On a tip from a reader, I went by the site of the erstwhile Brentwood Restaurant & Lounge at 148 S Barrington to see what was going on. Sure enough, the previously understated exterior has been transformed into a bright and sunny facade announcing the arrival of a new venture, Baja Norte. The website lets us know that this is a new project of chef Bruce Marder (West Beach Cafe, Rebecca’s, The Rooster, Capo). Apparently, Baja Norte was born out of an exploration of his “Mexican food roots” during quarantine. You can check out the menus and read more here.
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.