There’s a new ABC application up on the front of the diminutive space at 530 Wilshire Blvd., formerly home to any number of nondescript cafes, that should bring hope to all Santa Monicans. With three other locations across LA, self-described “Neighborhood Lobster Joint” Lobster And Beer is expanding to Downtown Santa Monica. What more do you need to know?
I’ve been out of town for a few days and returned home to a stuffed inbox with messages from perplexed and shocked locals lamenting the quick and unceremonious disappearance of Santa Monica’s branch of Asian-ish eatery and longtime corner of 4th and Wilshire anchor P.F. Chang’s. All signs have been ripped down, and as you can see, the front is boarded over. Disheartened die-hard fans are seeking answers, so if you have more information, let me know…
Before the pandemic, window displays went up on the space at 313 Wilshire Blvd. in Downtown Santa Monica announcing that Hollywood Burger would be moving in… and nothing happened. But that arrangement seems to have changed. There’s a new banner over the troubled location letting us know that Papi Tacos & Churros is on the way. Papi’s has a location on Jefferson Blvd. in LA that appears to be “temporarily closed”. I’m not sure if this is a second location or a total move, but in the mean time you can check out their current menu of “authentic Mexican street food” here.
Long-standing Westside staple Mama Hong’s Vietnamese Kitchen is moving locations. A complany rep gave me the skinny on the new signage up at 12201 Santa Monica Blvd. in LA. This address used to be home to burger joint Quicksand which fell victim to the Pandemic. Mama Hong’s will be closing their Brentwood location in the under-renovation shopping complex at 11819 Wilshire Blvd. in about a week, and opening in the new space “soon”. They also have locations in Burbank and Orange as well.
Readers have been asking me about Jonah’s Kitchen + Bar ever since I fist mentioned them back in September of last year. You may recall that Johah’s is replacing the short-lived LDH Kitchen The Robata at 2518 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica. Their website indicates that Jonah’s is still a part of the massive Japanese lifestyle brand LDH, otherwise there is little out there on the new eatery. The still-developing website gives clues: In a video, a bearded chef is preparing steaks with chimichurri over over a wood fire. We’ll find out more soon as paper over the front windows is now proudly announcing that the new restaurant will throw open their doors on Thursday June 24th.
It was back in December of last year that I noticed that Maradentro would not be returning to the space at 1168 S Barrington Ave. in Brentwood. A new eatery appears to be moving into the prominent corner location. A sign on the corner is letting us know that Evan Steakhouse and Grill is coming soon. There’s not much out there yet, just a still-developing website. Let me know if you have any information.
So… this may come as a bit of a shock to you so you may want to fix yourself a Manhattan, lower the lights, put on some Bill Evans, and sit down. One of the questions I most frequently get asked is if Bandera would be reopening. As you probably know, Bandera has remained shuttered, probably due to the fact that the majority of the space was a bar. Known for their mood lighting, stiff cocktails, jazz trios, and excellent Dover sole, Brentwood’s beloved branch of The Hillstone Restaurant Group was a popular nightlife spot for many years at 11700 Wilshire Blvd. I now have it on good authority that Bandera will not be reopening at this location. Better make that Manhattan a double.
A few months ago, I heard from a lot of readers that breezy pizza spot Surfer Rose was washed up. But I never had any confirmation. Now, however, there’s a new ABC ownership change application on the door. No business name is listed on the door, or on the online info but there is an applicant: 2460 Wilshire Restaurant Group LLC (Surfer Rose’s address). Otherwise, the application doesn’t give much information. This link does mention the name of “hospitality traiblazer” Michael Greco of next door’s Fia. Other than that, I guess we’ll have to wait and see…
I’ve been hearing from surprised readers who noticed that Krispy Kreme has vanished from its corner location at Wilshirie and Euclid in Santa Monica. You may recall that KK was a sensation some years back, with people waiting in long lines to secure the pillowy treats. I’m not sure what the cause was, but donut competition in Santa Monica is fierce: Dunkin’ Donuts, Sidecar, and an upcoming Randy’s Donuts are all within blocks.
While no one was looking, a delightful new coffee and pastry spot opened recently in Santa Monica. Readers have been letting me know how excited they are… once they find it. You probably didn’t notice the little charmer Paderia Bakehouse because it faces the parking lot behind the newly refurbished former bank building at 3032 Wilshire Blvd. (corner of Berkeley). It took me a while to find it as well, but once discovered, you’ll be rewarded with menu of coffees, teas, horchata, pudding, pastries, and cultishly popular Portuguese Egg Tarts. Paderia has locations in Irvine and Fountain Valley, but this is the Westside’s first.
A new Latin American restaurant plans on opening April 23 in the old Estate 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.