Courtesy photo

Earlier in the week, we looked at some of the big movers and shakers within the city of Santa Monica and in just a few days, we have had to run another story, just because so much is happening in our sunny, seaside city. 

The transformation of the second floor of the Kitchen United Mix is complete as Gogo Ya (crispy nori sushi tacos and bento bowls), Ms. Clucks Deluxe (Japanese-inspired twists on chicken and dumplings) and Mr Roni Cups (delicious Italian pizza) are all now officially open. All three are the creations of James Beard Award-Winning Chef Tim Cushman and restaurateur Nancy Cushman.

Tim is a self-confessed pizza perfectionist, so he takes this work very seriously indeed having invested decades into research and development of all things dough and toppings. The menu offers 10″ round and pan pizzas made with 48-hour fermented dough made from imported Italian flour, resulting in a crisp-yet-airy crust, and rotating, seasonal toppings.

The interior of Xuntos and what will no doubt become a hotspot if you like tapas and let’s face facts, who doesn’t…
Photograph: Lisa Matthews

The eagerly-awaited Spanish tapas restaurant Xuntos has officially opened at 516 Santa Monica Blvd, the former Heroic Italian space, and just a few doors down from Andrea Inio’s upscale Italian restaurant Orto. This comes from celebrated Southern Californian chef Sandra Cordero who is also responsible for the popular Spanish-themed restaurant called Gasolina Cafe in Woodland Hills. Unlike that eatery however, which offers more of an all-day cafe feel together with a plentiful supply of paella, this new endeavor focuses on classic tapas, plus one or two Californian-influenced offerings.

“I’m very excited that we’re seeing more Spanish restaurants because there’s so many different kinds of Spanish food from all of the different regions of the country,” Cordero said, adding that her decision to open this restaurant in Santa Monica was a very deliberate choice. “People don’t explore by walking so much in Los Angeles. Yes, there are some neighborhoods where this happens, but not as many as other places. Nobody just discovers us by walking by, so that’s really challenging for a restaurant.”

National health and fitness chain Restore Hyper Wellness has opened an outlet at 1031 Montana Ave. According to their website, the company has over 125 locations across the country and another one is coming to Marina del Rey. The company offers all manner of benefits, from cryotherapy to red light therapy and intravenous drip therapy to mild hyperbaric oxygen therapy. 

Finally of course Barnes & Noble is returning to the Promenade at 1318 Third Street, the site where most recently the Atheleta sportswear outlet was. Barnes & Noble previously occupied the large space on the north east corner of the Promenade bordering Wilshire. The original location served locals and visitors alike for 22 years before closing in January of 2018.

Scott fell in love with Santa Monica when he was much younger and now, after living and working in five different countries, he has returned. He's written for the likes of the FT, NBC, the BBC and CNN.