Richard Foss

New growth from an old tree [restaurant review]

New growth from an old tree [restaurant review]

Thai Dishes in Manhattan Beach has surprising new menu items

After a business develops a loyal clientele, you can’t blame them for resting on their laurels. With the hard work of building a business done, why not relax, give people what they want, and let the money roll in? The original Thai Dishes in Manhattan Beach could certainly do that without fear or criticism. The […]

 Richard Foss

The Sicilian connection [restaurant review]

The Sicilian connection [restaurant review]

San Pedro's newest restaurant offers the real Sicilian cuisine

I was thinking about how strange it must be for an Italian who visits California for the first time. They might start in San Diego and try a few meals in local restaurants, and then when they come to Los Angeles the food tastes exactly the same. Then they go to San Francisco, or Humboldt, […]

 Richard Foss

Heavy on the surf, light on the turf [restaurant review]

Heavy on the surf, light on the turf [restaurant review]

Ensenada’s has made a success out of simple and good Mexican seafood

Even people who have never eaten on the beach in a Mexican ramada might have a longing for that environment. Imagine the sound of waves in the distance, the scent of seafood frying or boiling mingled with the tang of chillies and vinegar, the sound of someone who’s never going to win a prize as […]

 Richard Foss

Mexican classic exiting, newcomer at Goat Hill, Turkey Day reinvented

Mexican classic exiting, newcomer at Goat Hill, Turkey Day reinvented

A La Carte column for 19 November 2020

Benvenuto To Manhattan Beach: Don’t ask to speak to Chef Nando when you stop in at Nando Milano – the restaurant was named after the owner’s dog, and even if owner Dario Vullo trained it to cook, since it’s a dachshund it can’t reach the stove. The new operation in the former Little Sister location […]

 Richard Foss

Blustery weather previews the future of dining

Blustery weather previews the future of dining

High winds test the preparation of restaurants and the dedication of diners

When I stopped by the Shellback Tavern last Friday the weekend forecast was for rain, and I asked Rico if he was concerned about it. “Rain, not much, because people can stay under the canopies. The problem will be the wind.” By the time we finished dinner, the breeze had strengthened and was threatening to […]

 Richard Foss

Shellback beckons old salts and pollywogs [restaurant review]

Shellback beckons old salts and pollywogs [restaurant review]

Good food, good prices, an unparalleled view

I’m glad I wasn’t drinking a beverage when I looked at the website for the Shellback Tavern. As soon as I saw the line encouraging people to “Come to our hip gastropub,” whatever I was imbibing would have come out of my nose. Hip? This is not the place to show off your designer clothes, […]

 Richard Foss

Redondo meets Brooklyn [restaurant review]

Redondo meets Brooklyn [restaurant review]

Charlie’s delivers simple East Coast Italian goodness

There’s a stereotype about people from New York City that we all recognize, of people who are brash, boastful, and generally larger than life. People from elsewhere in the state often like to put some distance between their areas and denizens of the Five Boroughs, but most of those who call Brooklyn or Manhattan home […]

 Richard Foss

Second Source [restaurant review]

Second Source [restaurant review]

The offshoot of a Hermosa healthy dining destination is even better than the original

As I walked up to The Source’s new location in Manhattan Beach for the first time, I mused over all the different meanings for the word source. While waiting for my food I looked them up on the internet, and in case you’re interested, there are 10 synonyms,  which include pedigree, origin, fountain, dawn, cause, […]

 Richard Foss

Variations on a theme

Variations on a theme

Mosa’s offerings invite a comparison to classical compositions

I just looked in my music collection, and between my CDs, downloads, and vinyl, I have at least seven recordings of the same piece by Vivaldi. They range from small ensembles to full orchestras, plus one by street musicians whose instruments include banjo, harmonica, and saxophone. Each gives a different perspective on the piece. Sometimes […]

 Richard Foss

Bowls in, bars out, bakery delivers, wine and candy

Bowls in, bars out, bakery delivers, wine and candy

A La Carte dining column for 22 October 2020

MB Stays Healthy: Those who enjoy their meal in a cup have been crestfallen at the closure of the Jamba Juice in Downtown Manhattan Beach, which has been a mainstay for over a decade. They will be happy to hear that they won’t need to learn a new address for a healthy food destination, though […]

 Richard Foss

American greatness [restaurant review]

American greatness [restaurant review]

America wasn’t the first place where people celebrated special occasions with steak dinners – that was probably Britain, where “beefsteak societies” started meeting as early as 1705. These all-male gatherings were a magnet for minor nobility, major celebrities, and merchants who wanted to flaunt their success. Steaks were the symbol of wealth, because big chunks […]

 Richard Foss

Food from everywhere, and nowhere [restaurant review]

Food from everywhere, and nowhere [restaurant review]

Chin Chin offers an American vision of Asian flavors

Before naming any business, you probably ought to investigate what it means in different languages. Chin Chin on Rosecrans is an example. In diplomatic English it’s slang for small talk at parties, in Italian it’s a toast celebrating health, in Nigeria it’s a kind of fried cookie, and in Japan it is a euphemism for […]

 Richard Foss

Subtlety, Italian style [restaurant review]

Subtlety, Italian style [restaurant review]

Slay’s Italian has a midwestern accent

Julia Child demystified French cooking for Americans, but Italian cuisine was a mystery to her. In a conversation with author Mark Bittman, Child remarked, “I don’t get the whole thing with Italian cooking. They put some herbs on things, they put them in the oven, and they take them out again.” Bittman immediately replied, “That’s […]

 Richard Foss

Famous name returns, Jackson’s closed, outdoor dining extended

Famous name returns, Jackson’s closed, outdoor dining extended

A La Carte dining news column for 01 October 2020

Life After Melange: The old Chez Melange was two restaurants under one roof, and the successor in that space will follow that model. The front of the house will be “Table Manners,” and will serve lunch and dinner, while the rear will be “Perfect Storm” and open for dinner only. No word yet on how […]

 Richard Foss

Side street sushi score [restaurant review]

Side street sushi score [restaurant review]

Black Bamboo offers a remedy for palate ennui

There are meals that nourish not only to the body, but the mind. They feed the part that wants to be enchanted by beautiful colors and interesting shapes, with varying textures and fresh flavors that change over the course of the meal. They engage you so the cares of the rest of your day disappear […]

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