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Santa Monica’s Cozy New Corner Cafe Looks to Shore Up Third Street Promenade

Cult, from the Lanea team, opens tomorrow in some prime corner real estate

An overhead shot of sunny breakfast foods and a salad, with drink in the middle.
The new Cult in Santa Monica
Muse Media
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.

Leafy Santa Monica restaurant Lanea was one of the bigger Westside openings of 2019, though it all seems a lifetime ago now. The breezy restaurant on Broadway featured the usual LA accoutrements: blonde wood, house plants, and plenty of sun, while simultaneously offering something the seaside city hadn’t seen before — true barbacoa from East LA underground hit Barba Kush. Needless to say the collection of cocktails and barbacoa proved to be a hit.

Now, as Los Angeles begins to slowly reopen for on-site dining, as vaccinations ramp up across the region, and as spring and summer begin to peek out from behind a year of storm clouds, the Lanea team is hoping to craft another hit with new restaurant Cult, just around the corner at 1460 Third Street Promenade in the former Cafe Crepe space. Whereas Lanea was awash in golden light and tan details, the new Cult is filled with checkered tile and deep jewel tones. On-site outdoor dining is situated right on the Promenade, alongside the brick and dark wood exterior of the new restaurant — a good sign for a hopeful year, considering how devastating the lack of tourism and foot traffic has been for Promenade businesses otherwise.

Chef Kim Vu, formerly of Khong Ten in West LA and her own Vucacious Catering, is on as the chef of the new Cult, turning out all-day fare from breakfast sandwiches and other brunch staples to salads, burgers, bowls, and more for lunch and into dinner. Espresso drinks make up the sunlight hours, before Cult switches to cocktails like $9 Moscow mules and Palomas in the evenings. The opening menus are below.

Cult officially opens tomorrow, keeping hours Tuesday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The inside of a new restaurant with deep green booths and art on the walls beneath pendant lights.
The brick exterior of a new corner cafe named Cult, and seating outside.


1460 3rd Street Promenade, , CA 90401 (424) 835-1554 Visit Website