I told you two years ago when Brentwood’s fave watering hole/pickup joint Cabo Cantina, at 11829 Wilshire, fell victim to the Pandemic. The space has sat empty ever since. That’s about to change. A sharp-eyed reader (Thanks Matt!) spotted an ABC application on the front of the address that confirms that Banana Leaf is moving in. Bringing a much-needed and refreshing injection into the Brentwood food scene, Banana Leaf has five other LA locations and offers a menu they describe as a “balance between classics and progressive Indian cuisine”.
Tag Archives: Wilshire Blvd.
Ingo’s Tasty Diner’s Triumphant Return To Santa Monica
Normally, I do my own investigating, but I’m hearing from so many people on this story that I’m simply passing on the information others have shared with me. With its buzzy bar and laid-back comfort food, the closure of local fave Ingo’s Tasty Diner, at 1215 Wilshire, was a real blow to neighborhood. Plywood went up on the front, and not much happened after that… until recently. Construction has been fast and furious, which prompted readers to check into what was going on. They’ve uncovered that Ingo’s will be reopening at this location (their website confirms a Summer opening) and that they are expanding into the old Vienna Bakery space next door, possibly meaning more baked goods on menu. Also there are whisperings of a beer garden in the back as well. Let me know if you have any more information. (Thanks to Kurt, Rob, and others)
JP’s Bar & Grill Returning To Santa Monica
A little over a year ago, I told you about some activity at 925 Wilshire Blvd.# C in Santa Monica. At the time, all I could discern wat the new establishment was associated with JP’s Bar and Grill, a fave neighborhood watering hole at Wilshire and 11th that had shuttered during the Pandemic. I even reached out to the people behind JP’s, but at the time, they didn’t wish to share any details, so I only referred to the location as “a new JP’s project”. Now a liquor license has gone up on the space, (perhaps) putting an end to the mystery. The business name is clearly listed as JP’s Bar & Grill.
Katsu Bar Bringing Curry & Sandos To Santa Monica
The former bank building at 3032 Wilshire, on the corner of Berkeley and Wilshire in Santa Monica, continues its transformation into a food destination. There are the delightful Portuguese egg tarts from Paderia at the back of the building, and in the front, you can get your acai at Oakberry. Soon you can add one more choice. Signs recently went up on Suite B4, on the Berkeley side of the building, announcing a new “curry & sando” spot: Katsu Bar. Katsu Bar has a smattering of locations throughout SoCal and offers a menu of appetizers, salads, chicken or pork katsu sandwiches and sandos, and curry bowls.
Laki Ramen Coming To Mid-City
In a recent post about Mid-City, I opined about the plethora of empty storefronts along Wilshire Blvd. One plucky contender appears to be bucking the trend and is moving into a space along the storied stretch of boulevard. There’s a banner up at 6254 Wilshire (formerly home to Pita Kitchen) announcing the impending arrival of Laki Ramen.
Genki Grill, Spare Tire Kitchen Disappear From Mid-City
A concerned reader (Thanks Lisa!) took the time to let me know about some recent blows to the Mid-City food scene. Korean eatery Genki Grill is now closed at 6355 Wilshire. A little farther East, gastropub Spare Tire Kitchen & Tavern has completely disappeared from its erstwhile location at 5370 Wilshire. I’m not sure what this portends, but there do seem to be an awful lot of empty storefronts along Wilshire Blvd.
The Auld Fella Set To Breathe New Life Into Brentwood’s Bar Scene
You may recall that the Pandemic Closures hit bars particularly hard, and Brentwood’s local watering hole Bru Haus at 11831 Wilshire Blvd. was no exception: It closed in 2020. Then it appeared that the location was going to get an island-themed restaurant named Morabeza, but that never materialized. Now there’s a new ABC application posted on the front listing the new tenant as The Auld Fella. The Auld Fella describes itself as “an Irish joint” and currently has a location in Culver City. Hopefully their arrival will bring new life to Brentwood’s once-thriving bar scene.
Everytable Celebrates Grand Opening In Santa Monica With Free Food
It was back in September when I told you about Everytable‘s triumphant return to Santa Monica with a new location at 1005A Wilshire. Everytable believes that “nutritious food is a human right”, and aims to bring communities fresh, ready-to-eat chef-prepared meals at price points based on what is affordable for that area. While this location has already been in soft opening, Everytable will host their Grand Opening this Thursday December 15 at 11:00am. There will be a live DJ, and you can score a free meal if you’re one of the first 200 people who sign up for their rewards program.
800° Gives Up The Ghost In Santa Monica
I’ve been hearing from startled readers who have noticed that one of the last local branches of former pizza darling 800° Woodfired Kitchen has been taken off life support at 120 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica. Signs have been pulled down and the cavernous space has been gutted. 800° burst onto the scene a few years back wowing people with their innovative design-your-own assembly line approach using quality ingredients that produced a charred-crust pie that seemed like a revelation at the time. I’ll keep my eye on the tricky address to see what may move in.
Fresh Corn Grill To Leave Santa Monica
On a tip from a reader, I went by to check out what was going on at Santa Monica’s branch of healthy California-cuisine minichain Fresh Corn Grill. It was over two years ago when I first told you about their arrival to the space at 720 Wilshire, formerly home to a branch of Baja Fresh. Sadly, this location is ceasing operations after today (Friday 09//23). It was explained to me that the company is being restructured by the owners. The other two locations (Westwood, West Hollywood) are to remain open.
Everytable Returning To Santa Monica
Everytable has had a spotty history. After appearing on the scene a while ago with grand ambitions, they were forced to close a number of locations, including Downtown Santa Monica’s branch. Everytable is the nobly-inspired concept chain aiming to bring fresh, nutritious, made-from-scratch meals to a fast food world at price points based on what a community could afford. New signage has popped up almost overnight at 1005A Wilshire announcing a brand new outpost of of the socially-conscious brand. They appear to have shifted their focus to subscription and home delivery, but hopefully retail will be available at this location.
Lotus Dim Sum Dumpling House Opens Today…
It was back in March of this year that I told you about what was going to fill the cavernous hole left by the shocking disappearance of P.F. Chang’s on the corner of Wilshire and 4th in Santa Monica. Wasting no time whatsoever, Lotus Dim Sum Dumpling House has fully moved into the location and is throwing open their doors today, July 27th at 12:00pm. Along with recently-opened popular Osteria Del Fornaio on the opposite corner, Lotus is bringing a much-needed injection to a struggling Downtown Santa Monica dining scene that was hit hard by pandemic closures. We wish them the best of luck. You can check out Lotus’ menu here.
The Original Thai Dishes Gets A New Home In Santa Monica
Ever since Argentinian steak house Malbec vacated the cavernous space at 2628 Wilshire, I’ve been keeping my eye on the location to see what would develop. Leased notices went up a while ago, but I could detect no movement… until now. An ABC application recently appeared on the front, spilling the beans that The Original Thai Dishes is setting up housekeeping (as opposed to the unrelated Thai Dishes on Broadway). According to a spokesperson, this not a second location for the classic Thai eatery, but rather a move from their current space at 19th and Wilshire.
The Upper Crust Pizzeria Coming To Brentwood
People were devastated when favorite neighborhood French charmer Belle Vie fell victim to the Pandemic. According to new signs, the space will soon be a branch of up-and-coming pie joint The Upper Crust Pizzeria. You may recall that before Belle Vie, this space was the home for 40 years of Divita’s Pizzeria, so I guess this is a bit of a full circle. The Upper Crust has locations in Massachusetts and California and offers a menu of “sort of famous” pizza, wings, lasagna, and calzone.
Kalaveras Bringing “Buenas Vibras” To Santa Monica
Ever since the Belcampo closed down at 1026 Wilshire due to a spot of trouble, I’ve been keeping my eye on the commodious space to see what would move in. The mystery is now over. Signs went up this week announcing a branch of Kalaveras. Kalaveras offers an immersive El Dia de Los Muertos celebratory fast/casual concept with “Latin American culinary classics” and a focus on mixology. They have locations across LA County, with a serious expansion in the works including Long Beach, Silver Lake, Newport Beach, and others.
Izzy’s Is No More…
There’s one question that I literally get asked daily: “When will Izzy’s Deli reopen?” You may recall that Santa Monica’s storied Izzy’s, at 1433 Wilshire, closed back in 2020 for what I reported at the time was an earthquake retrofit. Soon afterwards, a cheery “We’ll be back” was painted on the windows and Santa Monicans let out a collective sigh of relief. Well… you may want to sit down for this: Those cheery signs have been taken down and replaced with for lease signs. So even though their website still promises a June return, The Santa Monica Observer has confirmed the sad news that after almost 50 years, Izzy’s Deli is permanently closed. My condolences…
Flapjax Replacing Bread & Porridge In Santa Monica
It was only a little over a month ago that I told you about the catastrophic loss of Santa Monica’s neighborhood fave Bread & Porridge. Thank you to all the readers who wrote to tell me about what would be replacing the beloved breakfast eatery. The windows are still papered over, but a notice on the front lets us know that something called Flapjax is quickly moving into the space at 2315 Wilshire. A cursory search reveals one familiar name associated with the new restaurant: Ebru Fidan Caplan. Caplan is the force behind another popular breakfast spot, Bru’s Wiffle.
Osteria Del Fornaio Opens In Santa Monica On…
If you’ve ever been inside a branch of poineering Italian restaurant Il Fornaio, you probably walked past a marble slab etched with the names of their various locations. Prominently featured on that list is Santa Monica. There’s just one problem: There hasn’t been one in Santa Monica since it closed on the corner of Ocean Ave. and Colorado many years ago. But that’s about to change (ok, so its not an Il Fornaio itself, but it is related according to the website). I first told you about the triumphant return to Santa Monica back in 2019. After 2 1/2 years, Osteria Del Fornaio will throw open their doors to the good people of Santa Monica on April 26 at 401 Wilshire Blvd suite 150 according to a spokesperson. Expect a different menu than its closest sister restaurant in Beverly Hills. There will still be pasta and pizza, but there is an emphasis on smaller share plates served in a bright dining room with communal tables that look into a central kitchen. You’re welcome.
Tryst Caffe Coming To Beverly Hills
There is window paper up on the storefront at 9667 1/2 Wilshire Blvd. announcing a new coffee shop. This location has sat idle ever since a bao shop closed there in 2018. Tryst Caffe promises us a coffee bar, but after that there doesn’t appear to be a lot of information out there yet.
Morabeza Replacing Bru Haus In Brentwood
Ever since I first told you about the Pandemic disappearance of popular watering hole Bru Haus, at 11831 Wilshire in Brentwood, people have been clamoring for news on its replacement. Construction has been ongoing for a number of months now, but little information was available. Recently a reader (Thanks John!) let me know there is now a name attached to the new project. A small paper on the front tells us that something called Morabeza is moving in. A cursory search reveals that “morabeza” might be a reference to a word for hospitality in the Cape Verde Islands (I do not have confirmation on this). I guess we’ll have to wait and see exactly what’s coming. In the mean time, you can track their progress on their FB page here, which incidentally lists the new business as a restaurant.