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Award-Winning Seattle Restaurateur Renee Erickson Expands to Los Angeles

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The James Beard winner brings her General Porpoise coffee and doughnuts to California

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Renee Erickson, Seattle restaurateur
Morgen Schuler
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.

2016 James Beard Award winner Renee Erickson is expanding from her Seattle enclave to a new spot in Los Angeles’s Pacific Palisades neighborhood, marking the first time Erickson has grown her Sea Creatures restaurant group beyond the borders of Washington state.

Erickson will bring a new location of her coffee and doughnuts shop General Porpoise sometime next year, as part of a big new development overhaul for the entire Pacific Palisades community. The clean, bright shop will offer specialty coffee from a rotation of roasters, as well as the Seattle restaurant’s existing menu of doughnuts filled with housemade jams and jellies. While there’s already increased competition in greater Los Angeles in both the coffee and artisanal doughnut market, General Porpoise does come with its own national name recognition, and is landing in a neighborhood without many such options.

Coffee and donut from General Porpoise, Seattle

The jump to the Pacific Palisades is a huge one for Erickson and her crew. She already operates beloved restaurants like The Walrus and the Carpenter, The Whale Wins, and Bateau, among others, as well as a fifty-acre farm on an island outside of Seattle. This is Erickson’s first foray outside of the Pacific Northwest.

As for the Pacific Palisades development, it’s full steam ahead on a giant Caruso plan to essentially remake the entire town center of the seaside Los Angeles enclave. That means loads of new buildings and bringing in new tenants like General Porpoise to fill the new holes, while also retaining some classic names like Maison Giraud. There’s no official timeline for the opening, as the large-scale construction project is ongoing. At the moment, they are targeting some time in 2018 for the opening.