About two years ago, Sip Matcha, Boba & Tea opened at 10967 Weyburn Ave. in Westwood. Recently, they closed for renovations. They have reopened as Junbi Matcha & Tea. The management, ownership, and menu haven’t changed, so why the new name? Apparently, because of Sip‘s popularity, they have been receiving “expansion requests” from international and domestic cities. They were unable to trademark Sip, and were therefore forced to rebrand as Junbi, which means “preparation” in Japanese.
With all the recent bad stories about the spate of Westwood’s restaurant closings, it’s good to close the year with some hopeful news. Headlines Diner & Grill is open in its new location at 1131 Westwood Blvd. Right around the corner, Frozen Land is now peddling gelato, ice cream, and frozen yogurt in its new location at 10911 Lindbrook.
Asian food specialist Northern Café has quietly been leading the recent tenuous revival of Westwood Village. In 2016 they opened a dumpling restaurant on Gayley, followed by a noodle joint on Weyburn earlier this year. Now a banner is up on the space at 1061 Broxton, former location of SpireWorks, announcing their intention to open a Chinese hot pot restaurant. We wish them the best of luck…
Signs of life in Westwood Village… After an alarming number of eateries closed recently, it’s good to see some plucky contenders attempting the risky area. It was originally reported earlier this year that Taiwanese boba brand Sharetea was going into the space previously occupied by The Poke at 935 Broxton. But that didn’t happen for some reason. Now window paper covering the front of the old Nushii location at 1055 Broxton is announcing Sharetea’s intent to move in. And I also previously reported House of Meatball’s closure back in September in order to “freshen up”. Readers have been quick to point out that, despite other Westwood restaurants that have closed for remodeling only to eventually permanently close soon after, House of Meatballs has happily reopened at 1076 Gayley.
If you follow this blog, then you know I’ve been carefully following the volatility of the Westwood Village food scene. You may remember that, with great sadness, I reported back in September about the disappearance of Westwood’s beloved institution Falafel King from its 1010 Broxton Ave. location. Wasting no time, a plucky new contender appears to be giving the space a go. Signs are up announcing that Mr. Rice is settling in. An employee at Mr. Rice in Rowland Heights told me that this is “same company”, but I can’t absolutely confirm it.
If you follow this blog, then you know about Westwood Village’s recent alarming deluge of restaurant closures. Add two more to the list: El Pollo Loco has vanished from its location at 1081 Gayley, and for all intents and purposes Coco Fresh Tea & Juice has stopped functioning. If you have any information on why the sudden exodus of eateries, let me know…
(Thanks Ivy for the tips!)
Westwood has been a whirlwind of openings and closings recently… but mostly closings. Paper is now covering the windows of two more eateries: Westwood’s branch of Ike’s Love and Sandwiches has unceremoniously darkened 1151 Westwood Blvd. Yelp is reporting them closed, but they’re describing themselves as “temporarily closed”. And paper is covering the windows of House of Meatballs at 1076 Gayley. A note posted on the front door says they are “freshening up”. A reader (Thanks Mark!) pointed out to me that they don’t answer the phone, and they haven’t posted anything in social media for months. We’ve seen this before. All too often, “temporarily closed” means “permanently closed”. We wish them the best of luck.