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A Cozy French Charmer Goes Into Santa Monica’s Shuttered Border Grill

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Massilia does all day French food with flair

Signage for Massilia

Santa Monica’s shuttered Border Grill space has been given a second restaurant chance. An incoming Marseille-inspired brasserie called Massilia is now on site, with plans to open as soon as next month.

Massilia comes from Emmanuel Dossetti, the founder of Zinqué cafe, another informal French restaurant micro-chain that opened in 2012 in Venice. That company now has locations in West Hollywood and Orange County, and has been plotting to land in Downtown LA as well.

In the meantime there is Massilia, a different kind of casual, all day restaurant “with culinary influences from the South of France, Italy, Spain and Morocco,” Dossetti tells Eater. That means breakfast dishes, pastries, and coffee in the mornings, with daytime items ranging from salads to steak frites. At dinner there will be a full bar to go along with mostly French wines, and a menu that offers everything from braised lamb to tagines to pasta made on premises. Chef Griet Vanbrabant’s opening dinner menu is below.

For a time, the Zinqué team’s plan for the defunct Border Grill space was to open under the name Publiqué, though that has obviously changed. That said, it seems that many of the original inspirations — the pan-Mediterranean, mostly French food; the open-air patio and all day service — have remained under the new name Massilia.

As for the Border Grill team of Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken, they were forced to vacate the Santa Monica space after a 26-year run. They now have plans to open a different kind of Mexican restaurant nearby, on Santa Monica Boulevard and 20th Street. Massilia should open sometime in the next few weeks in Santa Monica. Look for daily hours from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Massilia. 1445 4th St., Santa Monica, CA.

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