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.

(Thanks Jonny!)

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 branchEverytable 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 KalaverasKalaveras 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.

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.