Richard Foss

An institution closes, the steak takeover, and this taco is a mystery

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A LA Carte column for 11 April 2019

The newly opened Mother’s Market on Rosecrans is the latest beach city grocer to offer a “groceraurant.” Their cafe includes a large vegetarian selection. Welcoming diners at their recently opening were Chief Integration Officer Deborah Rubino and Operations Director Rocky Jones. Photo by Amy Berg

An Indian departs… After over 20 years in business, Addi’s Tandoor closed at the beginning of his month. The Redondo Beach institution was the first restaurant in the South Bay to offer a sophisticated wine program, and was one of the few in all of California to specialize in the distinctive cuisine of Goa. Addi is now focused on his other restaurant Bollywood Zaika, which has a more modern take on Indian fast food, but I’ll miss the place that did so much to raise the standard of Indian food locally…

A steakhouse arrives… The Petros Kafe in El Segundo closed in January and was briefly an event space before closing for remodeling to house a new concept. The new restaurant will be called El Segundo Chophouse and will focus on prime steaks with your choice of traditional or modern health-oriented sides. A space within the restaurant will be decorated as a saloon, but will serve only beer and wine (at least at the moment). It will be the only place in downtown El Segundo where a great steak is a primary focus. Look for an opening within the next week (131 E. Grand, ES)…

Bucking the trend… With the upcoming openings of Pacific Prime in Redondo and Slay’s in Manhattan Beach, there will be three new steakhouses in the South Bay before the year is half over. This is happening at the same time as a trend toward more plant-based foods and, according to USDA statistics, a slight decrease in beef consumption in favor of pork, lamb, and chicken. I’m sure that all three places will also offer alternatives to beef, but it’s interesting that three savvy restaurateurs are betting against a national trend…

Local Offers

Tacos of mystery… The San Francisco-based chain called Tacolicious offers upscale traditional tacos and also oddities like a pastrami taco (which sounds pretty great, I have to say). Their Facebook page has an announcement that they will soon open in Manhattan Beach in what is called a “prime” location, but they won’t say where that is. I have some suspicions, but won’t speculate about who is on the way out. I’ll let you know when I have more information…

Darren is back… Chef Darren Weiss is up and running at Chelsea, the second floor dining room that is adjacent to the Underground Pub in downtown Hermosa Beach. This place had a muddled identity for a while, and Darren has brought a new focus on the food. Expect the same stylish Pacific Rim cooking you enjoyed at his restaurant in Manhattan Beach, but at a slightly lower price. The place still turns into a dance club after 9 p.m., and it will be interesting to see whether the clubbing crowd appreciates fine dining (1332 Hermosa Ave, HB)…

Event alerts… Chez Melange will be hosting winemaker Steve Fennell of Sanford Winery for a dinner on April 15, and they’ll be serving Pinot Noirs as old as 2013. Five courses will be $79 plus tax and tip – you can see the menu at chezmelange.com… And for those who like dogs and beer (and who doesn’t), Common Space Brewery in Hawthorne is hosting a “Barks and Brews” day on April 14. There will be dog adoptions, a dog costume contest, and of course beer and food, and kids are welcome. Check their website at commonspace.la for more info…

In for the long term… Dominique’s Kitchen in Redondo has been hugely popular since they opened in 2012, but there has been a dark cloud looming: their lease was due to run out in July of 2019. They recently announced that they have negotiated another five years in their current location, so we will be blessed with their presence for a while longer…

Documenting a local institution… Ercole’s has been serving food and beverages for over 90 years, and not always what you’d expect. They served no alcohol in the early years (at least not legally, because that was during Prohibition), and for a brief time in the 1960s they served Dutch-Indonesian cuisine. A local historian is trying to document that history, particularly the ‘50s and ‘60s. Do you have any memorabilia of that period, or any memories of the place you’d be willing to share? Contact Kristin at historyofercs@gmail.com…

First look: Mother’s Market has an enviable selection of fresh ingredients in their store next to Bevmo on Rosecrans, but did you know that they have a cafe too? As you might guess the focus is on healthy dining and they have a big vegan and vegetarian selection. they also offer sandwiches, roast chicken, and other items for omnivores. There’s a comfortable modern space indoors and a covered patio outside, and I predict that it’s going to be a destination for office and MB Studios denizens as well as the broader public (1700 Rosecrans, MB)…

And more news… Zinc at Shade has a new chef and menu. Graham Norton moved over from the Strand House, and he has brought some new ideas to the menu. Pro tip: Their midweek breakfast is as stylish as Sunday brunch at most places, so if you happen to be looking for a way to start the day in style during the week, this is the place to go… And congratulations to Brewport Tap House in El Segundo, which turns two this week. Unlike most toddlers they’re not wobbly on their feet, but you might be if you try to sample all of their beers at one sitting. They’re offering various specials to celebrate – check their website at brewporttaphouse.com…

In conclusion… Your tips help me keep up with what’s happening around the neighborhood. Any openings I missed, any events, anyplace else for a fantastic or unusual midweek breakfast? Please send an email to Richard@RichardFoss.com. ER

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