First Look Inside Montecito’s New Vegan Market

••• “Elaine Andersen Morello, owner of Olio e Limon Ristorante and other local gems, tells me that they were hired us to operate a new restaurant at the now former Mollie’s location. Morello tells me they she will still own and operate the Olio restaurants as usual and are not the owners of the new restaurant, only employee operators. The unnamed new business owner is not affiliated with Mollie’s.” —Restaurant Guy (who seems to have a pronoun glitch)

••• An update on the Kitchen restaurant incubator coming to 530 State Street (Cota): after its online presence disappeared, many of us wondered whether the project was still a go. Cofounder Diana Pereira says the concept is changing enough that they need to run it by the landlords, which is in progress. The plan is still to be food-and-kitchen related, and still categorizable as a restaurant, but she can’t share more details till the landlord signs off. If all goes well, the project will open this summer.

••• While walking at the harbor the other afternoon, I noticed that Chomp on the Rocks was closed. I subsequently tried calling twice, but only got the voicemail. So I reached out to Chomp’s upstairs sibling, Salty at the Beach. “We are using it for events only until the first of the year,” was the explanation. Could a new concept be in the works for the Chomp space?

••• Padaro Beach Grill has temporarily closed after a fire. Let’s hope it gets back on its feet soon.

••• Omni Catering has taken over the former Stone Age space on Milpas, reports Restaurant Guy. I was hoping for a restaurant….

••• “Mr. B’s Jordanian cuisine opens in La Cumbre Plaza.” Here’s the menu.Restaurant Guy

••• PLNT PWRD MRKT, the vegan market on Coast Village Road (in the Starbucks strip mall), has opened. Cofounder Sam Benon, a Trader Joe’s veteran, explained that this is a soft opening, with many more products to come—including prepared foods to go along with the extensive array of packaged goods. If you’re vegan, or even lean that direction, you’ll definitely want to make a pilgrimage. Below are items that caught my eye. As soon as I left, I wished I had bought both the black garlic vinegar and the Sichuan chili crisp.


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