Richard Foss

Pushing the boundaries [restaurant review]

Pushing the boundaries [restaurant review]

Pier 76 Fish Grill expands on the fish house concept

Years ago I worked with someone who spent much time thinking about numbers. He was a tour organizer rather than an accountant, and he believed that combinations of digits had a psychological connection. He priced his excursions based on this theory, which drove management crazy because profits were always slightly off from their projections. The […]

 Richard Foss

Shark’s Cove swims forward, a biker bar goes upscale, holiday fare is served, and Mama D’s says goodbye

A La Carte column for 06 December 2018

One Going, One Gone, And Two Rebirths… The original Mama D’s in downtown Manhattan Beach served its last plate of pasta and closed last week, and the new owners are already moving in. They confirmed that the new restaurant will serve Hawaiian-Japanese food, and will open in March. That’ll be just about the time that […]

 Richard Foss

The broths are what stand out [restaurant review]

The broths are what stand out [restaurant review]

Variations on traditional theme offered at RB’s Rakkan Ramen

Of all the items to enter culinary fad territory during the last few decades, ramen has been most resistant to being upscaled into silliness. Burgers are sprinkled with caviar, pizza topped with quail sausage, sushi rolls stuffed with foie gras, but somehow ramen just stays its honest self. It can’t be that nobody has considered […]

 Richard Foss

Contemporary take on tacos [restaurant review]

Contemporary take on tacos [restaurant review]

Tocaya Organica proves healthy Mexican food can deliver zesty flavors

Mexican food has been redefined in California at least twice in the last century. In the 1950s drive-in owner named Glenn Bell started experimenting with hard shell tacos, which were then a novelty, and stuffing them with hamburger fillings, including  lettuce and cheddar cheese along with a salsa that had barely perceptible heat. The company […]

 Richard Foss

The art of dining (food optional)

The art of dining (food optional)

Las Candalistas display evokes dinner conversation about great artists

If you look at a picture of a dining room without knowing what is served there, you will make judgements about the place from the décor. Paper napkins and bare formica say you’re in a diner, white cloth napkins and tablecloths make you expect classic cuisine, and black table dressings with patterned napery say you’re […]

 Richard Foss

Gem in an unlikely neighborhood [restaurant review]

Gem in an unlikely neighborhood [restaurant review]

Panelas Brazil Cuisine’s obscure North Redondo location hasn’t hurt it’s popularity.

Whatever you think of immigration (and in the current political climate it’s pretty certain you have some opinion), the countries that have a lot of it sure develop interesting cuisines. Fascinating hybrids develop in neighborhoods where cultures mingle, and the most appealing ones become part of the shared culinary heritage of their adopted country. This […]

 Richard Foss

Rockefeller opens in Redondo, history-themed bistro on the way, Pappy van Winkle dinner, and more South Bay restaurant news

Rockefeller opens in Redondo, history-themed bistro on the way, Pappy van Winkle dinner, and more South Bay restaurant news

Grand Parade Of Bivalves… I have a soft spot for oysters, so am leading off with a note about a dinner on Monday, November 12, at which they’ll be in everything except dessert. A seafood-based five course dinner is thematically perfect for Sea Change at Chez Melange, and oyster expert and author Carolyn Tillie will […]

 Richard Foss

ES food – Sausal’s source

ES food – Sausal’s source

Sausal chef and owner Anne Conness found her inspiration in early California cuisine and craft beer

 Richard Foss

Mama D’s MB closes, Montana-themed restaurant opens, two new Yellow Vases, Events, and more dining news

Mama D’s MB closes, Montana-themed restaurant opens, two new Yellow Vases, Events, and more dining news

A La Carte column for 17 October 2018

Downtown Will Smell Different… After over a quarter-century in business, the original Mama D’s will soon close. Like many downtown businesses they have been facing substantial rent increases, and it’s hard to make big money selling relatively inexpensive plates of pasta. Founder Chris Davidson spends his time at the Redondo Beach location, so those of […]

 Richard Foss

When Only the Best Will Do [cooking and dining]

When Only the Best Will Do [cooking and dining]

Looking for those hard to find ingredients for a special meal? Here's where to go for worldwide groceries.

Have you ever been in line at a supermarket check stand and suddenly realized you couldn’t remember which loyalty card to pull out because you forgot where you were? You’re not the only one. Major grocery stores all have the same architecture and the same offerings, and if you only visit those you might regard […]

 Richard Foss

A passion for pork and tradition

A passion for pork and tradition

A Spaniard and a Mexican prepare sausage and other meats in the tradition of their homelands

Those who cook to connect with their cultural heritage, or to recreate a meal they enjoyed in a local restaurant or on a vacation, often find they can’t get the ingredients they need at everyday markets. To replicate the flavors of other cultures  usually means a very expensive session at a gourmet grocery. We’re lucky […]

 Richard Foss

La Sosta Open, Stealth Colombian Food and Nashville Chicken, Food events, and more South Bay dining News

A La Carte column for 04 October 2018

Not Where You’d Look For It, Part One… Though the South Bay has several Peruvian and Brazilian restaurants, we have almost no options for cuisines of the rest of South America. The exception is Macondo, which offers street food from Colombia. Haven’t seen a sign for it? You have two excuses: they’re new, and they’re on […]

 Richard Foss

A name change, new places for Thai, Hawaiian, Chinese and Mexican  

by Richard Foss Common Complaint, Technological Response… Look at any survey of diners and one of the top complaints will be uncomfortably noisy restaurants. Since my email is at the end of each of these columns I hear this a lot, often with admonitions that I should tell people how loud restaurants are. I frequently […]

 Richard Foss

Back to basics, with a few surprises [restaurant review]

Back to basics, with a few surprises [restaurant review]

Pappy’s has transformed the former Papadakis into a fish restaurant with well executed traditional and contemporary offerings.

Restaurant designers who repurpose old buildings sometimes strike a balance between old and new aesthetics. Conserve that antique bar, those mid-century banquettes, the tile floor, but in a room with open beams and airy space instead of the lower ceiling that would have been standard a century ago. It’s a way of referencing an antique […]

 Richard Foss

Small wonder

Small wonder

Jame Enoteca is a promising and ambitious new arrival in an unlikely location by Richard Foss I don’t usually call restaurant owners’ judgment into question in reviews, but when I first visited the eatery, then called Workshop Enoteca, my first thought was, “What were they thinking when they did this?” The small space in the […]

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