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.

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.

Lotus Dim Sum Dumpling House Replacing P.F. Chang’s In Santa Monica

Ever since I told you about the startling disappearance of Santa Monica’s branch of Asian-ish chain P.F. Chang’s, people have been demanding answers about what may replace it.  The commodious space on the corner of Wilshire and 4th was leased a few months ago, and construction on the interior had begun, but there was no indication of what the new restaurant would be.  Just this week and small sandwich board has appeared that lets us know that the new establishment is going to be Lotus Dim Sum Dumpling House.

Bread & Porridge Disappears From Santa Monica

I heard from a reader (Thanks Debbie!) that Santa Monica’s perennially popular under-the-radar neighborhood breakfast joint Bread & Porridge had abandoned their longtime location at 2315 Wilshire.  I had been watching the space, which has been idle for a few weeks, to see what was going on.  Last month a notice in the window explained that they were taking a temporary “break from operations”.  Since then, a for lease notice has appeared in the window so I assume there is no hope for reopening at this location. They will be sorely missed by their legions of fans who have made this humble restaurant an A.M. fave since 1994.

A New “JP’s” Project In Santa Monica…

A sharp-eyed reader (Thanks RB!) let me know that there was a pending conditional use notice in the window of the space at 925 Wilshire Blvd Ste C (corner of 10th), former home to Classic Tile.  (I’ve long thought this would be a great location for a restaurant)  The notice doesn’t give a business name, but lists the proposed project as, “ABC license 47 bar and restaurant for the onsite service and consumption of food and alcohol”.  The applicant is named as Bonus Eventus LLC.  A little digging reveals that Bonus Eventus is the parent company of JP’s Bar and Grill, everyone’s favorite neighborhood sports bar at Wilshire and 11th that shuttered since the Pandemic closures and remains so to this day.  I’ve reached out to the man behind JP’s and I’ll pass on more information as it becomes available.

Wood Ranch Replacing Bandera In Brentwood

People were absolutely gutted when I reported that beloved Westside institution Bandera, which closed during the lockdowns, would not be reopening at 11704 Wilshire in Brentwood.  Even now I still hear from gob-smacked fans wondering what will replace it.  Now we know…  A sharp-eyed reader (Thanks Durendal_et_joyeuse!) wrote to tell me that this location will soon be the home to a branch of Wood Ranch.  Their website and a notice of nonresponsibility on the front door confirm the news.  For those unfamiliar, Wood Ranch has locations throughout SoCal and specializes in wood-fired BBQ, oak-grilled steaks, seafood, burgers, and sandwiches.

Update: Wood Ranch opened on 04/22/2022

Pacific Dining Car Will Not Be Pivoting To A New Restaurant In Santa Monica

Devoted fans were crushed last year when their favorite Westside dark bar for martinis and nostalgia, Pacific Dining Car, permanently closed during the Pandemic.  But the door had been left open for a possible conversion of the iconic location into a new restaurant.  Recently, a new “leased” sign appeared on the front and a renewed hope inspired my readers to pepper me with questions regarding the new establishment. Sadly, it appears that it will not be a new eatery.  A notice posted on the front announces a hearing to to “allow a 24-hour emergency veterinary services to the existing building”.  And sorry, I still don’t have any information on what may replace another Wilshire institution that fell victim to the Pandemic: Casa Escobar.

Lobster And Beer Coming To Santa Monica

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?

P.F. Chang’s Disappearing Act In Santa Monica

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…

Papi Tacos & Churros Coming To Downtown Santa Monica

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.

Mama Hong’s Vietnamese Kitchen Moving Locations On The Westside

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.

Jonah’s Kitchen + Bar Will Open On…

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.

Evan Steakhouse And Bar Coming To Brentwood

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.

Bandera Bids Bye-Bye To Brentwood

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.

New Restaurant Coming To Surfer Rose Location

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…

Krispy Kreme Disappears From Santa Monica

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.

Paderia Bringing Portuguese Egg Tarts To The Westside

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.