Richard Foss

Ercole’s then as now

Ercole’s then as now

The South Bay’s arguably oldest restaurant may also outlive all of its contemporaries.

At a recent party, someone asked which was the oldest restaurant in the South Bay, and I told her it was Ercole’s in Manhattan Beach. I gave a few details – the founding in 1927 as a family restaurant, gradual evolution into a bar, brief period serving Indonesian food in the 1960s, and return to […]

 Richard Foss

Gabi James and Madero open, sandwiched in MB and a new pizzeria, and more dining news

A La Carte Column for the week of 07 April 2018

In Crossword Puzzles, Reversing Course… The theme for the week is turnarounds, since there have been so many lately in the local restaurant scene. I’ll start with the one that has been most anticipated, the transformation of Zazou into Gabi James. The room has been transformed from rustic cool to dramatic modernity, and the menu […]

 Richard Foss

Once In A Red Moon [restaurant review]

Once In A Red Moon [restaurant review]

Luna Rossa in Rolling Hills Estates delivers the classics with style

The housemade crusty bread served on seating shows Luna Rossa is putting its woodfired oven to good use

 Richard Foss

Banzai Beach open, Casa Vicenzo closed, stand-up sushi in Manhattan, and more restaurant news

A La Carte column for 22 March 2018

It’s Alive! Hermosa is Alive!… There are days when the local restaurant scene moves at the speed of continental drift, and then there’s the past few weeks. A heap of properties in the Beach Cities are on the market or headed in that direction, and we’re on track to see the largest number of turnovers […]

 Richard Foss

Paella, wine events this week – Dining update for March 19-24

Paella, wine events this week – Dining update for March 19-24

  Spain’s Most Famous Treat Comes to Redondo… Cooking rice with all sorts of add-ins isn’t that novel an idea, because the stuff isn’t all that interesting on its own, but the people of the Iberian Peninsula have a certain talent at it. Exhibit A will be on display at A Basq Kitchen on the […]

 Richard Foss

Small place, short menu, big heart [restaurant review]

Small place, short menu, big heart [restaurant review]

Sicilian family brings Southern (Italian) charm to Hermosa

It’s surprisingly difficult to find statistics about what take-out food is most popular. A study done a few years ago was widely quoted by people who failed to notice that it was using data from food delivery services, so none of the restaurants that have their own delivery were counted. My guess is pizza, despite […]

 Richard Foss

Peninsula Natives [Event preview]

Peninsula Natives [Event preview]

PV Art Center pairs locally foraged food, plein air art

The idea that art should reflect the place where it is made is common in music. Jazz artists go to New Orleans to record albums in the hope of picking up that city’s vibe, country crooners trek to Nashville, and the Grateful Dead once went to Egypt because that thought a concert at the pyramids […]

 Richard Foss

Green beer and other suspect St. Patrick’s Day traditions

A few thoughts about how to spend your St. Patrick's Day like an Irishman

Much has been said about the decline of manufacturing in America, but in at least one category we’re still a world-beater. I refer, of course, to manufacturing excuses to drink and party, particularly when it comes to celebrating other people’s cultural heritage. As an example, let us consider St. Patrick’s Day, which is usually commemorated […]

 Richard Foss

Ribs back home [restaurant review]

Ribs back home [restaurant review]

Chicago for Ribs brings its Windy City style back where they began, in Redondo Beach

I used to travel a lot for work, and would often schedule flights with a long layover in Chicago. If I allowed five hours, there was time to get to the Eastern European neighborhood, buy a heap of the kielbasa and black bread that my mother loved but couldn’t find in LA, and get back […]

 Richard Foss

Burgers moving in at The Mermaid, Mediterraneo sold, New BBQ in Redondo, and more restaurant news

Burgers moving in at The Mermaid, Mediterraneo sold, New BBQ in Redondo, and more restaurant news

A Dining Scene In Fast Forward… Keeping up with the dining scene in the South Bay a decade or two ago used to be easy. It didn’t seem that way then, with restaurants opening at the dizzying pace of one and even two a month, but it sure sounds like Mayberry now. Our richly evolving […]

 Richard Foss

Palos Verdes to Rwanda to Fullerton

Palos Verdes to Rwanda to Fullerton

Fram and Julie Virjee follow their callings, from ‘success to significance’

 Richard Foss

A Meeting in the Middle [restaurant review]

A Meeting in the Middle [restaurant review]

Nuna’s Mediterranean offers items from the far east and far west ends of the Mediterranean

Every time I see a sign for a new Mediterranean restaurant, I wonder what they really serve. Though elements like olive oil and beans are used all around that ocean, there are very few recipes that are served at dinner tables on every coast. To call a restaurant Mediterranean almost raises more questions than it […]

 Richard Foss

In praise of everyday Chinese [restaurant review]

In praise of everyday Chinese [restaurant review]

The stuffed lotus leaves, filled with a mix of rice, pork, and vegetables, was a highlight.

One of the rewards of writing in my own neighborhood is the chance to interact with my readers, a luxury unavailable to those who write for national markets. The most common complaint I get is that I don’t write enough about the places that “real people” go, favoring places that offer new and unusual experiences. […]

 Richard Foss

Evolution of a Manhattan Beach Dining Destination [Restaurant Review]

Evolution of a Manhattan Beach Dining Destination [Restaurant Review]

Dinner at the Strand House in downtown Manhattan Beach is typically expensive, but the experience is anything but typical

 Richard Foss

Bretons Gone, Ribs Back, Pizza, PETA, and Primo: Dining News for 08 February 2018

Bretons Gone, Ribs Back, Pizza, PETA, and Primo: Dining News for 08 February 2018

A La Carte South Bay dining news for 2/08/2018

Popular Until The Day They Closed… The big surprise of the last week was the sudden closure of Les P‘tits Bretons, the elegant little French restaurant at the corner of Marine and Highland in Manhattan Beach. It’s an unfortunate end to an establishment that seemed to be on the rise… In Brighter News, Here Come […]

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