Food: New restaurants are opening at a surprising pace coming out of the pandemic. Photos by Carolina Korman

Sugar, spice and change is in the air with new bars, cafes and restaurants cropping up all around town. For those who might be behind the times, the Daily Press has compiled a list of Santa Monica’s newest eateries.


While residents may have mourned the death of 50 year local institution Dhaba, they will be able to celebrate the rebirth of the space as Cobi’s, a new restaurant serving a fresh take on South East Asian street food classics. The Main Street restaurant features a small but flavorful menu and a redone interior straight out of a Wes Anderson movie complete with floral wallpaper, mismatched antique furniture and lush plants dangling around vintage light fixtures.

Menu highlights include pork and shiitake dumplings, beef rendang, nasi goreng and dry-aged branzino with yellow curry. The raw bar features kanpachi with lime, green chili and coconut dressing as well as bluefin tuna with citrus dressing and prawn crisps. Sweet lovers will enjoy the Thai tea pudding with lemongrass and boba, while wine lovers will enjoy the selection of natural whites, reds, oranges and rosés.

The indoor-outdoor space is open at 2103 Main Street on Sunday to Wednesday from 5 to 10 p.m. and Thursday to Sunday until 11 p.m.

Kindred Spirit

From the self-titled coffee geeks at Demitasse comes a new daytime drinks and dessert spot on the Promenade. Kindred Spirit serves a range of pastries, bagels, toasts, teas, coffee and elixirs inspired by the seasonal products on offer at the nearby Downtown Farmers Market.

At the center of their menu are a range of mocktails designed by Nikki Popkow and billed as “fresh flavors that lift the spirit.” Each of the alcohol free drinks are infused with a touch of whimsy and are undoubtedly designed to be Instagrammable. There is the Cloud Nine Sparkling Brut mixed with glitter and topped with cotton candy and sprinkles as well as the Monsieur Café, which features spirit of bourbon, vanilla bean syrup, Demitasse cold brew, cherry juice and a topping of whipped cream and espresso caviar.

Kindred Spirit is open at 1260 3rd Street Promenade, Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Papi’s Tacos & Churros

Papi Tacos and Churros is a well loved Mexican street food joint from Jefferson Park. Unfortunately, their original location has been closed since April due to heavy fire damage, but fortunately for local residents they recently opened a Downtown location just steps from the Promenade.

The no nonsense menu is centered around their red tacos designed for dipping in their 16-hour cooked consommé. Churros are made fresh from scratch daily and are available with lechera, dulce de leche, chocolate, nutella and ice cream. Taco and burrito fillings are either beef birria pollo asado, or smoked jackfruit for vegetarians.

Papi Tacos and Churros is located at 313 Wilshire Blvd. and is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

Preview: The Brothers Sushi

Uber popular Woodland Hills sushi bar is opening a second location on Montana Ave. The new restaurant is replacing the former Maria’s Italian Kitchen space and is expected to open soon. The restaurant specializes in high-end sushi that can be bought both Omakase and a la carte. Bento boxes are a popular takeout option, while those who dine in person will be able to consult with an onsite sake advisor.

Reps for Brothers Sushi told Eater LA that the Montana location will keep much of the Woodland Hills menu designed by Chef Mark Okuda. Currently, Omakase offerings range from $100 per person for the Sushi Omakase, to $180 per person for the seasonal Modern Omakase. Although billed as the Basic Omakase, the midrange $125 offering is quite a feast and includes mori-no salad, tuna and sawara sashimi, lobster tempura, dry age ora king salmon, dobin chowder, a sushi selection, yuzu cheesecake and the option to add on a wagyu steak and king crab leg.

The Brothers Sushi will open at 1008 Montana Ave.