Compiled by Michael Aushenker
The Cheeses of Europe hosts a free cheese-tasting event from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Jan. 16 in the Center Plaza of Santa Monica Place, 395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica. In addition to sampling 15 cheeses, visitors can explore a cheese-themed art exhibit and buy cheese for sale at special opening-day prices. thecheesesofeurope.com
A new Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt franchise opened on Dec. 13 at 8815 S. Sepulveda Blvd. in Westchester.
It’s owned and operated by Erica and Ned Acker, who have lived in Westchester’s North Kentwood neighborhood for more than a decade. (310) 642-8200; menchies.com
Yoshinoya, the Japanese fast-food restaurant chain with more than 1,800 locations worldwide, recently opened its first Yoshinoya Japanese Kitchen, a modern, bright new flagship store at 5656 W. Manchester Ave. in Westchester. The new menu now includes pulled pork and chicken tenders made from white-meat chicken breast. (310) 215-9675; yoshinoyaamerica.com
Playa Vista resident Michael McClune has opened a new probiotic dietary supplement company in Westchester. Daflorn LLC manufactures and markets probiotic dietary supplements sourced from spring water, requiring no refrigeration, preservatives or genetic manipulation. Its launch product is Café Viva Probiotic Coffee, which McClune says boosts energy, digestion and immunity by combining Daflorn’s patented Robusta Coffee with vitamins and protein. (310) 319-1199; probioticcoffee.com
The Venice Whaler re-launched its food and craft cocktail menu this summer under new management and chef Nick Liberato. Now the Venice hotspot at 10 Washington Blvd. has rejuvenated the sidewalk takeout window that has been part of the restaurant since it opened as the Crab Shell Bar in 1944. The window previously sold ice cream and, more recently, pizza. Now it opens at 7 a.m. daily and serves a full line of organic coffees and teas from local roaster Groundwork as well as freshly squeezed juices named for hit songs by the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd — members of which are said to have frequented the Whaler in the 1960s and ‘70s. (310) 821-8737; venicewhaler.com
James Gray Gallery in Santa Monica recently announced its closure after 20 years at the Bergamot Station Arts Center. The art dealership was founded by namesake Gray, the independent filmmaker behind such films as “We Own the Night,” “Two Lovers” and this year’s “The Immigrant” (all starring Joaquin Phoenix).
The axe has fallen on classy Venice institution Axe, which served its last health-conscious brunch at 1009 Abbot Kinney Blvd. on Dec. 21. “I never imagined the neighborhood would evolve as it has. A very different energy prevails from those days when storefronts were boarded up and the streets were empty of people. I do miss the old ‘hood, yet things change and I am now eager to engage in my own metamorphosis,” owner Joanna Moore wrote to supporters.
Epithereal, a spa offering a variety of skin care options and treatments, celebrates its grand opening with a ribbon cutting hosted by the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 23 at 13400 W. Washington Blvd., Marina del Rey. laxcoastal.com
Beau Laughlin (of Cardiff Giant fame) is boarding Joe’s Restaurant (1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice) as a partner with current chef/owner Joe Miller, according to Eater LA. The Cheesecake Factory will move into the third floor space occupied by La Sandia and Zengo at Santa Monica Place, and Sunny Blue, the onigiri joint on Main Street in Santa Monica, will soon open a Culver City location on Washington Boulevard.
Brian Dunsmoor’s The Hatchet Hall takes over the space currently occupied by Waterloo & City, which closes Jan. 26, at 12517 W. Washington Blvd., according to the LA Weekly.
Creams & Dreams Ice Cream Shop is coming to the Third Street Promenade, occupying the 219 Arizona Ave. storefront which once housed Hydrate boutique, according to the blog toddrickallen.com.
Milestones & Awards
LAX Coworking, which offers office space and support for startups, celebrates the completion of an extensive remodel with a party and open house from 6 to 8 p.m. on Jan. 21 at 9100 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Ste. 210., Westchester. (310) 645-5151; laxcoworking.com
Cantalini’s Salerno Beach celebrated 15 years at 193 Culver Blvd. in Playa del Rey on Sunday with a party that included live entertainment and complimentary food and beverages. (310) 821-0018; salernobeach.com
Of all the Westside’s hamburger destinations, Gayot rated two of Santa Monica’s on its annual top 10 best burgers in Los Angeles list: The Counter, 2901 Ocean Park Blvd., Santa Monica (#2), and Hole in the Wall Burger Joint, 2200 Colorado Ave., Ste. C., Santa Monica (#5).
Scopa Italian Roots, at 2905 W. Washington Blvd. in Venice, ranked No. 9 in Los Angeles Magazine’s annual list of the city’s 10 best new restaurants. (310) 821-1100; scopaitalianroots.com
The Venice Chamber of Commerce hosts its monthly casual happy hour from 6 to 8 p.m. tonight at Todd Reed Jewelry, 1511 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice. Prospective members, $10; venicechamber.net
Tech Talk Tuesday resumes from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 13 at the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, 1234 Sixth St., Ste. 100, Santa Monica. smchamber.com
LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce holds its Yogurtland Ice Cream Mixer from 5 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 14, at Yogurtland Marina del Rey, 4731 Glencoe Ave. laxcoastal.com
Santa Monica’s annual State of the City breakfast, sponsored by the chamber, happens at 7 a.m. on Jan. 20, SGI-USA Auditorium, 606 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica. Members, $40; non-members, $50; students and seniors, $10. smchamber.com
The Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce holds a speed networking event from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 21 at 1234 6th St., Ste. 100, Santa Monica. smchamber.com
The LAX Coastal Chamber and Culver City Chamber of Commerce team up for a speed networking breakfast from 7:45 to 9 a.m. on Jan. 27 at the LAX Coastal offices, 9100 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester Members, $10; non-members, $20. laxcoastal.com
The Venice Chamber Monthly Mixer takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. on, Jan. 28 at a location to be determined. Members, $5; prospective members, $10. venicechamber.net