Richard Foss

Polly’s is still Polly’s on the Pier [restaurant review]

Polly’s is still Polly’s on the Pier [restaurant review]

Polly’s on the Pier may have moved, but its people and food are as good as ever

Moving from one location to another is a challenge for any business. It helps to have an established clientele and an unusual product, or at least a specialty or two that nobody else in the neighborhood offers. Restaurants actually have some advantages over other businesses, because the good ones develop a bond with repeat customers […]

 Richard Foss

Rooted in tradition: Radici in Hermosa Beach [restaurant review]

Rooted in tradition: Radici in Hermosa Beach [restaurant review]

Hermosa's newest Italian restaurant offers classics with style

Radici remains true to Northern Italian cuisine, presented in an urban Italian atmosphere

 Richard Foss

Hermosa restaurant openings ahead, Redondo high-end coffee, Chef Darren celebrated, and more dining news

Hermosa restaurant openings ahead, Redondo high-end coffee, Chef Darren celebrated, and more dining news

A La Carte column for 14 June 2018

Accuracy Versus Tact… Confucius is said to have remarked that the beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name. All the same, one can go too far with bluntness. It’s possible that Hey 19’s designation of their gluten-free, keto, and vegan selection as the “High Maintenance Menu” will offend some people, though […]

 Richard Foss

Love & Salt refocused [restaurant review]

Love & Salt refocused [restaurant review]

Chef Michael Fiorelli has reduced his offerings and sharpened his focus

There has been a subtle but interesting evolution at Love And Salt, which I reviewed shortly after it opened in 2014. Chef-partner Michael Fiorelli was inspired to a culinary career by a meeting with Thomas Keller of the French Laundry, and his cooking occasionally shows influence from Keller’s wild experimentation. The sprawling, eccentric and somewhat […]

 Richard Foss

The Harbor Hits the Hill at the San Pedro Fish Market [restaurant review]

The Harbor Hits the Hill at the San Pedro Fish Market [restaurant review]

San Pedro Fish Market’s new Peninsula location is still a casual seafood joint, but one with a bit of style

 Richard Foss

Jazz Takes Off by the Airport

Jazz Takes Off by the Airport

A new nightclub offers an unrivaled experience for those who come for the music, not the scene

It’s halfway through the first set, and the contrabass player alternates between plucking at his strings and bowing, slapping, and strumming them. A trombonist sometimes plays softly and melodically, sometimes unleashes sharp dissonances, and often doesn’t play at all. The pianist’s fingers glide up and down the keyboard, sometimes gently tickling the ivories, sometimes pounding […]

 Richard Foss

BBQ champ comes to Redondo [restaurant review]

BBQ champ comes to Redondo [restaurant review]

Willingham’s World Champion BBQ lives up to its name

School is out, Memorial Day past, and across America people rediscover their taste for barbecue. This might be a seasonal desire to return to nature, or possibly a realization that cooking outdoors doesn’t heat up the house, but either way lots of people suddenly remember that grill that has been getting dusty since last September. […]

 Richard Foss

Expectations surpassed [restaurant review]

Expectations surpassed [restaurant review]

Enrique’s Cantina chef Colin Colville has made a specialty of reinventing different cuisines.

One of the most common complaints about any restaurant, or about a movie, book, or performance, is the most unjust. When I hear a complaint that someone didn’t like something because “It wasn’t what I expected,” I find myself suspecting that the speaker has a narrow view of the world. That has been a problem […]

 Richard Foss

Beers, bourbons, Romanian revelry and Rebel Republic opens on Pier Plaza

Dining news for the week of 24 May 2018

Back for an Encore… When restaurants close there is usually no second act – the staff moves on, and the old menus end up as keepsakes for nostalgic diners who remember celebratory meals. Fans of Café Pierre in Manhattan Beach will be able to enjoy a rare exception to this rule on June 5 when […]

 Richard Foss

Summer wine, dine & farmers markets

Summer wine, dine & farmers markets

Wine and Dine around the South Bay

 Richard Foss

Plaza pizza, Serve on Second, caffeine and chocolate, and more dining news

Plaza pizza, Serve on Second, caffeine and chocolate, and more dining news

A La Carte column for May 9, 2018

Communication Strategies… Back when expensive professional skills were required to update websites it was okay for them to remain static, but in the age of WordPress and similar platforms any high school student can do the job. So why do so many restaurants have outdated menus on their sites, or feature announcements of events long […]

 Richard Foss

Painters and foragers

Painters and foragers

A chef, a tribal elder, and a group of artists consider teh landscape of Palos Verdes

Seeing and eating what’s around us

 Richard Foss

Abigaile at the vanguard

Abigaile at the vanguard

Ground zero for Hermosa punks hasn’t lost its experimental edge

The site is hallowed in music history, a former church where bands including Black Flag developed their brash, confrontational style. Though only fragments of that building remain as part of Abigaile, when the restaurant  opened in 2012 there was at least a ghost of that rebellious style. The décor celebrated the bands, graphic artists, and […]

 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 […]

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