It look like Sawtelle Japantown is getting a new specialty cafe soon… There’s window paper and a new sign up on the space that used to be the home of gallery Eleven Arts announcing the impending arrival of Sunmerry Bakery Cafe to 2129 Sawtelle. Sunmerry already has a number of locations in SoCal. It was founded in 1986 in Taiwan and specializes in Japanese baking techniques for its many varied cakes, cream puffs, and “boba egg tarts”, as well as offering a selection of boba, taro, and tea drinks.
It was only a couple of weeks ago that I told you about the heartbreaking closure of the beloved Sawtelle Japantown institution Hurry Curry of Tokyo. Wasting no time whatsoever, it appears a new eatery is moving into their old space at 2131 Sawtelle Blvd. There’s a banner that recently went up announcing the impending arrival of bb.q Chicken, a Korean chain with locations across the US and known for frying in olive oil.
I’ve been hearing from devastated readers mourning the loss of a favorite Westside eatery. After 33 years, Hurry Curry of Tokyo has cleared out of their location at 2131 Sawtelle Blvd. at the end of February. Hurry Curry of Tokyo was an institution and was instrumental in the transformation of Sawtelle Japantown into the dining powerhouse it currently is. According to the gracious notice on their website, they lost their lease. All may not be lost however, they are hinting at a relocation, and they still have locations in Seattle.
Flashy signage and window coverings are up on the old Lemonade space at 2047 Sawtelle announcing that a new noodle joint is moving into the neighborhood. Kaz The Soba Place appears to be well underway and close to opening. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of information out there on this business, so I don’t know what will be on the menu besides buckwheat noodles. If you have more information, let me know…
The marquis with the mustachioed chef announced Iranian restaurant Javan for many years at 11500 Santa Monica Blvd. Then Javan transformed into another Persian eatery Safir, which closed last fall. But apparently all is not lost for the plucky purveyor of Persian food. Notices are taped to the windows triumphantly declaring that “Javan is back”. What that looks like exactly, I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
With so much bad news lately, it’s refreshing to see plucky new restaurants chancing the uncertain times. With locations up and down California, Taiwan fruit tea experts Yi Fang have recently opened at 2010 Sawtelle in Sawtelle Japantown. Expect a bewildering array of choices that includes besides fruit tea, tea latte, milk tea, “salty cream”, Yakult tea, and other traditional drinks. We wish them the best of luck.
Kitchen Story burst onto the scene back in 2015, when it began serving its signature Korean food from its location at 2129 Sawtelle Blvd. A reader recently pointed out to me that they are now permanently closed, so I went by to check it out. A gracious note on the front door announces the closure and thanks its customers for the support. The closure actually happened in January and preceded the current state of affairs.
It was only back in June of 2018 that I told you about the arrival of Menya Musashi to 2012 Sawtelle Blvd. But as we know, ramen competition in Sawtelle Japantown is fierce. Sadly, they have given up the ghost. A gracious note on the front confirms that they have permanently closed, and thanks patrons for the support.
I’ve been hearing from panicked readers that their fave nostalgic Sawtelle Japantown institution Curry House Japanese Curry & Spaghetti had closed down so I went by to have a look. Sure enough, the restaurant at 2130 S Sawtelle, suite 200 has closed after over 30 years. But that’s not all: According to this article, ALL Curry House locations in California abruptly closed their doors on Monday. Employees apparently had no idea and showed up for work only to find they had no jobs. This is tragic news for its many fans, many of whom are telling me they celebrated milestones and had first dates at the local fixture.
With so many restaurant closures across town, it’s encouraging to see an area retain its vibrancy… Dan Modern Chinese is continuing its push into the Westside. In addition to the upcoming Manhattan Village location, window paper is up on the space at 2051 Sawtelle, squarely in the middle of Sawtelle Japantown, announcing the imminent arrival of their signature dumplings and noodles.
Sadly, it appears that Korean bowl specialist Bibigo has disappeared from its location at 2210 Sawtelle Blvd. in LA. The space is completely gutted, ending any hope of a return. I’m not sure what happened, but I’ll keep watching to see what may take a chance in what is one of the Westside’s most competative food scenes, Sawtelle Japantown.
A reader (Thanks SG!) sent me concerns about Sawtelle’s cavernous temple to shabu-shabu Mizu 212. A hastily written note taped to the front door says they are closed for remodeling. Nothing has been touched inside for a bit now, and… well, hopefully I’m wrong, but we’ve seen this before. I’ll let you know if anything changes.
The recent closure of Blockheads Shavery left a hole in the busy shopping center on the corner of Sawtelle and Mississippi in West LA, the same one that houses superstar Tsujita. But that’s about to change… Window covering is promising that Somi Somi will soon be arriving to the space at 11311 Mississippi Ave. Somi Somi apparently is known for ah-boong (a fish-shaped bun filled with various sweet fillings, “Korean-inspired” soft service ice cream, and toppings), and taiyaki (Japanese pancake filled with various sweet and savory fillings). With locations throughout SoCal and one in Texas, their website is promising a massive expansion soon. No word on an opening date…
I looks like something new is landing on the corner of Olympic and Sawtelle (11301 W. Olympic Blvd.). A sign is up announcing that L’Equipe Café & Salad Bar will soon be inhabiting the space. There’s not much information out there on L’Equipe, except a Facebook page that you can check out here.
Just in time for a hot summer… Since I first told you about indications of a new icy treat shop moving into the commodious space at 11813 W. Santa Monica Blvd. in LA, a great many of you have been following its progress. Helados La Michoacana has recently thrown open its doors for business. A cursory peek inside reveals what looks like miles of wrap-around freezer counters loaded with every imaginable ice cream, frozen pop, and juice.
Looks like the Westside is getting a new restaurant of some sort. Not much to go on here except an ABC license and a smattering of city applications, but it appears that the derelict Blockbuster Video store at 12112 Santa Monica Blvd. (corner of Bundy) will soon be home to Gray Dog Tavern (…or Grey Dog Tavern, or simply Gray Dog: it’s spelled various ways on different applications). And of course, this could just be a working name and not the actual name. As always, I’ll keep watching…