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.
More signs of turbulence in Westwood Village… Longtime Westwood fixture D’amore’s Famous Pizza has quit its prominent location at 1136 Westwood Blvd. Not sure what happened, but I’ll keep my eyes on the space to see what may develop.
A banner is up on a space in the Culver Crossroads shopping center on the corner of Washington and Sepulveda announcing that an outpost of juice expert Qwench is intent on moving in. Let’s hope the move-in goes much more smoothly that the branch of Qwench in Westwood, which took an astonishing three years to complete. Look for a menu of juices, smoothies, bowls, sandwiches, kombucha, tea, and coffee.
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…
A great many of you were shocked to learn that the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf had closed its doors back in August at its iconic stand-alone location at 1500 Westwood Blvd. Die hard CBTL fans have been mourning the loss, but there is more coffee on the way… A banner recently went up announcing Starbucks as the replacement.
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.