Explore the freshest new restaurants to launch in Santa Monica

Photo: Azulé Taqueria/Yelp

Want to find out about the freshest new spots in Santa Monica? From a New American restaurant and bakery to a taqueria, read on for a list of the newest businesses to arrive around town.

The Rooster

2301 Santa Monica Blvd.
Photo: MONICA B./Yelp

The Rooster is a New American restaurant and bakery that offers breakfast and brunch menus on the weekend.

The menu features wood-fire pizzas, prime rib chop, casseroles, cured meat appetizers and a variety of dips. The in-house bakery offers artisanal breads, pastries, scones, baguettes and more. (Check out the full menu here.)

With a 3.5-star rating out of 15 Yelp reviews, it's off to a solid start among local diners so far.

T. Lynn J., who reviewed it on Nov. 25, wrote, "Very cute quaint spot with the delicious smell of their wood fire oven upon entry. Eclectic mix of Mediterranean and American inspired flatbreads, dips, wraps and wood-fire pizzas for lunch."

Al A. noted, "Great restaurant, service is exceptional, perfect lighting and the food is amazing. Strongly recommend it."

Drop in and say hello: The Rooster is open from 5:30-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 5:30-midnight on Friday, 9:30 a.m.-midnight on Saturday, and 9:30 a.m.-10 p.m. on Sunday.


1315 Third St. Promenade
Photo: PAPERBOY/Yelp

Paperboy is a spot to score pizza and more.

In addition to pizza, the restaurant serves sandwiches, salads and sides. California restaurateur Jeremy Fall opened up the restaurant in the Gallery Food Hall. The menu features potato chip mozzarella sticks, housemade pepperoni and beef meatballs and signature pizzas that feature the Paperboy pizza sauce. (Check out the full menu here.)

It holds 4.5 stars on Yelp so far out of 16 reviews, indicating positive attention from users.

Yelper Stephanie W., who reviewed it on Nov. 12, said, "If you're walking on the Promenade and want something promising to eat, Paperboy is where you should be. I'm a huge foodie and love to try new flavors and new dishes, but if you enjoy a good typical pizza, their Fratelli Bros. Killer Pepperoni and The Mad Margarita pizza will hit the spot just fine."

Jeremy S. noted, "One of the best pizza spots on Promenade. If you're not a fan of reading descriptions, the menu can be a bit overwhelming. Otherwise, it's creative."

Paperboy is open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday and Sunday, and from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Koala Matcha

2460A Wilshire Blvd.

Koala Matcha is a new matcha beverage cafe operating out of a window on the side of the Gramercy restaurant.

The Australian-inspired cafe sells collagen-infused iced matcha lattes and other beverages that incorporate matcha.

It's getting positive attention on Yelp, with four stars out of seven reviews thus far.

Jonathan K., who reviewed it on Oct. 24, wrote, "This stunning little matcha window on Wilshire is a great addition to the neighborhood. The drinks are delicious. The flavor is spot on, and the boost from the caffeine is just enough to get through the day! Refreshing matcha, friendly service and a dose of collagen if you choose."

Lynn T. noted, "So delicious! It's light and refreshing! I didn't expect to like matcha so much. My expectation of matcha was that was a little thick and gritty, but this is not at all. It has the perfect sweetness."

Koala Matcha is open from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on weekends. (It's closed on Monday.)

Azule Taqueria

1315 Third St. Promenade
Photo: Azule Taqueria/Yelp

Azule Taqueria is a spot to score tacos and more.

A project by K2 Restaurants, the taqueria menu features pineapple pork belly, garlic shrimp avocado and slow-braised barbacoa taco options. (Check out the full menu here.) The restaurant offers half off tacos all day on Tuesdays.

It holds a 3.5-star rating so far out of 20 reviews on Yelp, indicating it's off to a solid start.

Yelper Luis M., who reviewed it on Nov. 23, said, "So good! the garlic shrimp taco was delicious and don't miss out on the cauliflower taco, it's amazing! The queso fundido with onions is on point! I also had the strawberry agua fresca, which was equally as good."

Ivan M. added, "The queso fundido is a must try! Super awesome service. Tacos are very good and the guacamole with chips were fresh. Great atmosphere with nice outdoor seating with a view of the Third St. promenade."

The new taco spot is open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. on weekends.
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