Richard Foss

Vietnamese for vegetarians

Vietnamese for vegetarians

Everything at this Southeast Asian cafe is plant-based, and most of it works

Occasionally I see a place with a name like “Jolly Cow Burgers” and wonder what about that establishment might spark bovine levity. I don’t think cattle are particularly intelligent compared to people, though the performance of certain politicians as stupid herd animals puts that in doubt. Nevertheless, even something as dim as a cow must […]

 Richard Foss

Darren’s Dare [restaurant review]

Darren’s Dare [restaurant review]

A celebrated chef arrives at a place better known as a nightlife destination.

Some things are so widely believed to be impossible that they’re rarely tried. In the hospitality industry one of these truisms is that once a place has an established identity as a bar that serves food, you can’t transition into an upscale restaurant. You can do it if you change the name and décor, but […]

 Richard Foss

Love for vegans, chilli roast a new tradition, several bottles of rum, and other dining news

Love for vegans, chilli roast a new tradition, several bottles of rum, and other dining news

A La Carte column for 01 August 2019

Summer Rush Transit: No matter what you think of services like Lyft and Uber, they are helping to keep beach city restaurants alive. It’s not just tourists. Locals who don’t live within convenient walking distance are using them to avoid driving in circles looking for parking. I talked to a Lyft driver who said that […]

 Richard Foss

Greeks on the prairie [restaurant review]

Greeks on the prairie [restaurant review]

A Mediterranean steakhouse inspires thoughts of a different Old West

Earlier this evening, I found myself imagining an alternate history where the American West was settled by Greeks rather than the motley crowd of Germans, Irish, French, Mexicans, and Spaniards. I imagine cowboys sitting around the fire drinking red wine with their bacon, beans, and steaks while meditatively reviewing the dialogs of Socrates. On particularly […]

 Richard Foss

Mindful craft [restaurant review]

Mindful craft [restaurant review]

Hermosa’s newest gastropub features ambitious menu, novel brews

Before I stopped in at Crafty Minds Brews + Bites for the first time, I tried to look up their menu online. I couldn’t find one, so I called. The fellow who answered the phone said they didn’t have an online presence, but volunteered that they serve what he called “California pub food.” It’s a […]

 Richard Foss

Barn by the beach [restaurant review]

Barn by the beach [restaurant review]

The LA dining scene has lots of fantasy restaurants where the interiors were designed to evoke another place or time. That’s not a new thing – by the 1920s there were restaurants that were decorated to look like French chateaus, a pirate hideout, and most improbably, an old Western jail. However exotic their décor, they […]

 Richard Foss

High hopes for Esperanza, Greeks bearing food, an eatery with a hook, and more restaurant news

High hopes for Esperanza, Greeks bearing food, an eatery with a hook, and more restaurant news

A La Carte column for 04 July 2019

Changes At Shark’s Cove: Shark’s Cove sports bar in Manhattan Beach will close after Labor Day, to be replaced by Esperanza, a restaurant similar to and under the same management as Palmilla in Hermosa. The concept drawings for the space are dazzling, and it will be a major upgrade for the area. It’s a canny […]

 Richard Foss

Food with a side of art [restaurant review]

Food with a side of art [restaurant review]

Stripe Cafe has a hidden location and eccentric hours, but it's worth a visit.

A relatively new food service in Rancho Palos Verdes has a name that is the linguistic equivalent of a Russian nesting doll. Shady Grove at Stripe Cafe at the Palos Verdes Art Center is the majestically long moniker for a little cafe tucked in the upper level of the building. They’re open only for breakfast […]

 Richard Foss

Thai on Main [restaurant review]

Thai on Main [restaurant review]

Jetta Thai emphasizes authenticity and some unusual dishes

Years ago, I took a trip to Thailand, spending time in several regions and sampling food from street stalls, upmarket restaurants, private homes, and everything in between. After two delightful weeks I arrived home and my family asked what I’d like for dinner, expecting that I’d have the Mexican food craving that usually sets in […]

 Richard Foss

Suzy’s sold, Addi returns, luxury seafood in ES, more Mexican in RB, events, and other dining news

Suzy’s sold, Addi returns, luxury seafood in ES, more Mexican in RB, events, and other dining news

A La Carte column for 20 June 2019

Last Call On Aviation: Suzy’s, the East Hermosa bar and grill that has been a popular music venue for decades, has sold, and both the buyer and their plans for the space are surprising. New owners Adnen and Lenora Marouani of Barsha in Manhattan Beach, plan to renovate the space, upscale food, and keep offering […]

 Richard Foss

A Tale of Two Chickens [restaurant review]

A Tale of Two Chickens [restaurant review]

A comparison of the South Bay’s highest and lowest volume restaurants selling roast chicken

One of the main reasons for dining out is there’s something you love to eat, but not to cook. A prime example is roast chicken, which is just about everybody’s favorite everyday meal. To do it right so that the interior is moist and the skin isn’t rubbery takes not only practice, but time and […]

 Richard Foss

Second chance for Second, vegan Grain, Michelin honors, stealth tax, and other dining news

Second chance for Second, vegan Grain, Michelin honors, stealth tax, and other dining news

A LA Carte column for 06 June 2019

A Second Chapter: Serve on Second had a rocky first year, with inconsistent food in an environment that was often chaotic. Their stated ambition to be an everyday family place serving the neighborhood was laudable, but the execution was never up to the challenge. The original owner recently sold the business, and they are scheduled […]

 Richard Foss

Zinc essentials [restaurant review]

Zinc essentials [restaurant review]

Shade Hotel’s Zinc balances the needs of its guests with the high bar set by neighboring restaurants

Some places chase trends, some start them, and some ignore them. Any of these strategies can be successful depending on how well they’re executed and how well they fit the local clientele. If you look at the 300 block of Manhattan Beach Boulevard there’s a coffee shop that has gradually upscaled with the neighborhood, a […]

 Richard Foss

Neighborhood appeal for a new French bistro

Neighborhood appeal for a new French bistro

Thomas and Lori Compagnon's new restaurant benefits from their local roots

When Loni Compagnon met Thomas, the man who is now her husband, there was an awkward moment. He was then the sommelier at Cafe Pacific at Trump National Golf Course in Rancho Palos Verdes but mentioned his ambition to open his own restaurant. “I said, ‘Oh, if you do, I’ll help you.’ Then I thought, […]

 Richard Foss

Decadence on the rise [restaurant review]

Decadence on the rise [restaurant review]

Hermosa’s newest restaurant offers high-style Asian fusion and some deceptively simple dishes

A French speaker might have a momentary sense of confusion when they look at the sign for a new Hermosa restaurant whose name translates as “decline.” The word decadence has other meanings too, though those aren’t always positive — “moral decay” is the first synonym in most dictionaries. Depending on what you think of downtown […]

1 2 3 55