A new Latin American restaurant plans on opening April 23 in the old Empire space at 1519 Wilshire Blvd. La Condesa is the latest project of Misael Guerrero. Guerrero, who originally hails from Sinaloa, is the man behind the rapidly expanding chain Culichitown and Mama Por Dios. He is known for his Mexican sushi and lively atmospheres. We wish him the best of luck.
I’ve been telling you how hard the COVID closures have been on bars. It looks like we have another casualty in Brentwood. While their other branches have opened outdoors, the location of wildly popular watering hole and hook-up joint Cabo Cantina at 11829 Wilshire didn’t have a lot of options. They have been shuttered for the duration, but I had no confirmation of a permanent closure. Now, sadly, a for lease sign has gone up on the front giving proof that they have indeed given up the ghost.
People have been wondering what was going on with beloved institution Izzy’s Deli, at 1433 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica. A while ago, plywood covered the entire front, they appeared to be closed, and there was no explanation. (At the time, it wasn’t unusual for businesses in the area to be boarded up.) Some were concerned that the 24-hour eatery was permanently gone. Well, you can all breathe a collective sigh of relief. Recently a large banner went up informing us that they are in the midst of a “mandatory earthquake retrofit”. So, starting in February when they plan on reopening, not only will you be able to get their classic egg salad again, you’ll be safer as well.
I recently noticed that something new appears to be coming to Brentwood. An eye-catching new paint job and signage lets us know that the space at 11906 Wilshire that used to be the home of Marsa Mediterranean Cuisine and Layali LA Hookah Cafe is in the process of converting into something called Westside Kitchens and Acqua on Wilshire. However, I am completely unable to find ANY information on these two businesses. If you have insider info send it my way and I’ll pass it along…
Of all businesses affected by COVID, bars have been some of the hardest hit. They were forced to close early in the pandemic, and most have remained dormant since. One wonders if the industry will survive. Sadly, it appears one bar didn’t. I’ve been keeping an eye on the plywood covering Brentwood’s popular pick-up spot Bruhaus, at 11831 Wilshire Blvd., for any signs of life. Recently a reader (Thanks Tara!) who’d been doing the same let me know that confirmation of Bruhaus‘ fate recently appeared on the front. A prominent for lease sign lets us know that Bruhaus won’t be reopening.
In other bar news, an ABC application recently appeared on the front of the normally crowded neighborhood dive JP’s Sports Bar & Grill, on the corner of 11th and Wilshire in Santa Monica. The application is a transfer to a new owner, so it appears JP’s may be returning. We wish them the best of luck.
It was back in 2015 when I first learned that the commodious corner space at Wilshire and Barrington was going to be Maradentro. Known for their stiff cocktails and excellent crab dip, Maradentro has largely sat idle since the first round of shutdowns. I’d been watching the restaurant to see signs of life since I had no confirmation of permanent closure. Until now… A reader informed me that there is now a for lease sign out front so I think it’s safe to say they don’t intend on reopening.
Another sad restaurant loss… Like its counterpart in Beverly Hills before it, Panini Kabob Grill appears to have permanently pulled the plug on its location at 312 Wilshire Blvd. in Downtown Santa Monica. The space is gutted and signs have been pulled down, and a for lease sign hangs on the front. I’ll keep my eyes on the location to see if any brave eateries will give it a go, but I won’t hold my breath.
I heard from a reader (Thanks Stephanie!) that Santa Monica’s popular pick-up bar and restaurant Estate was now caput. So I went by their location at 1519 Wilshire to have a look. Sure enough, the large for lease signs on the front announce the sad news. I’ll keep my eye on the space to see if there will be any takers…
On a tip from a reader (Thanks SG!) I went by cavernous Argentinean steakhouse Malbec to see what was going on. The signs have been pulled down and their location at 2628 Wilshire Blvd. has been gutted. The for lease sign in the window confirms that they have indeed permanently closed. It appears that their other locations are still open.
About two years ago, Luna Grill started slinging its signature Mediterranean food from its newest location at 3001 Wilshire Blvd. While their website still lists this location as temporarily closed, last week a reader (Thanks Stephen!) questioned whether that was true. So I went by to have a look. Sure enough, the windows are papered over and a note on the front is announcing that they are closed, so it looks like they’ve no intention of reopening.
The troubled space at 2518 Wilshire Blvd. has sat idle ever since LDH Kitchen The Robata closed up shop early last year. You may remember that before that, the space was given an extensive remodel to accomidate the then-buzzy restaurant Cadet. Recently I noticed some activity behind the papered-over windows. Finally, a new sign is hanging over the door announcing that the new tenant will be Jonah’s Kitchen + Bar. While I don’t know for sure what will be on offer, a still-developing website shows images of tacos, tortilla chips, peppers, and salsa, so I think we’re heading in that direction. Apparently they were shooting for a summer opening, so it looks like they’re a bit behind. We wish them the best of luck.
The below-the-radar bolthole Viva Vegan appears to be no more. While there’s still a note on the front door saying that they are temporarily closed, as you can see there are two prominent for lease signs across the front of their location at 1028 Wilshire. This will be a sad loss for the devoted followers of their signature plant-based food.
The emporium of all things culinary, Sur La Table looks like it is set to close at 301 Wilshire Blvd. There’s a giant banner across the front announcing the sad news. This particular branch has long been the go-to for local cooks needing just the right size springform pan or imported dijon and will be sadly missed.
We all know The Beverly Hills Hotel. And we all know The Palm. But the Beverly Hills Palm Hotel? Well, that’s the unlikely business name listed on an ABC application pasted to the front of the diminutive former home of the Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop at 9685 Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills. Since I can’t find out much information or any links to either of these two storied Beverly Hills institutions, I’m afraid we’ll just have to wait and see what develops…
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.
Yikes! Ever since I first started telling you about the mass extinction of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf from the Westside, I’ve been hearing from horrified fans mourning the loss of even more neighborhood CBTLs. The Coffee Bean on the corner of Second and Santa Monica Blvd. is now gone. The CBTL on the corner of Wilshire and Federal has disappeared. And, while I haven’t checked it out personally, readers are telling me that The Coffee Bean on the corner of Lincoln and Manchester is now caput. Lots of you have been sending me theories on why this is happening, but if you have definite information, please let us know…
SoCal native Wahoo’s Fish Taco appears to be quiting their longtime address at 418 Wilshire Blvd. in Downtown Santa Monica. A sharp-eyed reader (Thanks Trent!) spotted the for lease sign hanging on the front. Since their Brentwood location closed last year, there are currently no Westside location except in LAX. Not sure what happened, but I’ll keep watching to see what develops.
I’ve been watching the space that was the home of erstwhile Baja Fresh at 720 Wilshire Blvd. (corner of Lincoln). The space has been undergoing a remodel for a while now. An ABC application recently went up on the front confirming that Westwood’s Fresh Corn Grill is on the way. Expect a menu of healthy pizza, pasta, salad, tacos, and enchiladas. We wish them the best of luck.