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The Curious Palate Proves There’s Still a Way Forward at Santa Monica Place

Plus an awesome new happy hour, and the return of a pizza favorite

The Curious Palate
Santa Monica Place
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.

The curious case of Curious Palate

Despite the recent struggles of Santa Monica Place, the high-end development not far from the beach, at least one restaurant is doing more than just holding on there: The Curious Palate is actually expanding. The six year old restaurant has jumped along the third level to land right next to Arclight, stepping into some 3,500 square feet of indoor/outdoor space that will allow for a full menu of easygoing favorites, plus beer and wine.

The recent unveiling of the space happened last weekend, and highlights the continued success of the restaurant amidst a property that has at times struggled to hold onto tenants. The slow growth of Santa Monica Place has also been seen in some circles as a cautionary tale for large multi-tenant retail developments, particularly with the already-saturated market looking to add even more names like The Proud Bird very, very soon. Thankfully, one look at the crowds that convinced The Curious Palate to move into a bigger space, and it’s easy to see that there is still w pathway forward for restaurants and retailers who can think smartly about their own needs, and the challenges and advantages of moving into the next big development.

Commerson for a cause

There’s an awesome new dinner happening at awesome upstart restaurant Commerson next Monday, with chefs including Alison Trent, David LeFevre, Vartan Abgaryan, Sherry Yard, and more. The $150 dinner goes to raise money for Habitat for Humanity to build houses in Guatemala, and will include a silent auction and more.

Dough Box is back

Things are getting back to normal now that Dough Box is ready to start serving again. The Eastside deep dish pizzamakers have moved into their new El Sereno home, but are going old school for a bit with takeout only as they finish their interior space. So yes, you can now start ordering once again, with future seating promises to come.

Big ticket pasta

There’s a fun pasta night happening at Jon & Vinny’s on Wednesday, as chef Colu Henry steps in with recipes from her latest cookbook. For $60 you can get the multi-course meal, with another $28 for the cookbook.

Save the oceans, save the world

There’s even more to love about chef Michael Cimarusti and the Dock to Dish program he’s spearheading in Los Angeles, as the LA Times lays out the ambitious new plan to basically track seafood in real time. It’s a potential game-changer for the ocean, sustainability, and restaurants.

More taps for Eagle Rock

There’s a new look to Eagle Rock Brewery, as the pub recently crafted an expansion to their taproom. The increased space should bring the number of taps up to 16 (which means room for guest pours). There will be a “re-opening” party on Friday as well, with a return of some old forgotten beers along the way.

Barbara Jean adds happy hour

Chef Jason Fullilove’s Barbara Jean residency is going smoothly in the former Smoke.Oil.Salt. space on Melrose, which means (naturally) they’re expanding into a happy hour format from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday through Saturday. Yes, there will be fried chicken tacos.