Restaurant to open in former Little Prince space later this month
By Dolores Quintana
Crudo e Nudo chef Brian Bornemann and designer Leena Culhane have finally found a place for their new restaurant Isla as reported by Eater Los Angeles. Originally, the restaurant was supposed to take over the space once occupied by Chez Tex, but after that arrangement didn’t work out, Isla continued as a pop-up at places like Talulla’s and Lunetta. Now Isla will move into the Little Prince’s space at 2424 Main Street in Santa Monica and the wood-fired pop-up will finally transform into an all-day restaurant.
The restaurant will begin service starting on March 29 and be partners with the owner of Little Prince, Shane Murphy. The space will be renovated slightly and do away with the bottle shop wall that came in with the pandemic. This will open up 20 extra seats and they will retain the parklet outside which has another 30 seats for a combined total of 80 seats. This number is filled out by the seats that will be available at the bar. Despite the Santa Monica city council’s recent revision of the parklet rules that add additional fees that weren’t in force during the pandemic, the extra seats are worth it to the restaurant.
Isla will be open from noon to 11:00 p.m. and integrate its pop-up menu with an expanded menu. According to Eater, this will include pasture-raised roasted birds and a medley of skewered meats, charcuterie, grilled vegetables, and seafood that will be harvested locally and sustainably. The space comes with Little Prince’s liquor license, so they will be able to serve cocktails.
The restaurant will toggle between a full-service dinner and a more relaxed atmosphere for meals for lunch and in between. The owners want to encourage customers to drop in whenever they are hungry and not worry about formal service for most of the day. Chef Bornemann stresses that they would like “more people to be able to drop in and have something to eat whenever they want. This isn’t an omakase or an 18-course tasting menu. We want to serve all day long. It’s so hard to survive on dinner alone.” as quoted by Eater. They do intend to have a smaller five-course tasting menu available but will also serve dishes a la carte.
On the weekends, brunch will be served from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., then transition to an open bar until dinner service starts at 5:30 p.m. The restaurant will be closed, as is most of Main Street, on Mondays and Tuesdays until the restaurant opens for seven-day service after a few months.