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12 Twelve Plans for Fall Debut on the Promenade in Santa Monica

The old Monsoon will go global.

Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Back in February, it was revealed that Santa Monica’s former Monsoon space would be getting an overhaul, turning into the numeratively-named 12 Twelve. The plan at the time was to sweep away the Bali-inspired sushi vibes inside the former Third Street Promenade space and replace it with something much more … global. As in, food from, yes, a dozen different countries across the world.

That still seems to be the case, though construction has mostly been at a standstill since then. A teardown has taken place inside, as the above photo shows, but as for build-out, well, it’s going to be a bit longer. The Global Dining, Inc., team, which operates spots like La Boheme in West Hollywood, is heading up the 12 Twelve initiative, and they’re saying customers shouldn’t expect an opening until sometime in late October or early November.

They have, however, started to solidify the kitchen under current La Boheme chef Martha Esquivel, who will become the exec chef at this Santa Monica outpost once it’s ready. There’s still no menu to peer at — and with a big-minded concept like this it’s likely still a ways off — but we’re told that work is progressing along nicely.

The ultimate question mark remains: what will the tourists think of 12 Twelve when it arrives, pulling fusion flavors from across the globe? Modern takes on single countries (as in Sāmbār in Culver City) tend to do well, but will often trepidatious traveling diners take to a concept as wide-ranging as this, especially right on the Promenade? Time will tell.

12 Twelve
1212 3rd St. Promenade
Santa Monica, CA