Updates on a Slew of New Restaurants

••• Signage is finally up at Reunion Kitchen + Drink, the Orange County mini-chain coming to the restored Cabrillo Pavilion on East Beach. The restaurant had initially been shooting for Labor Day, but the current estimate is for the end of October.

••• Little Alex’s, the Mexican restaurant at the Montecito Country Mart, will close in mid-November after 32 years, says the Restaurant Guy. Not in the report: Corazón Cocina’s Ramon Velasquez has been rumored to be taking the space, but he already has one gestating restaurant to deal with (Corazón Guisados on E. Victoria Street). It’s a prime space; let’s hope something good gets it. UPDATE 10/8: The Montecito Association spotted a sign in the window saying the last day will be November 22.

••• Old Town Coffee has opened at Hook & Press Donuts’ former counter inside Mosaic Locale (State Street between Anapamu and Figueroa). Hook & Press, as you surely recall, is moving to 15 E. Figueroa (where Jeannine’s was).

••• Sarah and Michael Cherney, owners of Solvang’s popular Peasants Feast restaurant, posted that their Peasants Deli spinoff—in the old Bread Shop space at 473 Atterdag Road—is on track for an early 2022 debut.

••• My parents are going to be staying at the Mar Monte Hotel on East Beach, and I was thinking we might try the restaurant, Costa Kitchen + Bar, which I’ve been remiss about visiting, even though the menu looks appealing. But then I realized that, with the exception of what seem like paid influencer posts, I’ve never heard or seen about anyone’s experience there. So I’m asking: have you been? What was it like? (Obviously, please don’t answer if you have any affiliation with the restaurant.) If you’d rather not comment, although you can always use an alias, feel free to email me at [email protected] or text 917-209-6473.

••• Mony’s now has a has a new food truck. I wish my wedding had had burritos. UPDATE 10/7: I misread Mony’s post: the truck is new, but it’s not the restaurant’s first one. My desire for wedding burritos remains unchanged.

••• Low Pigeon‘s outpost at Anacapa and Ortega streets is coming along—and the kitchen leads one to think we can expect more to eat than breakfast empanadas. It’s just waiting on the city, so the hope is to open by the end of the month.


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The food at Costa is fantastic. Next best thing to Apertivo when seeking Italian cuisine but with a more spacious dining area and ocean views.


I don’t really get the Reunion concept given the location. It feels especially weird during COVID, when a lot of people still prefer to get food to go. From what I’ve read this is a sit down, table service restaurant. A delicious, fresh, yet casual counter-service restaurant seems like a more appropriate fit to me, but maybe I’m just projecting what I want. I was envisioning riding bikes there to grab a gourmet sandwich or salad and eat on the sand. Not to sit down for table service, and especially not indoors. The formality just feels out of step with the location. Hopefully they’ll have a to-go window with beach-friendly eats?

Erik Torkells

There’s going to be a lot of outdoor seating for the restaurant proper, as well as a takeout counter.


One of the wonderful things about going the the East Beach Grill was that you could bike there and grab a non-fussy, messy meal and chat with friends in a relaxed atmosphere. Families could bring their little ones and their fuzzy four legged companions to mingle with surfers, v-ball players and others. Almost everyone barefoot and most donning just swimsuits.

Such a shame that this place went to more “formal” where beach sand is not welcome. Would have loved to have seen a more casual, more Barbarian friendly venue went in, but, oh well.


I agree with you. Hopefully the takeout counter Erik mentioned they’ll have will be robust.


I have eaten at Costa several times. The food is outstanding, drinks are excellent, the room is beautiful and service is superb. The best part is that its been a secret spot, easy to get reservations because they don’t really advertise or post much on IG. SHHH . . . don’t tell anyone :)