled up stakes so abruptly. It appears that the Westchester and Torrance locations remain open.
Everytable has had a spotty history. After appearing on the scene a while ago with grand ambitions, they were forced to close a number of locations, including Downtown Santa Monica’s branch. Everytable is the nobly-inspired concept chain aiming to bring fresh, nutritious, made-from-scratch meals to a fast food world at price points based on what a community could afford. New signage has popped up almost overnight at 1005A Wilshire announcing a brand new outpost of of the socially-conscious brand. They appear to have shifted their focus to subscription and home delivery, but hopefully retail will be available at this location.
Originally I reported that the small space at 3008 Santa Monica Blvd. was going to be something called Kohi Cafe. That never happened. Then it was going to be a Japanese-themed lounge/cafe named Kissaten Coffee/Wine Cafe. That never developed either. Now a new sign is promising us Please Enjoy Coffee Bar. Construction is well underway so it shouldn’t be long now to find out exactly what is going on…
Update: Eater has more on this story here.
Congratulations, Good People of Santa Monica, exceptional plant-based burgers are heading your way! There’s a small hiring notice on the front of the erstwhile home of Thai Dishes on Broadway at 123 Broadway. It lets us know that popular plant-based Monty’s Good Burger is moving in. Monty’s has locations across LA and specializes in hand-breaded plant-based chicken sandwiches, fries, tots, shakes, and an artisanal vegan burger that is so good, it landed them a spot on Eater’s list of Essential Los Angeles Burgers.
You may recall the corner spot at Fourth and Santa Monica Blvd. from the nightly news after an arsonist torched the place in May of 2020. Back then, it was the home to Sake House by Hikari which decided not to return to the location at 401 Santa Monica Blvd. The space had been undergoing renovation since then, and now window paper lets us know the new occupant: MIXT. MIXT has locations throughout California and in Scottsdale and Dallas. They offer a menu of chef-crafted salads, market plates, sandwiches, and bowls, as well as a “design your own” concept featuring “whole, honest, pure foods”.
Santa Barbara’s finest, McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams, is opening a location in Downtown Santa Monica. There’s a now hiring notice posted in the window of of the diminutive space at 1456 Third Street Promenade, most recently home to ice cream shop Somi Somi, and Pinkberry before that. For over 70 years, McConnell’s has been producing what some call the “best ice cream in the world” using simple, straight-forward ingredients. It looks like they’re close to opening…
Ever since I first spotted the ABC application over a year ago, people have been demanding answers about an opening date for The Brothers Sushi at 1008 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica. The Brothers Sushi is the insanely popular high-end sushi spot in Woodland Hills and folks were excited by the idea of getting a branch on the Westside. I’m happy to report that they are now in soft opening. Their hours are: Tuesday through Friday 12pm to 2pm and 5:30 pm to 9pm, and Saturday and Sunday for dinner only from 5:30 to 9:30. You can snag a rezzie by calling (424) 330-0270 or locating them on Tock. You’re welcome.
While no one was looking, the tiny branch of massive sandwich chain Subway quietly slipped out of its long-time location at 625D Montana Ave. And why does this matter? While this may be welcome news to some, this particular branch served as one of the very last quick and inexpensive lifelines for employees on a street that has been completely taken over by expensive restaurants, high-end delis, and fourth-wave coffee joints. I’ll keep my eye on the space to see what may move in.
Cantina Urbana Kalaveras is sure having a moment. They recently opened their location in Santa Monica. Now a reader spotted a banner up on the old Jerry’s Deli in Marina del Rey that says they are taking over the long-troubled space at 13181 Mindanao. And that’s not the end of the story: They are planning a major expansion across SoCal. Besides their current eight outposts, their website lists no less than 13 new locations in the works including Burbank, North Hollywood, and Long Beach. Kalaveras offers an immersive El Dia de Los Muertos celebratory fast/casual concept with “Latin American culinary classics” and a focus on mixology. (Thanks Jennifer!)
Something fresh and new is coming to the tiny space at 1512 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica. Windowpaper covering the front lets us know that Sogno Toscano is moving in. And what is that? While the name might not be immediately familiar, they are the “USA’s largest Italian online food store”. Maybe you’ve even spotted their delivery trucks ferrying their wide selection of Italian meats, cheeses, pasta, and oils. While they currently have a coffee and wine bar in New York, this location is being described as a “lifestyle cafe, wine bar, & specialty market”. (Thanks Kurt!)
The space at 1237 3rd St. Promenade in Santa Monica has seen a number of eateries come and go. Years ago it was a Greek restaurant, then a BurgerIM, and most recently, a hot chicken place was slated to move in. But apparenty that fell through… Italian specialists Ugo Cafe has long had a relationship with Downtown Santa Monica. Originally, they had a shop in Santa Monica Place. Then they moved to 1400 Third Street Promenade. And now, they are opening a new location at 1237 3rd St. As you can see, the sign displays the new business as Ugo An Italian Trattoria. A spokesperson assured me that this will be their second location in Santa Monica (and third in total), and whereas their current Promenade location is more of a “grab and go” concept, the new location will be more of a “fancy” sit-down restaurant.
It was back in March of this year that I told you about what was going to fill the cavernous hole left by the shocking disappearance of P.F. Chang’s on the corner of Wilshire and 4th in Santa Monica. Wasting no time whatsoever, Lotus Dim Sum Dumpling House has fully moved into the location and is throwing open their doors today, July 27th at 12:00pm. Along with recently-opened popular Osteria Del Fornaio on the opposite corner, Lotus is bringing a much-needed injection to a struggling Downtown Santa Monica dining scene that was hit hard by pandemic closures. We wish them the best of luck. You can check out Lotus’ menu here.
A reader (Thanks Tom!) noticed new options coming to Downtown Santa Monica’s outpost of the rapidly expanding ghost kitchen enterprise Kitchen United Mix at 1315 Third St Promenade. This location (formerly The Gallery Food Hall) has had a troubled past, and has seen many eateries come and go. According to a banner on the front, we can soon expect take-away food from popular chains than previously were not easily accessed by the beach community: Chili’s To-Go, Maggiano’s, and It’s Just Wings. Chili’s To-Go‘s website says that they will open on August 9th.
Ever since Argentinian steak house Malbec vacated the cavernous space at 2628 Wilshire, I’ve been keeping my eye on the location to see what would develop. Leased notices went up a while ago, but I could detect no movement… until now. An ABC application recently appeared on the front, spilling the beans that The Original Thai Dishes is setting up housekeeping (as opposed to the unrelated Thai Dishes on Broadway). According to a spokesperson, this not a second location for the classic Thai eatery, but rather a move from their current space at 19th and Wilshire.
Don’t ever count out plucky Panini Kabob Grill. While the chain has lost some prominent locations during The Pandemic (Santa Monica, Beverly Hills), they continue to open new ones. A sharp-eyed reader (Thanks Jennifer!) spotted a nonresponsibility notice on the door of the empty storefront at 13455 Maxella #250, on the second floor of the Villa Marina Marketplace in Marina del Rey. The notice lets us know that there’s a new Panini Kabob Grill on the way. PKG prides itself on fresh Mediterranean fare produced daily in their “scratch kitchen”. You can peruse their menu here.
Some excellent sleuthing on the part of one of my readers (Thanks Helen!) uncovered the mystery of what has leased the former Swingers space at 802 Broadway (corner of Lincoln) in Santa Monica. She was able to discover a municipal application that reveals the name of the new business. Apparently, it is none other than a Sawtelle’s white-hot Mexican destination Hermanito. And this guy’s company is doing the design and consulting. Interesting…