It appears that Westwood Village is about to get a new java joint. While there is no obvious sign, the windows of 1154 Westwood Boulevard (formerly site of Peet’s Coffee) are blackened with the words “But first, coffee”. You might recognize this phrase as the tagline for the sleek third-wave purveyor of caffeinated drinks Alfred Coffee.
And while we’re on the subject of pizza al taglio (Roman-style pizza baked in large rectangular pans and cut with scissors), a new pizza joint recently opened at 1091 Broxton in Westwood Village, formerly the home of Kopan Ramen which disappeared over the Summer. Prince of Venice Pasta & Pizza is apparently run by an actual Italian prince, Prince Emanuele Filiberto di Savoia, and started life as a food truck, making this location their first brick-and-mortar. In addition to pizza al taglio, there is a pasta lab where “guests will be able to watch hand-crafted, authentic Italian pasta being made” and sauced with fresh hand-made sauces. As you can see, the ABC application in the window lets us know that beer and wine are on the way. We wish them the best of luck.
I’ve been hearing from excited readers about the latest addition to the Westwood dining scene. So I went by to check it out. Nick The Greek Souvlaki & Gyro House is now up and running in the space that used to house D1 Cafe at 10959 Kinross. Nick The Greek operates a number of locations, mostly north of here. Look for a menu of, you guessed it, souvlaki and gyro, as well as falafel, burgers, salads, and soup. We wish them the best of luck…
On a tip from a reader (Thanks Jeremy!) I went by to check out what was going on in the bolthole space that used to be the home of L Kitchen at 952 Gayley in Westwood Village. Sure enough, paper is covering the window and informing us that something is coming. While I can’t read the writing on the front, one small detail is written in English: Let’s Go 4 Tea, which I’m guessing is the name. I assume that this will be another tea and boba shop. If you have other information, let me know…
It was a little over two years ago that I told you about the arrival of “Japanese izakaya” restaurant Kopan Ramen to the space at 1091 Broxton in Westwood. Sadly, it appears that they have given up the ghost. All signs are down and plywood still covers the front. I’ll keep watching to see what may develop.
With all the depressing news of closures, it’s good to see new restaurants coming. Back in October of last year, I told you about the disappearance of El Pollo Loco from its location at 1081 Gayley in Westwood. It appears a new eatery is going to give the space a go. Signs are up announcing that Dun Huang is moving in. I believe its the same Dun Huang that has locations in New York and one CA location in Rowland Heights. If that is the case, we can expect Northwestern Chinese food on offer, and apparently epic handmade noodles. We wish them the best of luck.
Window banners are up on part of the old Jerry’s Deli space at 10923 Weyburn Ave. in Westwood Village announcing a future home for Taiwanese treat chain Meet Fresh. The numbers are impressive: With locations around the world, they currently have 800+ stores, there are more than 100 cold and hot desserts on offer, and they claim more than 100 million bowls of their icy grass jelly signature are sold globally every year. The dizzying array of choices will also include such things as tofu pudding, milk tea, egg waffles, and taro balls, all made with traditional Taiwanese methods and the finest ingredients. Interesting…
Looks like there’s a new bubble tea spot in Westwood. In the location that used to house Coco Fresh at 10912 Le Conte Ave., a banner over the front door announces the grand opening of Ichi Tea & Sushi. We wish them the best of luck.
I’ve been hearing from horrified fans that, after 55 years, beloved pastry purveyor Stan’s Donuts has permanently closed in Westwood. A gracious note from Stan Berman on the front thanks patrons for their “support and friendship”. It appears the decision to close was in the works anyway, but COVID-19 sped things up.
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.
Well this was a shocker… After having anchored the Westwood Village food scene since, well… forever, Falafel King has closed up shop at 1010 Broxton Ave. I’m not sure what took out the neighborhood institution, but a gracious handwritten note on the door thanks their loyal supporters for “50 wonderful years” and suggests that they are looking for a new location.
It was an astonishing 3 years ago that I told you about the development of the space at 1001 Gayley, erstwhile home of a Coffee Bean. Qwench Juice Bar has officially thrown open its doors and is now dishing juices, smoothies, bowls, sandwiches to the good people of Westwood. What on earth took so long? According to a spokesperson, investor issues and city permit problems are to blame.
As you can tell if you read this blog, it’s been a hard Summer for restaurants… But seriously, what’s going on in Westwood? A quick jog around the Village left me gobsmacked, with no less that four restaurants recently deceased. Last week I told you about the disappearance of long-standing Westwood anchor Tanino. But add to the list Nushii, Lollicup, and perhaps most surprising, Spireworks. If you recall, Spireworks burst on the scene back in 2016 and caused a stir by introducing The Westside to its signature Turkish döner (spit-roasted meat). I’m not sure why the sudden exodus, but I’ll keep watching.
On a tip from a reader, I went to check out what was going on at 1145 Westwood Blvd. in Westwood Village, site of the erstwhile Panera Bread. Window decals and a large banner let us know that something called Brewin’ Coffee is on the way. (Brewin’/Bruin, get it?) I can’t seem to locate too much on Brewin’, so if you have more information, let me know…