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…

Bubbletopia LA, Dogbite Gourmet Hot Dogs Coming To Santa Monica

It appears something new is taking over the Market Pavillion at 1260 Third St. Promenade, last home of the extremely short-lived Kindred Spirit coffee shop.  Actually, two new things.  The north half is turning into something called Bubbletopia LA. The south half will be Dogbite Gourmet Hot Dogs.  Bubbletopia LA will feature milk tea, fruit tea, and waffles with ice cream and various toppings. Dogbite‘s menu offers such things as Chili Dogs, Elote Dogs, and Ring Dogs (bacon-wrapped beef dogs with onion rings, coleslaw, onion, and BBQ sauce), served alongside fries with various toppings.  Curiously, I can’t seem to locate much information about these two businesses, so if you know more, let me know…

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. 

Chick It Out Bringing Hot Chicken To Santa Monica Soon

A big “coming soon” banner has recently gone up on the front of the former BurgerIM space at 1237 3rd St. Promenade in Santa Monica.  And pasted to the front of that is a smaller banner announcing something called Chick It Out and promising hot chicken.  Apparently this has been in the works for a while now, and What Now Los Angeles has a lot more on this story which you can read here.

Kindred Spirit Coming To Downtown Santa Monica

ISno Cafe closed its doors early this year, leaving the former Monsieur Marcel space at 1260 Third St. Promenade once again empty.  But there’s a small now hiring notice hanging in the window that lists a new business, Kindred Spirits, is moving in.  There’s not much out there about KS, except a job listing calling for bartenders, baristas, pastry cooks, and hosts.  But the contact email on the notice references Cafe Demittase, which is the quiet neighborhood coffee spot just north of Wilshire on Third St.  I have no clear understanding of what the relationship is, so if you have more info, let me know.

New Dining/Drinking In Downtown Santa Monica…

Check out what they built in the middle of The Third Street Promenade, between Broadway and Santa Monica Blvd. There’s a new beer garden operated by popular local watering hole West 4th & Jane.  And just to the north of that is a new oyster bar brought to you by nearby restaurant The Independence.  What a great idea!

HQ Gastropub Coming To Santa Monica

I’d been keeping an eye on the location that used to house popular tourist restaurant Trastevere at 1360 Third St. Promenade to see what would develop.  Recently, an ABC application went up on the front naming the new business.  With locations in Woodland Hills and Huntington Beach, HQ Gastropub appears to be moving in.  Expect a menu of “Global cuisine”, high quality beer, wine and spirits, and decor with a “motif of musical artists, fashionable design, and classic vintage guitars”.

Cult Bringing New Life To The Third St. Promenade

I’m quietly optimistic about Downtown Santa Monica.  During the Pandemic, many of the big chain stores and restaurants disappeared overnight.  But there has been a recent uptick in activity, at least as far as restaurants are concerned.  Many new projects are in the works: Trejo’s Tacos, Nick the Greek, Ugo Cafe, SMiZE Cream, Jinky’s Coffee, Winston are all moving in.  And you can add one more name to that list: Practically overnight, a new charming coffee joint set up shop in the former location of Cafe Crepe at 1460 Third St. Promenade.  Cult promises “food.coffee.cocktails” and is on a “mission is to pay homage to the city of Los Angeles, its chefs, dishes, drinks and trends”.  Check out their menu here.  We wish them the best of luck. 

Ugo Café Returning To Downtown Santa Monica

Don’t underestimate Ugo Café!  When I told you about the closure of their Santa Monica Place location (which is now in the process of turning into Tyra Banks’ SMiZE Cream), I thought that was the end of their footprint in Santa Monica.  But the plucky Italian coffee and food purveyor hasn’t given up just yet…  A banner has recently gone up at 1400 Third St. Promenade (formerly home to Caffe Bella) announcing their impending triumphant return.

Jinky’s Coffee Coming To Downtown Santa Monica

It looks like popular breakfast/lunch spot Jinky’s Cafe is expanding into the world of coffee and grab-and-go.  You may recall that The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf on the corner of Second St. and Santa Monica Blvd. disappeared in last year’s mass extinction event that saw so many closures for the beloved SoCal chain.  Now there’s a banner on the location, at 200 Santa Monica Blvd., announcing a new java joint: Jinky’s Coffee.  We are promised a chai and coffee bar, bakery, sandwiches, wraps, and “empanads and samosas”.

ISno Cafe Gone From Downtown Santa Monica

I first noticed banners declaring the intended arrival of “shaved snow creation” shop iSno Cafe in January of 2019.  It took them a year, but they opened in January of 2020.  And now in less than a year, sadly, they have closed their doors at 1260 Third St. Promenade.  COVID to blame?

Steak ‘n Shake Quits The Third St. Promenade

It appears that Santa Monica’s branch of Steak ‘N Shake has abandonned any hope of returning to pre-COVID life as usual.  While their website still lists them as temporarily closed, their location at 1455 Third St. Promenade is gutted and a large for lease sign in the window says they’ve no plans to reopen.  Their departure leaves a cavernous hole in the Downtown Santa Monica food scene.  I’ll keep my eye on the space to see if there will be any takers…

Yet Another CBTL Gone…

The story that has garnered the most interest on this blog recently has been the disappearance of neighborhood coffee shops, and in particular, the mass extinction of SoCal’s beloved The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.  Thank you to all the readers who sent me news that the CBTL at 9th and Wilshire in Santa Monica has now also succumbed.  There is still one extant Coffee Bean in the Third St. Promenade, and I went in today to have a look.  The lack of customers, and low inventory of food left me wondering what its future may be…  What’s going on?  I’m not certain, but perhaps there’s a clue here.

The New Face Of Santa Monica

We’re living with madness right now, and shops and restaurants are really feeling it.  If you haven’t been out much, you may not have seen that stores have begun boarding over their windows.  Sur La Table at Wilshire and Third is covered, and Williams Sonoma on Montana Ave. is also boarded.  What they’re anticipating is anyone’s guess…

SurLaTable.jpg

Somi Somi Bringing Some Cheer To Downtown Santa Monica…

Back in October of last year, I told you about the disappearance of Pinkberry from 1456 Third Street Promenade in Downtown Santa Monica.  Wasting no time whatsoever, expanding chain Somi Somi has opened in the space and is now serving their signature brand of “Korean-inspired” soft service ice cream.  And, at the time of this writing, while other places have currently closed (or are offering take away), they are still open, giving us all a little needed cheer right now.

SomiSomi.jpg

Pinkberry Disappears From Downtown Santa Monica…

Once a darling with posing celebrities, Pinkberry lead the pack in the frozen yogurt explosion a number of years back.  Could this be an indication that times and tastes have moved on?  I was surprised to see that Pinkberry has vanished from its prime location at 1456 Third Street Promenade.  I’ll keep watching to see what may take over the space.

Pinkberry.jpg

Kameo Shave Ice Joins Social Eats In The Gallery, Santa Monica

What was in distant memory once a dusty old Third Street Promenade tourist pit stop, The Gallery Food Hall, has been systematically transforming into a remarkable food destination over the past few years.  Joining such lofty names as STRFSH, Paperboy, Dialogue, and the fascinating Social Eats concept, there’s now another name to add to the list.  Kameo Shave Ice has opened in the old Everytable space on the ground floor.  But you’d better hurry, the website promises a “limited time” only.

Kameo.jpg

Everytable Closes In Century City, Santa Monica

Trouble for Everytable?  With a visionary concept of bringing fresh, nutritious, made-from-scratch meals to a fast food world, Everytable ambitiously sought to transform the food scene along the lines of what McDonald’s did a half century ago.  But sadly, their location in the Westfield Century City Shopping Center is now vacant, and so is their spot in Santa Monica’s mercurial The Gallery.  Other locations appear to be open.

Everytable Century City…

IMG_5411.jpg

Everytable Santa Monica…

IMG_5376.jpg